Can You Pray That?
Break their teeth in their mouth, O God! Psalm 58:6 (NKJV)
David minced no words when he asked God to break the teeth of his enemies. Do you see a problem with this prayer of David’s? Hopefully, as a Christian, you do, and you may even wonder how it fits into the message of the Bible
Are we allowed to pray something like that, Pastor Bob? Obviously, there’s a moral dilemma here. In the New Testament, we see Jesus clearly commanding His followers to love and bless their enemies, not to ask God to break their teeth in their mouths.
“But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you… Matthew 5:44 (NKJV)
So what’s a Christian supposed to do? Should David’s Old Testament prayer be disregarded because it’s outdated? Is there anything to be gleaned or gained for those of us who are called to live according to New Testament ethics?
Clearly, David’s prayer here isn’t prescriptive for us. That is, it isn’t something God is prescribing for us because that would go against Christ’s commands. But it is descriptive…descriptive of the kind of intense reaction that ought to be present in the hearts of the righteous toward wickedness.
Something is really wrong if we have a blasé or tepid reaction to the imprint and influence of sin. Wickedness shouldn’t fly under our radar or blend into the background. It ought to stir us up, evoke our passions, and get our juices flowing, as was the case with David. His passionate response to wickedness should also be our reaction to wickedness.
God, fill us with Your compassion for sinners and with Your hatred for sin…and help us to never get the two confused.
Think about it…
What does this passage reveal to me about God?
What does this passage reveal to me about myself?
Based on this, what changes do I need to make?
What is my prayer for today?