The life of the biblical king David was filled with dangers and troubles. Constant enmity with King Saul, persecution and oppression followed David on his heels. The psalmist dedicated many psalms on the topic of hostility between people, appealing to God's salvation and justice. One of the most famous is Psalm 108, where David asks for retribution to enemies. Can the psalms help in modern times, because enemies will always turn out to be mourn?
My neigbour turned to the psalms when her husband’s relatives simply squeezed it from the light. What the woman did not do, nothing helped. They threatened to take away the children and drive them out of the apartment. And then the believing grandmother advised her to read the psalm of David from enemies. Less than a month later, the situation began to change in the most miraculous way, and the mother-in-law suddenly saw in her daughter-in-law the best wife for her son.
The story of the creation of the psalm
During the life of the legendary King David, wars were common, and killing enemies was venerated. People lived in constant fear of sudden death, because the law was "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth." The envious king Saul hated David for the fact that the latter had found mercy in the eyes of God and was chosen to be anointed king. Fierce anger and despair seized Saul so that he set out to kill the innocent man in front of him.
The psalm is based on the Old Testament curses, which are listed in the book of Deuteronomy (chap. 28). However, David was not going to physically destroy Saul, but confined himself to a prayer to God for protection. The Bible tells us that twice Saul’s life depended on David’s mercy — he could kill him in a helpless state. But David did not raise his hand to the anointed of God, because he did not dare to transgress the law.
The true meaning of the psalms
David was God's favorite for his meekness and obedience. God's spirit was upon him and inspired to write the holy lines. Fathers of the church teach that the warlike psalms do not refer to the simple enemies of man, but are filled with prophetic meaning. The enemies in the psalm symbolize the traitor Judas, and David himself acts in the role of Jesus Christ, compared with him.
When Doeg betrayed Davila and 300 priests, a terrible execution took place. The rivers of the blood of the murdered priests herald the massacre of the first Christians of the holy land. The lines about the widow and orphans literally came true when the Romans killed all Israeli men, and wives and children were driven out into the street:
Reading the cruel words in the psalm, evil and hated people gladly rub their hands: right now we will deal with unwanted people, putting God's punishment on them. But they do not know in their delusion that all the words of the psalms are prophetic, and are not aimed at retaliation to private enemies. The spirit of God was on David, which brought prophetic words upon him.
How to read psalm
In modern times, people do not legally kill their enemies with weapons, as in ancient times. However, anger and unforgiveness is not diminished. Now people are striving to get rid of offenders with the help of the holy church. However, in their spiritual ignorance, they do not understand that the words of curses can fall upon them themselves, if they intend to use the scriptures for other purposes.
You can not read the Song of Vengeance for domestic quarrel with a neighbor or swearing at the market. The text of Psalm 108 can be used when nothing helps any more: neither attempts at reconciliation, nor exhortations, nor appeals to conscience.
Psalms are read:
- if a person frankly blasphemes;
- if all attempts have been tried in vain to settle the conflict by peace;
- if a person does not heed the words of the priests and continues to behave aggressively and threateningly.
The practice of reading psalms in Orthodoxy implies a preliminary repentance before God. You need to confess and take communion, expel anger from the heart and clear your conscience.
Weigh the pros and cons before reading a psalm. Perhaps you slander a person, for which you can bring punishment on yourself.
After this, it is necessary to analyze the situation once more, as far as the requirement of punishment corresponds to the severity of the person’s misdemeanor. Remember that you are calling a curse on your abuser’s head. How hard has he guilty before you that he should be severely punished? Also remember that The undeserved curse will not reach the innocent, but will return back to the cursing.
Psalm 108 is not read on church holidays and on Sundays.
While reading a psalm, one should not rejoice at the terrible words of the curse, but rather be humble before God. A person must understand that he, too, is a sinner and is worthy of punishment. Therefore, to resort to reading the Song of Vengeance is necessary only as a last resort, when the ill-wisher literally squeezes from the light.
Remember that psalms can not act as damage to the enemy - you pass your problem into the hands of God. Only the Lord decides whether to punish the offender at your request. This is not a magical rite, but the restoration of justice by the court of God.
Psalm 108 "Vengeance on Enemies" cannot be read as defacement. You call on the court of God, give the situation in his hands. God can judge everything not as you see it - and punish you instead of the offender.
Also remember that all troubles appear in a person’s life only through his own fault.. If a Christian lives according to the commandments of God, he will not have to cry for salvation from enemies who destroy him. Therefore, it is important to establish the degree of one’s own guilt in the circumstances before appealing to fair punishment.
Psalm 108 - text: