Summary: Psalms 5


Here is a list of Irish curses:

If your crop is tall, may your help be small

May the devil take your last shilling!

May you marry in haste and repent at leisure.

If you eat, that you may not shit!

May you be eaten by an awful itch!

May you be afflicted with an itch and have no nails to scratch with!

May you die without a priest in a town with no clergy.

May you leave without returning.

Have you prayed against your enemies, pronounced woe upon them and wished for their misfortune? There are23 or more Psalms ( Psalms 5, 6, 11, 12, 35, 37, 40, 52, 54, 56, 58, 69, 79, 83, 109, 137, 139, and 143 which are considered imprecatory prayers – praying against our enemies for their defeat, disgrace and destruction.

These “imprecatory psalms” are prayer songs that come from the sadness and suffering, pain and persecution inflicted at the hands of their enemies. The verb “imprecate” means “to pray evil against” or “to invoke curse upon another.”

The New Testament has its version:

Matthew 23:13 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.

1 Corinthians 16:22 If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha.

Galatians 1:8-9 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

Bible commentators suggest David’s enemies could refer to his son Absalom, Saul’s servant Doeg the Edomite (1 Sam 22:9) and Saul’s adviser Ahithophel (2 Sam 16:21, 17:1).

What can we do in the presence and prevalence of evil, wickedness and injustice? How do we pray when our enemies overwhelm us? Why is it better to pray instead of to pout?

Reach for Our Help from the Lord

1 Listen to my words, Lord, consider my lament. 2 Hear my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray. 3 In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly. 4 For you are not a God who is pleased with wickedness; with you, evil people are not welcome. 5 The arrogant cannot stand in your presence. You hate all who do wrong; 6 you destroy those who tell lies. The bloodthirsty and deceitful you, Lord, detest. 7 But I, by your great love, can come into your house; in reverence I bow down toward your holy temple.

In the Fiddler on the Roof, the rabbi, a student in the tiny Jewish communityof Anatevka in Russia, came up to the beloved rabbi, the town’s most important person, and asked him: “Rabbi ( Rabbi), may I ask you a question?” “Of course, Leibesh” the rabbi replied. “Is there a proper blessing for the Tzar?” Everybody can’t help but roared in laughter when the Rabbi said, “A blessing for the Tzar? Of course. May God bless and keep the Tzar…far away from us!”

Pope Francis has admitted that he sometimes nods off while praying. "When I pray, sometimes I fall asleep," he said in a television program published on Youtube. "Saint Therese used to do it too", the 80-year-old pontiff said - in reference to the 19th Century Catholic saint. But he said that falling asleep during prayer actually pleased God and that Christians were called to "feel like children lying in their fathers' arms.”

Listen (v 1) Consider (v 1) Hear (v 2)

Lord (v 1 Yahweh) King (v 2) God (v 2, Elohim)

My words (say) My lament My cry

A psalm can operate on three levels, as praise, poem and prayer. There is more talk of enemy or enemies in Psalms than any book in the Bible, but the first thing the psalmist did is to pray to God, talk to Him or look to Him. There are three “hear” verbs in the chapter (vv 1, 2, 3). Listen (v 1) is an imperative and it can be translated as hearken (Gen 4:23), give ear (Ex 15:26) and perceive (Isa 64:4). An imperative mood can be a command or an urgent request. All of the traditional versions from KJV to NASB and RSV still prefer to use the old translation “give ear” because the verb is taken from the noun “ear.” The corresponding imperative in verse 1 “consider” (which I like) is to understand. The noun “meditation” is radically translated as “groaning” by NASB, RSV and ESV and “sighing” by Holman Publishers, which means with voice (v 3) and noise rather than in peace and quiet, because the word has a sense of murmuring or muttering. The third imperative “hear” (v 2) is translated as mark well (Job 33:31), attend (Ps 17:1), regard (Prov 1:24), incline (Prov 2:2) and give heed (Jer 18:18). For a Psalm to begin with three imperatives, it could only mean turning to God, talking with Him and trusting in Him.

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