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Sing the “Mean” Psalms

Christians often balk at “imprecatory” psalms, which ask God to curse and judge enemies. They appear sub-Christian, unloving, and mean-spirited. The problem is, imprecations aren’t rare in the Psalter. Forty or so psalms include prayers for judgment (5:8-10; 7:6-16; 9:19-20; 10:2, 15; 12:1-5; 17:13-15; 28:3-5; 31:17; 35:1-8; 40:13-17; 49:13-15; etc.), and others promise God will destroy his enemies without asking him to do so (e.g., 21:7-13). Excising imprecations would leave the Psalter as tattered as Jefferson’s edition of the Gospels. 

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