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How can the God of the Old Testament be described as loving? Part 3

The imprecatory Psalms

The integrity of God’s character is a better explanation of our apparent conundrum of how the God of the Old Testament approves or even commands the things found in the imprecatory Psalms.

God has always possessed integrity as part of His eternal, infinite, unchanging and perfect being. The integrity of God is composed of two divine attributes working in tandem which are perfect righteousness and absolute justice. Divine integrity cooperates with the divine love; together forming one perfect, integrated system through which God deals gracefully with humanity.

Grace is the expression of God’s love, and integrity is the uncompromising method of His justice. [1] Divine integrity ensures that the God of love and grace is neither inappropriately emotional, nor does He play favourites [2], nor does He fail to be decisive in any human situations.

 We should note that God’s attribute of absolute justice demands punishment not only upon sin but also of the sinner.

If it is right for God to destroy evil including evil persons and even to go as far as commanding his servants to perform the destruction of evil and evil persons, then it can be argued that it was right in God’s eyes for the Psalmists to pray for the destruction of the wicked. If indeed, the imprecatory psalms were inspired by the Holy Spirit and therefore, they must have reflected God’s will.

The late Bible teacher Roger Price (Chichester) on a radio programme was asked in the dying seconds of his interview whether his God was the same God who was capable of terrible acts against humans as in the imprecatory psalms. Roger’s reply was clear ; ‘Yes, the God of the Old and New Testaments is a God of love and mercy, but He is also a God of absolute justice and decrees punishment for the unrepentant.’

This is the reason that Christians must urgently share the Gospel of Jesus Christ before it is too late for sinful men and women to come to repentance.

The best explanation as to why the imprecatory psalms (and other terrible scriptures) seem to be so different from the God of the New Testament, and is found in the consideration of God’s integrity as mandated between His two divine attributes of His righteousness and His absolute justice. God employs both attributes as required in his dealing with humankind.

This seems to me to be closer to explaining why the imprecatory psalms were written but also bids us remember God’s lovingkindness and mercy.

What do you think?




[1] God the Father showed his integrity by not sparing Jesus from the cross. In Psalm 22 we find the Messiah crying out ‘My God my God why hast thou forsaken me’? The Father and the Holy Spirit turned their back on Jesus as he became sin on the cross.


[2] For example in Matthew 26:39 And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.



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