Why did David ask God not to kill his enemies, and then ask him to consume them in wrath? (Psalm 59:11–13)

Psalm 59:11 But do not kill them, Lord our shield,
    or my people will forget.
In your might uproot them
    and bring them down.
12 For the sins of their mouths,
    for the words of their lips,
    let them be caught in their pride.
For the curses and lies they utter,
13     consume them in your wrath,
    consume them till they are no more.
Then it will be known to the ends of the earth
    that God rules over Jacob.

Psalms 59:1 - 17

ESV - 1 Deliver me from my enemies, O my God; protect me from those who rise up against me. 2 Deliver me from those who work evil, and save me from bloodthirsty men.

Clarify Share Report Asked January 04 2022 My picture Jack Gutknecht

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
Perhaps the two cited verses are referring to varying modes of divine retribution. David doesn't want his enemies immediately destroyed (and thus possibly soon forgotten), but gradually consumed over time in order to serve as an ongoing example to the whole world.

In an earlier analogous example, God informed Pharaoh fairly early in the book of Exodus (Exodus 9:15-16) that he could already have been killed, but that God had allowed him to continue to exist and to be punished to serve as an example to others.

January 05 2022 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

My picture Jack Gutknecht ABC/DTS graduate, guitar music ministry Baptist church
Surely David desired God to destroy those who were hiding and waiting for the right moment to make an attack against him, laying in wait for him night after night—BUT not before they were exposed as a warning example of punishment. QSB

January 09 2022 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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