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How can the God of love in the NT be reconciled with the vengeful God of these cursing Psalms? (Psalm 109, for example)

David says, “Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow” (109:9). By contrast, Jesus said, “Love your enemies ... and pray for those who ... persecute you” (Matt. 5:44). How can the God of vengeance of the OT be the same as the God of love of the NT (1 John 4:16)?

Psalms 109:1 - 31

ESV - 1 Be not silent, O God of my praise! 2 For wicked and deceitful mouths are opened against me, speaking against me with lying tongues.

Clarify Share Report Asked October 19 2022 My picture Jack Gutknecht

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
The way I look at it is that God's actions in the Old Testament (prior to the coming of the Messiah) were rooted in the necessity to respond to human sin, while also preparing the world for Christ's coming (which will always be the central event in all of human history) through Abraham's descendants. This necessitated the removal or punishment (including through violent means where necessary) of factors that (in God's omniscience) would have impeded that objective (not to mention the just retribution against those who knowingly violated God's commands). (And, of course, those violators include all members of a universally-sinful humanity (Romans 3:23).)

By contrast, in the New Testament, with the incarnation of the Messiah, the emphasis shifted to the story of the redemption that He alone made possible through His sinless life, atoning death, and resurrection, followed by the building of the body of believers receiving eternal life through faith in Christ, with those believers showing the same mercy to others that God through Christ had shown to them.

October 20 2022 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Justin Hale
Unfortunately, your confusion comes from embracing a widespread deception about how GOD defines 'love.' Scripture tells us that GOD Himself IS love, (Greek: 'agape': 1 John 4:8,16). He would know its true definition. The most widespread conception of modern love contains hypocrisy.

"Let love be without hypocrisy—by abhorring what is evil, clinging to what is good..." (Romans 12:9).

Satan has been successful teaching everyone that 'hate' in any form for any reason is evil and wrong. That is the basis of what has come to be known as 'universal tolerance' or 'unconditional love.' This concept allows evil itself to be embraced and spread unchecked. It contains no actual love. You cannot love anyone without also hating evil.

For example, secular government now punishes parents with the forcible removal of children, imprisonment or threats of property seizure for forms of discipline that were considered requirements of basic parental discipline only a generation ago. As a result, parents are standing by idly as more than 100,000 young people are dying of drug overdoses alone every year. 

"He who holds back his rod hates his son,
But he who loves him disciplines him diligently." (Proverbs 13:24). 

In case you have also been deceived into believing that this type of discipline ends with the New Testament era:

"FOR THOSE WHOM THE LORD LOVES HE DISCIPLINES, AND HE FLOGS EVERY SON WHOM HE RECEIVES. It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them. Shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live?" (Hebrews 12:6-9).

Does a GOD of purest love also hate?

"There are six things which Yahweh hates,
Even seven which are an abomination to Him:
Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, And hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that devises wicked thoughts, Feet that hasten to run to evil, A false witness who breathes out lies, And one who spreads strife among brothers." (Proverbs 6:16-19).

Your secular government even imprisons or fines people for 'hate speech' which includes even speaking out against any of the above while it is actively happening. 

Children are being forcibly removed from homes so they can have their gender 'reassigned' or be free to embrace a new identity as openly practicing sodomites, or as fornicators seeking abortion as a remedy to continue their sexual perversion. When exactly does a Christian conscience react if not to these growing atrocities?

GOD gave us the capacity to hate so we could identify, expose and stop evil. Only, we are NOT to take matters into our own hands. Our battles are psychological and spiritual warfare, channeling our hatred for evil into dynamic forms of prayer, just like we read in Psalm 109, (your chosen example), seeking vengeance and justice through Christ our Intercessor before GOD:

"Never paying back evil for evil to anyone, respecting what is good in the sight of all men, if possible, so far as it depends on you, being at peace with all men, never taking your own revenge, beloved—instead leave room for the wrath of God. For it is written, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says the Lord. BUT IF YOUR ENEMY IS HUNGRY, FEED HIM, AND IF HE IS THIRSTY, GIVE HIM A DRINK; FOR IN SO DOING YOU WILL HEAP BURNING COALS ON HIS HEAD. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." (Romans 12:17-21).

The 'prayer of destruction' is also known as 'anathema.' It is the most loving prayer we can pray for evil men, since their only hope of repentance will arrive only AFTER they have become powerless and helpless and in need of our basic assistance. 

"If anyone does not love the Lord, he is to be Anathema Maranatha, [that is, 'accursed until the Lord comes']. (1 Corinthians 16:22).

October 26 2022 3 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Paula Fether Lifelong student of the scriptures
To the preceding answers I would just add this:

The key is the apparent (but not actual) clash between justice and mercy. If sin against others isn’t punished, their victims are not being shown love. There can be no love without justice, no justice without a standard, and no standard without consequences. In Luke 17:3 Jesus said that sin must be rebuked and that forgiveness should only be given to the repentant. In Rev. 6:10 the martyrs in heaven ask God to avenge their blood, and they are not rebuked. In fact, most of Revelation is about God paying back the wicked for their sin, because justice is finally being done and the victims compensated.

Many people have said that God is evil for not stopping sin and violence, but then when God finally acts, they complain about that too. But the “vengeful God” is the just and holy God who defends victims.

May 14 2023 2 responses Vote Up Share Report

My picture Jack Gutknecht ABC/DTS graduate, guitar music ministry Baptist church
Yes, Jesus said, “Love your enemies... and pray for those who... persecute you” (Matt 5:44).

But somehow we have to balance this. The same book in the Bible, Matthew, also has this:

"Jesus urged His disciples to curse cities that did not receive the Gospel (Matthew 10:14). Jesus Himself called down judgment on Bethsaida and Capernaum in Matthew 11:21-24." Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe

May 13 2023 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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