Wednesday 26th July       To be heard      Gill Wolfaardt

Psalm 129 :5-8

May all who hate Zion be turned back in shame, may they be like grass on the roof,

which withers before it can grow; with it the reaper cannot fill his hands, nor the one who gathers fill his arms.

May those who pass by not say “ “ The blessing of the Lord be upon you; we will bless you in the name of the Lord.”

Exodus 1: 8-14

It is said that Frederick the Great , the king of Prussia, became skeptical and unbelieving because of the influence of Voltaire the famous French rationalistic skeptic. He went to the Chaplain and said to him, “ If your bible is really true , you ought to be able to prove it easily and briefly….if your bible is really from God, demonstrate it to me simply. Forget long words and arguments. Give me proof of the bible’s inspiration in one word!” The Chaplain said “ Israel, Your Majesty”

It is reported that Frederick was silent.

 Luke 9:54 & 55  There are a number of Psalms that have this type of prayer in them. There is a word for the kind of prayer Its called Imprecatory prayer.  Inspired requests don’t always receive an automatic YES answer . Think of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane.

Hebrews 5:7 & 8: Everything Jesus said and did was inspired because He was and is completely God. Yet because He exists to do the will of His Father He could make a divine request that didn’t invoke an automatic YES. Sometimes an important part of praying is simply being heard.

It might be argued that God allowed these kinds of requests in the Old Testament but that in the New Testament  we are taught to love our enemies.

Here are some examples from the Old Testament that refute that. Exodus 23:4 & 5 :Leviticus 19:16-18: Proverbs 24:17 & 18:

God never has condoned revenge or bitterness or hatred. He understands but does not condone.

“ In the law and prophets , God reaches out to man. The initiative is His. The message is His. He communicates . We receive. Our God given free will allows us to be receptive, to be accepting, to turn a deaf ear or to reject. In the Psalms human beings reach out to God. The initiative is human. The language is human.We make an effort to communicate. He receives. He chooses to respond or not according to His inscrutable wisdom. He gives His assent or withholds it. In the Psalms the human soul tends itself beyond its confining, sheltering, impermanent house of clay. It strives for contact with the Ultimate Source of all life. It gropes for an experience of the Divine Presence. The biblical psalms are essentially a record of the human quest for God.Hence the variety of forms in which the ancient psalmists expressed themselves, reflective of the diverse  and changing moods that possessed them as they do all human beings. In short the psalms constitute a revealing portrayal of the human condition.”Nahum Sarna

Psalm 103: 8-14.  David was the author of more imprecatory psalms than anyone else but ironically David exhibited the opposite of a vengeful or vindictive spirit.

Romans 12: 17-21:  God’s ways are higher than ours.