Paul's Passing Thoughts

The Book Of Psalms Is About The Wicked

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on April 26, 2011

I always thought of Psalms as a meditation book. For the most part, that’s how it’s always been presented to me. I have never experienced someone teaching the book as a whole, but have heard many sermons focused on small portions. Usually, we look to Psalms for comfort in troubled times.

A couple of days ago, I was using a search tool to find a verse in Psalms. I knew the word “wicked,” was in the verse, so that’s what I entered into the search engine. Surprise! I immediately noticed that the word “wicked” appears in 53 chapters throughout the book beginning with chapter one and ending with chapter 147 (there are 150 chapters in Psalms). Then I said to myself, “Hmmm, I wonder how the book begins?” Answer:

“Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.”

That’s how the book starts, and then the wicked are spoken of in chapters 3,5,7,9,10,11,12,17,21,26,28,31,32,34,36,37(15times),39,43,45,49,50,55,58,59,64,68,71,73,75,82,

84,89,91,92,94,97,101,104,106,107,109,112,119,125,129,139,140,141,145,146,147.

The book is obviously about the wicked. Throughout the book, aspects of the wicked— what they do, and why they do it, is explained. God wants us to know our cuts of wickedness. Furthermore, many of the comfort verses in the book regard King David (and others) needing comfort because of the affliction suffered at the hands of the wicked. Once the theme of the book is understood, even a cursory observation of the book reveals many things; one example is the following: persecution from the wicked can be a source of depression among God’s people. Chapter 42 is often used to teach many things about depression while 42:9,10 are glossed over and disconnected from the major theme of the book:

“I say to God my Rock, ‘Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning,
oppressed by the enemy?’ My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me,
saying to me all day long, ‘Where is your God?’” (I realize the prophetic implications of these verses but that doesn’t exclude the application I am making here).

Even the often cited Psalm 23, in context, is about affliction caused by the wicked: “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.”

When mention of “adversaries”(of God or believers),“enemies” (of God or believers), and their evil deeds are also considered, chapters 6,8,13,15,18(7 times), 22,23,25,27,30,35,38,40,41,42,44,51,52,54,56,60,66,69,72,74,78,80,81,83,86,90,99,102,105,108,

110,118,121,127,132,136,143, and 144 can be added, encompassing more than two-thirds of the book. And I might add that my research stopped there. Psalms is not a meditation book—it’s a war manual for understanding the schemes of the wicked against God and his people, and the resources available to God’s people accordingly.

Paul told Timothy that those who live Godly in Christ WILL suffer persecution (2Tim 3:12). But unfortunately, those who come for encouragement and healing from such affliction are usually told that they are the problem: “Now brother, you must be offending them in some way. We recommend that you take a long, deep look at your own heart. If you stop blame shifting, and own your sin in this matter, God will resolve it”

According to Psalms, we should take such claims of persecution seriously, and Psalms should be our counseling manual in instructing the afflicted as to why the wicked behave this way, and how to respond in God-honoring ways.

paul

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3 Responses

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  1. Bill said, on April 28, 2011 at 4:58 AM

    Really cool. That’s a good observation Paul. In our culture today many people never heard of a wicked person, must less the wrath of God. The only acceptable Psalm today is Psalm 23.
    In the 1980’s I was an elder at Grace Reformed Presbyterian Church in Edmond, OK. In later years this church was merged with another so it doesn’t exist anymore. Anyway, we did church services praying Imprecatory Psalms against the abortionists. Psalm 69 was one, if my memory serves me correctly. Funny, I’ve never heard of another church these days doing Imprecatory Psalms. This is a time of tolerance, forgiveness, acceptance, and unity. Love, don’t hate. I guess that’s why capital punishment is going out.

    The Venerable Bede (673-735 AD), who wrote the Ecclesiastical History of the English People, spent 8 hrs/day reciting the Psalter. He was in a monastery with a Benedictine Rule (Liturgy) focusing on the Book of Psalms. He was turned over to the monastery at age 7 by his parents. He lived at the same monastery/church until death. A great scholar in his day, they say he knew the Psalms extremely well. To say the least!

    Arkansas Bill

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    • pauldohse said, on April 29, 2011 at 12:51 AM

      Bill, “Imprecatory Psalms” Anything out there in print?–a decent prayer book from the Psalms to be read at services–that would be cool.

      > —–Original Message—– >

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  2. Bill said, on April 29, 2011 at 4:54 AM

    Paul,

    “Imprecatory Psalms” are out of the past. Don’t you understand? This is the Politically Correct World now. Wake up and smell the coffee. The dark ages are over! Hello!!
    Ha!!! Just kidding.

    Kidding aside, I don’t know of an Imprecatory Psalms Prayer Book. However, in the 1980’s what we used for congregational responsive reading was the Orthodox Presbyterian Trinity Hymnal 1961. Look in the back of the Hymnal, all the Psalms are there. Get the list of Imprecatory Psalms off the web. Our church, very liturgical, eventually got swallowed up by Holy Cross Anglican in Oklahoma City (Province of Christ the King; still going). A very conservative church, we then used The Book of Common Prayer 1928 old King James. My family and I are still doing the same thing here in Arkansas. Congregational responsive reading of the Psalms (Common Prayer 1928) is every Sunday, and more. We recite Imprecatory Psalms but not for special purposes as we did in the 1980’s.
    I also like to hear the Psalms sung. The Venerable Bede did lots of that in the Church Monastery every day. One thing about the Psalms, if you get them in you like Bede did, you don’t worship the candy coated, all tolerant god of fantasy.
    Hope this helps.

    Arkansas Bill

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