Psalm 109- isn't it kinda cruel?

edited December 1969 in Faith Issues
In the end of Psalm 109, the end is kind of weird. It's kind of cruel.

[glow=red,2,300]Psalm 109- the end[/glow]

The Lord has sworn and shall not repent: "You are the Priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek." The Lord is at Your right hand; He sahll dash kings in the day of the wrath. He shall judge among the nations. He shall fill them with dead bodies; He shall crush the heads of many on the earth. He shall drink of the brook in the way; therefore He shall lift up the head. Alleluia.

All the parts where it says that he will do "destructive" things, well it doesn't seem so much like God. It seems a bit cruel for him. Is there maybe a meaning and thats the reason?

love lots,


  • First off, let's get this straight, God can never be cruel, ever, second, we can't judge what he thinks is right, like if I were to judge someone, but then at the end they are right, God thinks that should be fittable to people that used false witness, or broke the commandment of God, you can never say the God is mean, he isn't, this is God we're talking about, not someone else, he is sweet, and knows what's best for us, so if your teacher said I'll give you a B- for that grade and she'll be right with that grade, are you going to call her cruel, of course not, she thinks that's what's best for you, God knows exactly what he needs to do, many people I have seen are questioning everything, I just think that if you read it a couple times you'll understand, but if you still don't get it, than ask your question! Hope I made sense!

    Coptic Servent
  • Hello all,
    Yes Psalm 109 is "cruel". And that is not the only time in the bible god is "cruel" however i dont think "cruel" is the right word. The Dictionary Definition for cruel is: Cruel-Disposed to cause fear or pain. God is not out to do that, these things are however the things god will judge the (non-repentant) sinners.

    In exodus in the song we sing in the midnight praise it says: Exodus 15:1-3. After their exodus from the land of Egypt, "Then Moses and the children of Israel sang this song to the Lord, and spoke, saying: ‘I will sing to the Lord, For he has triumphed gloriously! The horse and its rider He has thrown into the sea! The Lord is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation; He is my God, and I will praise Him; My father's God, and I will exalt Him. The Lord is a man of war; The Lord is His name."
    Now, as we can see God threw Pharoah and his horsemen into the sea (killing them) would god kill someone who loved him and followed after him. Our god loves us and wishes us to follow him and be his children for that is the purpose for which we were created God is not "cruel" he is just. And the consequence of sin is death.

    A Great Book to explain the psalms to you is: Christ in The Psalms ,By Father Patrick Henry Reardon (Antiochian Orthodox Priest) it is an incredible book you should check it out.

    P.S.- here is the amazon link for the book:
  • [quote author=CopticChris434 link=board=1;threadid=3566;start=0#msg51632 date=1143916353]
    Hello all,
    Yes Psalm 109 is "cruel". And that is not the only time in the bible god is "cruel" however i dont think "cruel" is the right word. The Dictionary Definition for cruel is: Cruel-Disposed to cause fear or pain. God is not out to do that, these things are however the things god will judge the (non-repentant) sinners.

    I completely agree with you 100% CopticChrist434!

    Coptic Servent
  • God is the just judge. He has perfect judgement.
  • I know that God can never be cruel, but why is this psalm expressed in a way that shows that God is like that. Because from the rest of the bible God could never do that. There has to be a meaning for it to be written out like that. I understand that God cannot be mean or cruel, trust me I know that part, but how come that psalm is written like that?

    love lots,

    and God is the perfect judge
  • CopticChica21, I think you haven't read Revelations, the book that was written from God's words, like it's his book, so I think you should read that book first than you can say what you want to because, God does express his judgement like that!

    Coptic Servent
  • Sorry to say this, but that's not really what I'm asking for. I just want to know if there is a special meaning behind Psalm 109 for this to be said. It seems kind of weird that they could say that God would do this.

    I'm not trying to be rude. Please don't be mad, CopticServent, but I was just claryfing my question. Sorry.

    love lots,

    just one thing
    umm... the last clarification is just asking to clear up the meaning of this psalm and why that is written in there.

    by the way, I am reading Revelations.
  • It is alright CopticChica21, but you have not gone to the part I'm trying to clear up for you, because in some of the chapters, it talks about the Judgement of God, and for Psalms they have meanings behind them, but you still need to understand that some verses or even psalms can have other chapters that clarify what is said in that specific part, so that is all I had to say, I just finished reading Revelations like a month or two ago, and I started on chapter 6, so after I'm done reading something , I will for sure try to finish all of Revelations, because I haven't read chapters 1-5 yet, just trying to clarify something here!

    Coptic Servent
  • God is just. He rewards those who do good and punishing those who do evil and do not repent. You are forgetting a lot by saying that the way God is portrayed in this psalm is in any way contradictory to the way He is revealed to us in the rest of the scripture. He is a loving God, but is also the Just Judge. Just a few examples of God punishing those who disobey him.

    1) God killed all of the people on the earth except for Noah's family in the great flood.

    2) God burned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.

    3) Jesus said to his disciples:

    11 “Now whatever city or town you enter, inquire who in it is worthy, and stay there till you go out. 12 And when you go into a household, greet it. 13 If the household is worthy, let your peace come upon it. But if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. 14 And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet. 15 Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city! (Matthew 10-11-15).

    4) When Korah, Abiram and Dathan tried to usurp the priesthood.

    16 And Moses said to Korah, “Tomorrow, you and all your company be present before the LORD—you and they, as well as Aaron. 17 Let each take his censer and put incense in it, and each of you bring his censer before the LORD, two hundred and fifty censers; both you and Aaron, each with his censer.” 18 So every man took his censer, put fire in it, laid incense on it, and stood at the door of the tabernacle of meeting with Moses and Aaron. 19 And Korah gathered all the congregation against them at the door of the tabernacle of meeting. Then the glory of the LORD appeared to all the congregation.
    20 And the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, 21 “Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment.”
    22 Then they fell on their faces, and said, “O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, shall one man sin, and You be angry with all the congregation?”
    23 So the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 24 “Speak to the congregation, saying, ‘Get away from the tents of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.’”
    25 Then Moses rose and went to Dathan and Abiram, and the elders of Israel followed him. 26 And he spoke to the congregation, saying, “Depart now from the tents of these wicked men! Touch nothing of theirs, lest you be consumed in all their sins.” 27 So they got away from around the tents of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram; and Dathan and Abiram came out and stood at the door of their tents, with their wives, their sons, and their little children.
    28 And Moses said: “By this you shall know that the LORD has sent me to do all these works, for I have not done them of my own will. 29 If these men die naturally like all men, or if they are visited by the common fate of all men, then the LORD has not sent me. 30 But if the LORD creates a new thing, and the earth opens its mouth and swallows them up with all that belongs to them, and they go down alive into the pit, then you will understand that these men have rejected the LORD.”
    31 Now it came to pass, as he finished speaking all these words, that the ground split apart under them, 32 and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, with their households and all the men with Korah, with all their goods. 33 So they and all those with them went down alive into the pit; the earth closed over them, and they perished from among the assembly. 34 Then all Israel who were around them fled at their cry, for they said, “Lest the earth swallow us up also!”
    35 And a fire came out from the LORD and consumed the two hundred and fifty men who were offering incense. (Numbers 16:16-35)

    These are very few examples. Ther are many many more in the Bible.
  • So maybe like the way he killed the other cities becuase they weren't following his rules, is this what the psalm might've meant? Like is there a "salvation" part included in this?

    love lots,
  • I dont think its ment to be taken literally.
  • There is a bit of an ad hoc delination being applied to text's interpretaion here. The admonition of God lies within the heart of His love for mankind. In actuality, what one entails as being "cruel" diction is the reality of Christ's power proliferated for the sake of our salvation. While there is the immediate prescription of God's literal justice implemented upon the peripheral reality of the text, the centrality of the message is actuality that of prophetic redemption.

    "The Lord has sworn and shall not repent: "You are the Priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek."

    Here, the High Priest is forever enthroned as one that cannot "repent" or surrender His position. Such is the case, being that Christ is sworn into his eternal exaltation and glorification from the Father Himself (Please refer to Hebrews 5:5). Christ is and forever shall be at the right hand of the Father, since He Himself is God incarnate.

    "The Lord is at Your right hand; He shall dash kings in the day of the wrath. He shall judge among the nations. "

    This is a profound claim being denoted for the peoples. The prophetic and immediate impact of the verse demonstrates the omnipotence of God through Christ His Son. All kingship will inevitably cede before Our Lord, the king of kings.....not only on the Judgment Day but in the present spiritual penetration, which debases the entirety of men’s wisdom.

    "He shall fill them with dead bodies; He shall crush the heads of many on the earth. He shall drink of the brook in the way; therefore He shall lift up the head. Alleluia."

    Not only is Christ's power enough to conquer the principalities of darkness, His power utterly truncates them from any hope of everlasting life--they are only prospective towards eternal death; hence "He shall fill them with dead bodies". In Christ's suffering, resurrection and ascension we find that the Lord is He alone who "can drink of the brook", He alone who can dispense everlasting life to others and live eternally Himself. The only worthy Man to traverse all of the menial gestures of human existence and pervade the cosmos to an unfathomable extent, is the person of Christ. Thus, in glorification His righteousness is lifted up as one "lifts up His head"—all the more attracting praise worthy of all men. For, indeed as the psalmist sings, "Alleluia", "Alleluia" .

    God Bless.
  • Thanks sooo sooo soo mcuh, gmankbadi. That was the explanation I was looking for. If I need a bit of clear-up on what you said, I hope you don't mind me asking. Plesae tell me if you mind. I can PM the queston or just post it upm but there was one thing that I needed that might need to be cleared up. Thanks soo much! That was a wonderful explanation

    Also, thanks everyone else for helping me out. You guys had great explanations and I wanted to thank you. Please add anything if you need to. If anything was missed feel free to post it.

    love lots,

  • what does brook mean?
    and I guess I didn't really get the last part with your explanation gmankbadi...sorry there are some words there i didn't understand :-[...but what I kind of got out of it is that Christ is the only one able to overcome the devil and in a way "fill them with dead bodies" meaning that He will triumph over the devil and his in a simple way to say that...His words were only directed to the devil and his the sin and the evil itself..not actual humans on judgement day?

    If you are willing to clarify that a bit..I would really appreciate it.
  • Not at all, I welcome whatever queries you might have. Questions allow me to identify with the pre-suppositions of my arguments and to better refine my methodological means of explication for future reference.
    The analogical reference of the brook entails what one might call a "river of glory", in so far as I have come to believe. That is to say, if glorification and absolute exaltation is due to anyone, it is to he who is found worthy to "drink" of the brook. The angels sing "holy", "holy" continually to the Lord not because they must sing so, but due to the earned propensity of God's nature....even before the creation of the world. He is truly worthy of our praise and is the only one befitting of any worship.
    However, it is essential to note that beyond the peripheral portrayal of Christ's divine purity, drinking from the brook delineates the ultimate gift of sacrifice. I have denoted that Christ is found worthy to drink of the brook due to His absolute purity. Yet, the actual "drinking of the brook" is not faceted around Christ's nature, but upon the act of sacrifice in the suffering of the cross. As Christ was worthy, He incarnated as a languished Man bereft of all humanly glory so as to purchase our salvation.
    Through His death and fulfillment of the written law, prospective life was bestowed upon all men. Those who would embrace it, through Christ's name, were "conquerors" or "survivors" of this temporal existence. However, many men will refuse Christ's love, either by propounded ignorance or defiance and will dispense away with that prospective life. Thus, the cities of the world are "filled with dead bodies"...for indeed many may believe they are alive but are focally dead in spirit—dead to any hope of eternality. The message is a warning to men in light of the truth centuries before the actual event in time. Thus, it is truly message of concern for those even present now. Do not hesitate to ask for further clarification if need be.

    God bless.
  • That actually made sense. Thanks gmankbadi. So it's the state we get too when we loose Christ...our spirit without God is full of "dead bodies", and those who don't accept Him as a saviour are dead and nothing can bring them to life exept His salvation.
  • Right,

    "For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many."

    God bless you.
  • I appreciate your nice deep explanations thank you gmankbadi.

    The Lord is the Light of the world (while darkness is absence or refusal of light). When light is emitted, it immediately and naturally "crushes" invades and terminates any darkness. It's the nature of things: there is not the slightest cruelty against darkness. It's applied physics both materially and spiritually.

    Experiment: lit a strong lamp in a dark closet, observe and conclude. If there is a light-sensitive material inside it will "burn". If there is a glass cup filled with water it will shine.
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