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Encouraging Victims of Persecution
To those of us involved in ministering to Christians suffering persecution the imprecatory Psalms are a tremendous source of comfort. Those of us who are fighting for the right to life of the preborn, or battling social evils such as pornography, or violent crime, need to appreciate what an important weapon God has entrusted to us in the imprecatory Psalms. This study will help inspire and guide your prayers and the prayers of your family and congregation:
The Imprecatory Psalms
When I first encountered the prayers for judgement in the Psalms, I was quite as loss to know how to respond to them. Prayers such as:
"Break the arm of the wicked and evil man; call him to account for his wickedness..." Psalm 10:15 did not seem consistent with the gospel of love which I had accepted. Yet Psalm 10:15 was clearly motivated by love for God ("The Lord is King forever and ever; the nations will perish from His land" 10:16 and "Why does the wicked man revile God?" 10:13) and by love for the innocent who suffer ("You hear, O Lord, the desire of the afflicted; You encourage them and You listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and the oppressed, in order that man, who is of the earth, may terrify no more." 10:17-18.)
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"Rescue those being led away to death, hold back those staggering towards slaughter." Proverbs 24:11
The Cape of Storms
It was a stormy winter night in June 1773. All night the storm raged. The five ships in Table Bay were buffeted all night and pounded by the turbulent waves. Bright streaks of lightning lit up the Imposing Table Mountain and the little settlement of Cape Town. Few of the sailors got much sleep that stormy night as the wooden ships creaked and groaned and strained at their anchors.
De Jonge Thomas
Captain Barend Lameren was concerned as his ship, De Jonge Thomas, broke its moorings and began to drag its anchor. There were 270 men, women and children on board the ship, along with a valuable cargo from the East. As the storm intensified, just after midnight on 1 June 1773, the Captain ordered the ship's cannon fired to warn the people on shore that they needed help.