Friday, June 10, 2022

Woe to the Unrepentant (Psalm 69)

"Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous" (Psalm 69:28).

David makes several imprecations against his enemies throughout Psalm 69. The last and most dreadful of these is verse 28. David recognizes the unwavering and persevering impenitence of his enemies and brings before the judgment seat of God their refusal to turn from their sins. David knew that those who remain unrepentant cannot taste the fruit of eternal life. Many think they are in the kingdom of God, but they are deluded because they have never dealt with their sin. They have never admitted that they are utterly sinful and in desperate need of salvation in Christ. Those who remain in such a state will perish, and their names will not be found in the book of life. Calvin commented that the book of life is the eternal purpose of God by which He has predestinated His own people to salvation.

“God, it is certain, is absolutely immutable,” Calvin wrote, “and farther, we know that those who are adopted to the hope of salvation were written before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4), but as God’s eternal purpose of election is incomprehensible, it is said, in accommodation to the imperfection of the human understanding that those whom God openly and by manifest signs, enrolls among His people, are written. On the other hand, those whom God openly rejects and casts out of His church are, for the same reason, said to be blotted out. As David desires that the vengeance of God may be manifested he very properly speaks of the reprobation of his enemies in language accommodated to our understanding as if he had said, O God! reckon them not among the number or ranks of Thy people, and let them not be gathered together with Thy church; but rather show by destroying them that Thou has rejected them! and although they occupy a place for a time among Thy faithful ones (in the visible church), do Thou at length cut them off, to make it manifest that they were aliens, thought they were mingled with the members of Thy family.”

While the true child of God is secure in his salvation, the unrepentant soul, even though he may attend church, will be separated on the last day and like the tares among the wheat be thrown into the fire of everlasting destruction.

In the next breath, after calling down an imprecation against the unrighteous, David praises God with thanks and calls the creation to praise Him (Psalm 69:30, 34). With what attitude do you think David offered up these thanks? Imprecatory prayer is obviously biblical, but cultivate a humble attitude in such prayer.