The term "chief musician" translates one
Hebrew word, "natzsach." It means: one who excels! Or one who
oversees! Or one who is pre-eminent! Or one who is perpetual
(lasting forever)! It's a word used to describe the chief or
the director! It is framed here in a verbal form ... a Piel
participle! That just means that the action implied by this
man's office is to be both intensive and habitual!
The Bible Historian will tell us that this
word is a synonym for the "choir leader" of the era in which our
Psalm was written. And indeed it well may have that
connotation. BUT I believe it looks further down the road than
that! I believe it is a "hint" of a coming One Who will lead
the choirs of Heaven! I believe it has "tinges" of the Messiah
in it! Jesus ALONE is the truly perpetual (eternal) One! He
ALONE is the truly pre-eminent One also!
If you do not believe He sings ... read Psalm
2:22 which expressly speaks of Jesus even while He was on the
Cross. "I will declare thy name unto my
brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I
Now when this verse is quoted in the New Testament it is
clearly used of the Saviour and reads:
"Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst
of the church will I
sing praise unto thee." Note that the "praise"
of Psalm 22 has become "sing praise" by Hebrews 2:12! Jesus is
a singer! Jesus is THE Singer! Still don't believe me? Then
Zephaniah 3:17 further proves it: "The
LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will
save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his
love, he will joy over
thee with singing."
Jesus is THE Chief Musician!
Somehow Psalm 58 is dedicated to the Lord
Next the Superscript reads:
The Hebrew words mean: Do not destroy!
Likely the words are instructions to the many singers who will
follow this Psalm's author. They may be tempted to "lay aside"
this Psalm! (You will know why as soon as you read it
completely!) It presents us a difficult piece of Bible study!
Never destroy or ignore or belittle any text
of divinely inspired Scripture! (And that's ALL the Bible!)
Just because a text does not fit the age in
which we live ... or the context of what I've been taught does
NOT mean that I can remove it from the Bible! (As many have
done to Psalm 58!)
God has given us clear warning: DO NOT
I'll guarantee you that this Psalm will be
resurrected and used by God's people in days ahead!
(Particularly by saved Jews during the Tribulation!) In fact,
it has been a comfort to suffering saints in all ages! And you
just KNOW that Jesus has read it during all the days of His
earthly sojourn! He likely memorized it and quoted from it and
may have even prayed it concerning His chief enemy Satan!
Lastly the Psalm is a "Michtam" Psalm. That
means one of three things. Some scholars say it means
"golden!" If so, this passage (the 58th Psalm) is pure gold in
God's eyes! Psalm 19:10 says of the Scriptures:
"More to be desired are they than
gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the
"Michtam" also can mean "hidden!" If that's
the import here ... the Psalm well may contain some "hidden"
truths, just waiting to be "mined" by the thoughtful Bible
student! (Pass the shovels and picks and buckets, please!)
And "Michtam" was said by some of the old
timers to mean "engraved." In other words, let the Holy Spirit
of God "cut" the message of this Psalm deep into your heart! Be
impacted with it in a permanent manner!
All that ... and we have not even reached
verse 1 yet.
The Lord can put a lot into a "title," can't
It is a "foretaste" of coming things in Psalm
He also Has given you a "foretaste" of glory
and heaven and victory and peace! How so, preacher? By means
of the Holy Spirit, Who is the EARNEST of all God is! (The Holy
Spirit is God as Jesus is God!) The "earnest" is the "down
payment" on a matter ... implying the seriousness of the buyer
and promising that more is coming! Even so, Lord Jesus!)
"... In Whom also after that ye believed,
ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of Promise, Which is the
Earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased
possession, unto the praise of his glory." Ephesians
I'm glad you have visited her today ... with
a Bible in your hand!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
LESSON 3 ... VERSE 1:
Our President, George W. Bush, recently
called them "activist judges!"
He was speaking of a group of men and women
who have been appointed to the Federal Judicial Bench who have
dedicated themselves to a host of social issues.
They seem to promote (almost in unison) such
positions as homosexual marriage, partial birth abortion, and
the removal of anything even remotely dealing with God in our
Well, I think I have found a Bible verse that
at least refers to this crowd of judges!
It is in Psalm 58.
One Bible teacher says the whole Psalm is
about injustice ... "about the abuse of judicial power."
indeed speak righteousness, O congregation? do ye judge
uprightly, O ye sons of men?" Psalm 58:1
The verse is addressed to the "sons of men."
In Hebrew the word for son is often "ben."
And the noun for men here is "adam." So, we have "ben adam."
(Sons of Adam!)
In a real sense we are all sons of Adam. We
have had his guilt passed upon us as well.
Romans 5:12 describes what I mean:
"Wherefore, as by one man (Adam) sin
entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed
upon all men, for that all have sinned."
But these "sons of men" are also (at least to
some degree) judges too! The verb for "judge" here is "shaphat"
in Hebrew and means to govern or rule or avenge or condemn or
even execute. All activities of current day judges! The word
is in the Qal stem and has a sense of time called "imperfect."
That means the action being described is incomplete ... still
going on to the present moment (of David's writing the Psalm).
Just think of that --- a Psalm for judges!
(Or at least partially for them!)
The "parallel" portion of our verse uses the
word "congregation." This broadens the concept from just judges
to the whole population! Do judges impact the whole country? I
believe they do!
Or does the whole country simply produce the
kind of judges it want ... and deserves? That's no doubt true
In reality it is probably a matter of
reciprocal influence! The judges move the country (in the cases
we are considering) more to the evil side of life. And the
country keeps producing those kinds of judges. (We must have
some strange law schools today!)
And "parallel" to judging are the words for
"speaking righteousness." This describes the opinions and
"talking points" of the lost world!
By and large much popular opinion (based on
what the mass media says anyway) simply echoes today's liberal
Psalm 58:1 just asks a couple of questions.
It sounds like God is calling into question the behavior of a
rebellious society in general and a host of wicked judges in
These questions imply negative answers.
Again, here they are: "Do ye indeed speak
righteousness, O congregation? do ye judge uprightly, O ye sons
By the way ... the answers follow in verse
2! ("Yea, in heart ye work wickedness; ye
weigh the violence of your hands in the earth.")
And a bit later in the Psalm their words and
judgments are compared to "poison" spewed all over the land!
Enough has been said for today.
For those of you who will return tomorrow
...more is coming.
We are soon to learn God's attitude toward
this wicked crowd!
(And it is pretty rough!)
God pity our nation.
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
LESSON 4 ... VERSE 2:
The Bible says it in so many ways!
The same truth over and over again!
is a sinner!"
For example, Romans 3:23 tells us:
"For all have sinned, and come short of
the glory of God." Get that! ALL!
Or see Romans 3:10.
"As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one."
See it! NONE!
But here is one way the Old Testament words
it. When speaking to all the people in general (called the
"congregation") Scripture declares ...
"Yea, in heart ye work wickedness; ye weigh the violence of your
hands in the earth." That's found in Psalm 58:2.
The opening word "yea" is a conjunction that
"connects" verse 2 to some previous information. (Like verse
one's implication that all men speak lies and judge wickedly!)
In Hebrew the opening word is spelled "aph."
"Heart" is in Hebrew the noun "leb" and means
the "inner being" of a person. In the King James Bible it is
translated heart or mind or understanding.
Mankind ... truly down in his heart ... is
WICKED! That's exactly what our verse is saying!
BUT this is not just describing the act of
"being" wicked! It goes further than that ... much further! It
is talking about those who WORK wickedness!
The verb "work" is "paal" in Hebrew and means
to do or to make or even to ordain! And the
"time" sense of the verb indicates these wicked ones create and
promote this wickedness of their habitually ... again and again
and again! ("Imperfect" verb action ... means incomplete
process still in development!) The first use of this verb in
the whole Bible (Exodus 15:17) speaks of God's MAKING His
Sanctuary for a dwelling place!
And the word "wickedness" translates the
Hebrew noun "evel." It of course is one of the main words for
sin ... but in this special sense: that which is twisted or
distorted from its original shape! (God created ... but wicked
man has been distorting and twisting God's ways ever since!)
Now vile mankind is twisting God's plan for marriage, for
childbirth, for education, for wisdom, for finance and for
everything else too it seems!
The verb "weigh" means to balance ("to roll
flat" literally). It has the idea I think of two trays with a
fulcrum in the middle (old fashioned "balance" scales) like we
sometimes see at courthouses where the judges are. This verb is
in the Piel stem (Hebrew again) and that means it describes
intensive aggressive action! This may imply that these wicked
men are trying to outmaneuver each other in their sins! A
"contest" to see who can be the most ungodly!
And the noun "violence" translates a little
word you've heard lately! It is "hamas" (or "chamas"). Some of
the most hateful enemies of Israel right now have named
themselves HAMAS! Men (and women) of violence! Terrorism!
I am telling you right now ... abortion is
Destroying the Christian family
(husband-wife-children) is violence!
Ripping the Bible to pieces is violence!
Destroying people's faith is violence!
Calling wrong right is violence!
Kicking God out of public life is violence!
Mocking morality is too!
And these particularly wicked men (and women)
These are not just "normal, regular"
sinners! They are the activists among the ungodly! The
inciters to more sin! The "break the standards of decent
behavior" crowd! The "attack the Bible" group!
Now ... if you stay with this Psalm, the Lord
is going to teach us how to pray when we see these kind of
Do not hate them.
Do not do anything to hurt them.
Just pray about them.
BUT ... what we are to pray is dramatic!
However, if you are really interested in
exactly what we Christians can pray about this unprecedented
onslaught of rebellion in our day ... please follow the rest of
this little study. We shall cover a new verse each day,
I am so glad you have visited us. I see you
have come "with a Bible in your hand!" You are welcome here
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
LESSON 5 ... VERSE 3:
Again we are going to be taught the
"depravity" of mankind!
Here's the verse:
"The wicked are estranged from the womb:
they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies." Psalm
The noun for "wicked" is "rasha" in Hebrew
and means an actively bad person! One who seeks to spread his or
her iniquity! (One concordance says that it means to
disturb or violate! It is an aggressive verb!)
This is describing militant wickedness!
To be "estranged" is (in Hebrew = "zur") and
means to "go away" or to "depart" or to "become a stranger" to
one's original purposes! (God created mankind for
fellowship with Him! As soon as man is born ... he departs
from that plan, becoming a "stranger" to it!) The verb
also is describing "completed" action. This alienation is
To "go astray" (in Hebrew = "taah") is the
very same verb used in Isaiah 53:6 where we are told:
"All we like sheep have
It means to err or to wander or to stagger or even
to go out of the way! It is sometimes used of a man
who is intoxicated! This verb action is incomplete ... an
"Speaking" is a participle of "dabar" with an
emphasis on the constantly moving tongues of mankind! (The
focus is on what that man is saying ...not just how he
says it too!)
Lost man's life is based on a bunch of lies!
Oh! How he needs the TRUTH!
"Jesus saith unto him,
I am the way,
the truth, and
the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John
Did you get that?
Jesus said: "I AM THE TRUTH!"
Today, if you are unsaved (and still swimming
abound in that pool of lies), come to Jesus!
He will save you.
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
... VERSES 4 AND 5:
Today we have a rather
picturesque description of the actively wicked people on earth
(even yet today)!
poison is like the poison of a serpent: they are
like the deaf adder that stoppeth her ear; which will not
hearken to the voice of charmers, charming never so wisely."
The ungodly are compared to
Venomous snakes too!
The word used here for
"poison" is interesting. In Hebrew it is spelled "chemah"
and is translated (King James Version) as: fury (67
times), wrath (34 times), poison (6 times), rage (2 times) plus
several more miscellaneous ways. The verbal "root" of our
word means "to be hot" and "to conceive!" Sin is well
described by both those concepts! It is often hot and
passionate. It also conceives and produces many terrible
Again we are reminded that the
people being described here are not just regular sinners ...
lost in darkness but seeking the light! No! No! These are
rebels! Activists! (Reprobates to use Paul's word!)
The noun for serpent is "nachash"
and means (obviously) a snake. (It is rendered "serpent"
all 31 times it is used in the Bible.) Yet it comes from a
verb that means "to hiss" or "to whisper (a magic spell)!"
That sounds just like the devil, doesn't it?
Next this crowd is compared to
an "adder." This is a member of the snake family too.
In Hebrew "pethen" means "to twist" ... from the natural
contortions of a snake I think. This is a member of the
deadly cobra family it is thought. In the King James Bible
the word is translated both adder and asp.
All snakes are deaf we are
told. They "hear" by feeling vibrations on the ground.
(And just like snakes are deaf ... so are there too some things
the devil can not sense! He is not omniscient! Glory
Therefore as the snake has
stopped its ears to true sound ... so have these sinners stopped
their ears to the Truth of the Word of God! (It is
interesting that the noun here for "ear" is in the feminine
gender ... and the word for "snake" is in the masculine gender.
God may be telling us that both men and women are capable of
this type of extreme evil!
The noun for "charmers" means
"whisperers!" It is "lachash" in Hebrew and is only used 8
times in the whole Bible!
And the verb "charming" is "chabar"
and means to join together or to couple together or to have
fellowship with or even to cast a spell upon something!
"Never so wisely" is an
adverbial phrase that consists of the Hebrew noun for wisdom ("chakam")
and here means "however well skilled" that charmer may be ... he
is a failure with these unpredictable snakes!
It almost looks as if they've
gone so far as sinners ... that they cannot change! Or they will
not change! SET in their rebellion, they are hopelessly
destructive to all of society!
I believe the "charmer" here
is not a reference to God trying to "tame" these rascals ... but
to their own cohorts who train them and present them as lovely
creatures! In other words, these "snakes" or "devils" are
not even loyal to their own trainers and masters. (The
devil even fights himself at times! He is the father of
It's a house divided against
These may not be the
"trophies" of sin that most pleases the Devil! Or though
he may be "proud" of them ... he will NOT use them for his
advertisements! They are detrimental to his overall cause.
What can be done about such
rebellion and overt sin?
More tomorrow, Lord willing.
The Psalm does answer that
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
LESSON 7 ...
Suddenly the Psalm changes!
No longer being just
descriptive or educational (didactic is the theological term for
instructive) ... it is now imprecatory!
David is literally asking God
to deal with these blatant rebels!
Here's our verse:
their teeth, O God, in their mouth: break out the great teeth of
the young lions, O LORD." Psalm 58:6
Where did THAT prayer come
How did IT get in the Bible?
(It was placed there by the
same God who gave us the 23rd Psalm in all its peacefulness and
To break someone's teeth is to
render them powerless in their vicious plans to attack and hurt
Note that the extremely evil
men already described in this Psalm are here compared to "young
lions." Those are the lions most prone to attack innocent
prey! And they are the strongest and fastest too!
The verb "break" is in Hebrew
"haras" and means to destroy or ruin. The verb is framed
as an imperative here ... expressing strong desire (even a
command)! Bible prayers are often expressed in this manner.
The Lord DID say we could so
pray! "Thus saith the LORD, the Holy
One of Israel, and his Maker, Ask me of things to come
concerning my sons, and
concerning the work of my hands command ye me."
(However, I would still advise
you to pray also: "Thy will be done!")
And this is unusual: the
second verb "break out" (in Hebrew = "nathatzs") is from another
Hebrew term altogether! It means to tear down! (And
is also an imperative!)
The first use of "haras" is in
Exodus 15:7 where it is translated "overthrown."
"And in the greatness of thine excellency
thou hast overthrown
them that rose up against thee: thou sentest forth thy wrath,
which consumed them as stubble."
However its second use is also
interesting. Watch the words "break through." Exodus 19:21
--- "And the LORD said unto Moses, Go
down, charge the people, lest they
unto the LORD to gaze, and many of them perish." Some
might argue that David is praying for the Lord to burst through
the hardened teeth of these rebels to reach them with the truth!
It seems there may be a fine
line between God breaking through to us with Truth ... and (upon
our persistently rejecting that Truth) His breaking through our
very teeth with judgment!
And the first Bible use of "nathatzs"
is in Exodus 34:13 where God uses the word "destroy." Here
it is: "But ye
their altars, break their images, and cut down their groves."
These are aggressive verbs for
The expression "great teeth"
("maltaah") is only used this one time in all the Bible.
That makes it unique.
Other word pictures of
Scripture concerning broken teeth are found in Job 4:10 and
Psalm 3:7 ("Arise, O LORD; save me, O my
God: for thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the
cheek bone; thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly.")
and Lamentations 3:16.
It appears that the prayer of
Psalm 58:6 is just a rewording of a previously attested Biblical
prayer in Psalm 3:7 then!
As far as "teeth" being
weapons against innocent people, see such Scriptures as these:
Psalm 57:4 ---
"My soul is among lions: and
I lie even among them that are set on fire, even
the sons of men, whose teeth are spears and arrows, and
their tongue a sharp sword."
Psalm 124:6 ---
"Blessed be the LORD, who hath not
given us as a prey to their teeth."
Proverbs 30:14 ---
a generation, whose teeth are as
swords, and their jaw teeth as knives, to devour the poor
from off the earth, and the needy from among men."
And for a "positive" view of
teeth (which Psalm 58 does NOT present) ... see Song of Solomon
4:2 ("Thy teeth are like a flock
of sheep that are even shorn, which came up from the
washing; whereof every one bear twins, and none is barren
among them.") and Song of Solomon 6:6 ("Thy
teeth are as a flock of sheep which go up from the
washing, whereof every one beareth twins, and there is
not one barren among them.")
This is a pretty rough prayer,
But it IS in the Bible!
Apparently the rebelliously
actively wicked can reach some "point of no return" ... at which
God unleashes the prayers of His people against them! (And
obviously judgment ensues!)
This gives the concept of
being a "prayer warrior" a whole new meaning!
Don't you even think of
praying this against one of your personal enemies! (Jesus has
clearly told us how to handle them in Matthew 5:44 and Luke
6:28!) This is to be prayed against GOD'S ENEMIES!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
... VERSE 7:
Two powerful word pictures
dominate this verse!
They are also prayers to God
in reference to the hopelessly wicked!
Psalm 58:7 ---
"Let them melt away as waters which
run continually: when he bendeth his bow to shoot
his arrows, let them be as cut in pieces."
The verb "melt away"
translates "maas" in Hebrew and means literally to despise,
refuse, reject or abhor! (To "spurn" or when used
intransitively "to disappear") When used in the "water"
context here ... the Psalmist is asking the Lord "to dry them
up" ... as a "gully" filled with raging flood waters is soon
dusty again and filled with garbage!
Next is the picture of a
broken set of arrows!
Notice that it is understood
that this wicked judge or this wicked rebel intends to hurt
someone! These people are aggressive activists! They
are the very hounds of hell itself!
The noun for "arrows" (in
Hebrew - "chetzs") means darts or shafts ... that are designed
"Cut in pieces" translates one
Hebrew word, "mul." It means "to cut off" the arrowhead,
the point, the dangerous end of the weapon. (In the
King James Bible this verb is overwhelmingly used ... 30 of 36
times ... to mean "circumcise.")
Now to those of you who
declare that such praying is unworthy of a Christian ... let me
show you one of Paul's prayers. He is praying against
those who oppose the Gospel of Grace. Against those who
would tell the Galatians they have to be circumcised to be
saved! Paul prays in Galatians 5:12 ---
"I would they were even cut off which
trouble you." Paul just expressed a desire to God
that the "troublers" who despise the Grace of God, that the
"circumcisers" themselves be "cut off." The verb means "to
amputate." It is an exact parallel to this "cut in pieces"
prayer of the Psalmist here!
It must be Biblically proper
to pray God's Word (God's promised judgment) upon the
rebelliously heretical enemies of our dear Lord.
O God, "Thy will be done" ...
even regarding the wicked activists of this old world!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
LESSON 9 ... VERSE 8:
Today's verse is a little hard
"As a snail which melteth, let every one
of them pass away: like the untimely birth of a woman, that they
may not see the sun." Psalm 58:8
The snail picture here is interesting. This
Hebrew noun (snail = "shablul") is used only here in Scripture!
It comes from a verb that means to flow! (Like the train
of a lady's dress as it trails behind her!)
The Psalmist is describing one of those slimy
creatures (a sticky and gooey snail) as it slowly slithers
along, leaving some of its moisture and substance behind!
He is praying, "Lord let them keep on traveling.
Let the wicked move on down the road! And let them melt
away as they so depart!"
Also I am told that in the Holy Land snails often
climb walls and bask in the morning sunlight ... only to stay
there too long! As the warm Eastern sun rises high in the
sky and becomes unbearably hot ... often the snails are overcome
by such heat and DRY UP and die right there on their wall perch!
(Nothing left but the shell!)
The Psalmist prays THIS upon the incorrigibly
wicked! "Incorrigible" means: not ("in" in Latin) to be
corrected ("corrigere" in Latin)! This crowd is so
hard-hearted and rebellious that they WILL NOT be corrected ...
adamantly refusing God's Hand of correction in their lives!
And the verb "pass away" (in Hebrew = "halak")
literally means to walk away! (Let them keep on departing!)
And "untimely birth"
translates "nephel" in Hebrew. This means an abortion or a
miscarriage or a premature birth. (It is only used 3
times in the whole Bible!) It is from the root verb that
means "to fall!"
The snails may have been consumed by the hot SUN!
Yet these fetuses have never seen the SUN!
It seems both these pictures of judgment deal
with the sun in some manner! (And the sun is a Type of our Lord
Jesus Christ! As in Malachi 4:2 ---
"But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness
arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow
up as calves of the stall." Or in Psalm 19:5, when
describing the sun the Psalmist says:
"Which is as a bridegroom coming
out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run
Again ... they are only to be prayed for the
enemies of God! (NOT our personal enemies! We are to
Now you might be saying,
Preacher Bagwell ... I could never pray anything like that about
Then I would suggest that
you never pray the Lord's Prayer again!
For, you see, when you
pray: "Father ... Thy Kingdom come!"
... you are praying exactly for this "Verse 8" kind of judgment
to fall upon the world! When Jesus returns to this earth He will
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
10 ... verse 9:
"Before your pots can feel the thorns, he shall take them away
as with a whirlwind, both living, and in his wrath."
this verse gets a bit dramatic!
Psalmist seems to address the wicked themselves for a short
says something to them about their "pots."
picturing them as travelers going on a desert journey.
They have stopped at night to camp and eat their evening meal.
They have prepared their fire (both for protection and for
cooking). Since there are no large trees (in the desert)
they have had to gather "thorns" and brambles and little twigs
and such for fuel ... for kindling ... for "wood" to ignite
their fires! Those "thorns" will catch aflame quickly and burn
just as quickly, delivering little lasting heat! But ...
even before that nearly instant flame-up (of the thorns) ... the
Psalmist says God will "destroy" these wicked reprobates!
(Maybe those ungodly judges too!)
implies swift judgment!
verb "take them away as with a whirlwind" is just one word in
Hebrew! "Saar" means "to sweep away, to whirl away or to storm
away!" (To blow away as with a tornado!)
the word for "wrath" here is "charon" and means HEAT, anger or
burning fierce wrath! It comes from a word that means "to
blaze up with intense heat!" Wow!
the adjective "living" ("chay" in Hebrew) may be modifying God's
wrath! If so, we are here being told that God's wrath is
lost man had any spiritual discernment at all (which he does not
... he is dead in sins) ... he would stay away from sin just for
self-preservation reasons alone! (Yet people persist in
wicked lifestyles ... even in the face of such risks as getting
"aids" or even something worse, the flames of hell!)
Bible teacher says: "Here is justice visualized!"
the deadly dangers of sin!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
11, VERSE 10:
"The righteous shall rejoice when he
seeth the vengeance: he shall wash his feet in the blood of the
wicked." (Psalm 58:10)
we will have to be careful with that little verse!
Caution must be exercised here ... so as to not violate other
Scriptures of Truth.
example: Proverbs 24:17 --- "Rejoice not
when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when
he stumbleth." (Hint: There's a BIG
difference between your enemies and God's
let me also remind us today that this "vengeance" business is
not ours at all. That is God's activity! ("Dearly
beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place
unto wrath: for it is written,
Vengeance is mine;
I will repay, saith the Lord." Romans 12:19)
this Bible prophecy (verse 10 above) is in the Word of God and
will be fulfilled some day!
will come a time when God will fiercely judge the guilty
reprobates and hardened rebels of this world (the God-haters and
Christ-mockers) and such wrath will righteously trigger the
rejoicing of His saints!
verb "rejoice" means to "brighten up!" (To radiate!
To smile! To be glad!) In Hebrew it is spelled "samach."
And it indicates on-going action ... this joy lasts for a while!
the verb for "vengeance" is "naqam" and means to punish or to
grudge or to avenge. Of course it has no taint of evil
here. God can do no wrong! He is wholly pure!
(He is also Holy and pure!)
Listen to our great God in Deuteronomy 32:35 ---
"To me belongeth vengeance, and
recompence; their foot shall slide in due time: for the
day of their calamity is at hand."
speaks again in Deuteronomy 32:41 --- "If
I whet my glittering sword, and mine hand take hold on judgment;
I will render vengeance to mine enemies, and will reward them
that hate me."
let me quickly point to this fact: in the first Bible use
of the word, God's vengeance is actually being used to PROTECT
someone! Even someone wicked, Cain! "And
the LORD said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain,
vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the LORD set a
mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him."
That's vengeance serving in a GRACE capacity!
Without God judging the blatantly wicked ... the very existence
of the righteous would be in jeopardy!
Bible commentator said this: "If it is right for God to
destroy, it cannot be wrong for His servants to rejoice in what
day justice will be vindicated!
far as the godly man washing his feet in the blood of the wicked
--- the verb "shall wash" translates "rachatzs" (Hebrew) and
refers to some kind of ritual foot-washing of ancient culture.
It is derived from an Akkadian verb that means "to overflow!"
There is apparently going to be a lot of blood on judgment day!
(Think of the day of the Battle of Armageddon! Revelation
14:20 says: "And the winepress was trodden
without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto
the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six
guess we are all going to a great foot washing service some day!
would not want to belong to that evil crowd, would you?
just fear God too much for that!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
LESSON 12 ... VERSE 11:
In these last days it seems like God's
judgment is slow in coming!
Our dear Lord is such a God of compassion and
grace (and patient longsuffering) that he lovingly allows
mankind space for repentance.
In fact even Isaiah calls judgment God's
"strange act!" Once in speaking of God's wrath, the Prophet
says: "For the LORD shall rise up as
in mount Perazim, he shall be wroth as in the valley
of Gibeon, that he may do his work, his strange work; and bring
to pass his act, his strange act." Isaiah 28:21
The noun "work" (used twice in our verse)
signifies that which is pursued then achieved by a skilled
craftsman! Here it is something fashioned or made by God! God's
"judgments" are carefully created to fit the situation at hand!
The Hebrew verb here is spelled "maaseh."
And the word "act" (in Hebrew = "abodah")
means work or service as a slave would render! Is this
suggesting that God has made Himself a Slave to His Own Laws of
judging wrong and rewarding right?
And even the two adjectives translated
"strange" are altogether different words in Hebrew! The first
"strange" is "zur" and is derived from a verb that means "to
Here I strongly believe we are being told
that God's first purpose in judgment is "to turn aside" the
wicked sinner from his evil way! (Perhaps even to turn him to
righteousness!) Remember how God sent an angel with a sword to
turn old Balaam aside from the error of his way! (Numbers
And the second adjective for "strange" is "nokriy"
and means different or foreign. (The root verb behind this word
has the idea of something being so unusual it is scrutinized and
examined reverently and carefully!)
This Isaiah verse definitely leaves us with
the impression that God's judgments are pre-planned and
specifically designed for a particular occasion! They are also
unusual and should be studied carefully!
Now, why have I brought this Isaiah 28 verse
to you on a Friday in October?
Because it helps explain the last verse of
"So that a man shall say, Verily there is
a reward for the righteous: verily he is a God that judgeth in
the earth." Psalm
When all the judgment anticipated (and prayed
for) in Psalm 58 occurs ... mankind will conclude: So ... He
DOES judge the wicked! God indeed
rewards the righteous! And He controls the whole earth!
"Yea, let God be true, but every man a
liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy
sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged."
I will guarantee you this. Very little has
been written or preached about God's judgments through all of
But that will change some day.
One of the heart cries of the Tribulation
Period yet to hit this earth is: "Even
so, Lord God Almighty,
true and righteous are thy judgments." (Revelation
16:7) Also see Revelation 19:2 and Psalm 119:160 and Psalm
19:9! All say the same thing!
The two times "verily" occurs in Psalm 58:11
... they translate the Hebrew adverb "ak." This little word
comes from a verb that means to be strong or erect and then to
be stable or firm! "Verily" here serves a purpose similar to
the "amen" we often say in church yet today! Truth! Right! It
And the Hebrew noun for "reward" is their
common word for "fruit! ("periy") God will give fruit to the
And the verb for "judgeth" means to vindicate
(to make right) ... but also with the idea of punishment
When history has run its course (and probably
a long time before then), humanity will be declaring the
sovereign control of God (including His judgment) over ALL the
I say: "Even so, come,
Lord Jesus." John said that too! See Revelation 22:20.
In fact, those words constitute the very last prayer of the
Ladies and Gentlemen who have been saved by
the Grace of God, we are on the
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
ONE LAST LESSON ...
Just in case someone is still having problems with the idea of
retribution or imprecation in Scripture ... let me mention a few
additional points of Scripture.
One of the most common objections to preaching such passages as
Psalm 58 (or Psalm 83 or any of the other "War" Psalms) is that
it's all "Old Testament" Theology and not "New Testament" Truth!
So let me mention a few New Testament instances of such "curses"
being pronounced! (Some even by Jesus and all for Jesus'
Matthew 23 (the very Words of Christ) is filled with
imprecation! Jesus is here speaking to the Pharisees and
Scribes: "Ye serpents, ye
generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of
hell? Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men,
and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify;
and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and
persecute them from city to city:
That upon you may
come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood
of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias,
whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.
Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this
generation." Matthew 23:33-36
Here is another of Jesus' imprecations: "And
then will I profess unto them, I never knew you:
depart from me,
ye that work iniquity." Matthew 7:23
Listen to Jesus pray: "Thy kingdom
come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven."
That is a prayer for God's judgment to fall upon this wicked
earth! (And Jesus taught
us to pray it
too!) When Jesus comes again He will interrupt Armageddon
and righteously and viciously judge ungodliness.
Here is the record of Jesus cursing
a fig tree! "And when he saw a fig
tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but
leaves only, and said unto it,
Let no fruit grow on
thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered
away." Matthew 21:19
Listen to Peter talk to a money-hungry Simon who had just tried
to "buy" the Holy Ghost: "But Peter
said unto him, Thy money
perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift
of God may be purchased with money." Acts 8:20
"Thy money perish with thee!" That is a curse
recorded in the Bible. And there's nothing wrong with it
Listen to Paul deal with a rebel who was trying to keep a
Governor from being saved: "And said, O
full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the
devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not
cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord? And now,
behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and
thou shalt be blind,
not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on
him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to
lead him by the hand." Acts 13:10-11
But maybe this one tops them all! Again, it's Paul
talking: "But though we, or an angel
from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we
have preached unto you,
let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I
now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you
than that ye have received,
let him be accursed." Galatians 1:8-9 (The
Apostle just put a godly "curse" on the whole False-Gospel
Or how about the longing of the martyred saints in Revelation
6:10? "And they cried with a loud
voice, saying, How long,
O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood
on them that dwell on the earth?"
And we are not even counting the seals, trumpets and vials yet
to fall on earth during the Tribulation! (All are a result
of Jesus' coming again!)
If I were going to argue against the Psalms of Imprecation ... I
would not use the "New Testament" argument! God's judgment
can be found everywhere in the Bible! (By the way ... I am
not going to
argue against them. They are in my Bible!)
"Lord, hasten the day when
right will rule
on the Throne of the universe ... and
wrong will be
cast into the pit! In Jesus' Name, Amen!"
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell