On the Psalms of Vengeance

“Remember that the Psalter was composed centuries before the incarnation of our Lord. As we read from the Old Testament, we sec incredible violence in the struggles of Israel. The times were more savage than we can imagine. When the Lord gave the 10 Commandments to Moses on Mount Sinai, He spoke further regarding certain punishments. This is where we hear Him say an eye for an eye (Ex. 21:24). While we see this as extreme, in those times it was actually a limit. In other words, if someone takes out your eye, you do not kill him. You take his eye. In those days, such a law was actually merciful…
 
While we still observe many things from the Old Testament, we are in the time of the new law of love and forgiveness given us by Christ. As such, we understand those “violent” Psalms as the warfare that we fight against the assaults of the devil, and against our own passions…Thus, as we read the Psalms and come upon these seemingly violent verses, apply them to the spiritual warfare that you are experiencing, against the worldly lures, enticements and passions that arc both obvious and hidden. Having taken up the Book of Psalms, you will be aware of the spiritual warfare around you.”
– From ‘The Veil’ of Holy Protection of the Virgin Monastery