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Psalm 109: Feeling Anger

For more context before you begin studying, read this introduction to the book of Psalms.

For most of us, anger is not a comfortable emotion. For some of us, it is a terrifying emotion. We know the damage that anger can do. We know the pain it can cause. We fear our own capacity for evil when we are angry. We recognize our desire for revenge. We know that we have been hurt, and we know that anger feeds our longing to hurt back. However, avoiding anger will not make it go away, but can instead allow it to grow into bitterness. Feeling anger and expressing it honestly to God and to others makes it possible for us to continue growing toward forgiveness. There are, of course, both helpful and unhelpful things we can do with our anger. Denying, avoiding, minimizing and blaming others for it are just a few of the many unhelpful ways of responding to anger.

Warming Up to God

What do you usually do when you are angry with someone who is important to you?

Read Psalm 109

Discovering the Word

  • To what painful experiences is the author reacting (vv. 2-5)?
  • The speaker is particularly outraged at the injustice of his accusers. "They repay me evil for good, and hatred for my friendship" (v. 5). How does this add to his sense of rage?
  • What does the author ask God to do to his enemies (vv. 6-20, 28-29)?
  • What does the author want God to do for him (vv. 20-26)?

Applying the Word

  • God is described in verse 31 as being on the side of the "needy" and "condemned." How could seeing God in this way be a practical help to you when you are angry?
  • How would expressing your anger to God be helpful to you?
  • How can other people be helpful to you in your struggle with anger?

Responding in Prayer

What anger do you want to express to God today?

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