Daily Gleaning - Erastianism
In this morning's Order of Prayer, we read Psalm 109 which is David praying to God in respect to King Saul. One notices immediately that David's attitude is very different from the erastian prayers that one finds in the Book of Common Prayer in respect to the head of State.
While on the one hand we know that David never sets his own hand against "God's anointed", the psalm plainly sets forth an example to us of how we must pray for the State. David prays not that the king will be blessed by the Lord, but that the Lord will be blessed by the king. In short, David's heartfelt prayer is this:
Minister. Reign supreme, O God, over the powers of this world.
Answer. And mercifully hear us when we call upon thee.
Not that the State is always evil, but with respect to King Saul, David reminds the Lord of what Saul has done, and he prays that God will quickly recompense the evil:
1 Hold not thy tongue, O God of my praise.
2 For the mouth of the wicked, and the mouth full of deceit are opened upon me: they have spoken to me with a lying tongue.
3 They compassed me about also with words of hatred, and fought against me without a cause.
4 For my friendship they were my adversaries, but I gave myself to prayer.
5 And they have rewarded me evil for good, and hatred for my friendship.
6 Set thou the wicked over him, and let the adversary stand at his right hand.
7 When he shall be judged, let him be condemned, and let his prayer be turned into sin.
8 Let his days be few, and let another take his charge.
9 Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow.
10 Let his children be vagabonds, and beg and seekbread, coming out of their places destroyed.
11 Let the extortioner catch all that he hath, and let the strangers spoil his labor.
12 Let there be none to extend mercy unto him: neither let there be any to show mercy upon his fatherless children.
13 Let his posterity be destroyed, and in the generation following, let their name be put out.
14 Let the iniquity of his fathers be had in remembrance with the Lord: and let not the sin of his mother be done away.
15 But let them always be before the Lord, that he may cut off their memorial from the earth.
16 Because he remembered not to show mercy, but persecuted the afflicted and poor man, and the sorrowful hearted to slay him.
17 As he loved cursing, so shall it come unto him, and as he loved not blessing, so shall it be far from him.
18 As he clothed himself with cursing like a raiment, so shall it come into his bowels like water, and like oil into his bones.
19 Let it be unto him as a garment to cover him, and for a girdle, wherewith he shall be always girded.
20 Let this be the reward of mine adversary from the Lord, and of them that speak evil against my soul.
21 But thou, O Lord my God, deal with me according unto thy Name: deliver me, (for thy mercy is good)
22 Because I am poor and needy, and mine heart is wounded within me.
23 I depart like the shadow that declineth, and am shaken off as the grasshopper.
24 My knees are weak through fasting, and my flesh hath lost all fatness.
25 I became also a rebuke unto them: they that looked upon me, shaked their heads.
26 Help me, O Lord my God: save me according to thy mercy.
27 And they shall know that this is thine hand, and that thou, Lord, hast done it.
28 Though they curse, yet thou wilt bless: they shall arise and be confounded, but thy servant shall rejoice.
29 Let mine adversaries be clothed with shame, and let them cover themselves with their confusion as with a cloak.
30 I will give thanks unto the Lord greatly with my mouth, and praise him among the multitude.
31 For he will stand at the right hand of the poor, to save him from them that would condemn his soul.