Break Their Teeth (Psalm 58)


Do you indeed speak righteousness, you silent ones? Do you judge uprightly, you sons of men? 2 No, in heart you work wickedness; You weigh out the violence of your hands in the earth.

PSALM 58:1-2


There is a part of the human soul that cries out for justice. When we see injustice we want justice to be served. One of the clear ways this comes out in our society is when we see crimes against children. We understand that the adults who have mistreated, mishandled, or hurt children are sinister and deserve to be punished.

David saw some folks in his own day were were supposed to be people who saw that victims got justice but instead of overseeing justice, they were unjust themselves. They furthered the corruption. They oppressed the already oppressed. They favored the oppressor.

And so David was indignant. He was mad. He had a righteous anger. He knew God would do something one day about these people of an unsavory character who filled an office that was supposed to guarantee justice. But he also wanted God to move in his own day. Waiting for Justice isn’t easy.

David prays some pretty harsh things, or at least he uses harsh metaphors. He calls out to God to provide justice by breaking the teeth (see verse 6) of these unjust judges. He wants God to silence them. To hit them where the abuse comes from (their mouths). He wants their rule or oversight to be short lived like a snail in the sun or a stillborn child. These imprecations are harsh, but they reveal a real zeal for God’s justice to happen even now.

Who do you need to pray for today that has been a victim of injustice? What injustices are happening around the world or in our community that we need to pray against?


Father, Break my heart for what breaks yours. We see lots of injustice in our world today. From the baby in the womb who never gets to see the light or day, to animosities between groups of people, to the mistreatment of people perhaps in our own communities. I ask for righteous leaders in our community, state, and nation. We ask for people in positions of power to make fair and right decisions. We pray that our politicians and leaders aren’t swayed by polls, but rather hold firm to truth and righteousness. May they act with integrity. Limit the sins of those who do unjust violence against others. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

I’m reading and blogging the Psalms Through The Summer. I’d love for you to join me. You can find out a little more here.

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