Satan in the Psalms
“Oh my God deliver me from the hand of the lawless one, from the clutch of the perverse and ruthless one.” (Psalm 71:4 Rhm)
Let’s be clear from the outset: when David discussed his enemies in the book of Psalms, he was referring to flesh-and-blood mortals. I can’t think of a single instance that he purposefully spoke about demonic entities.
However, we must keep in mind that David’s enemies were opposed to God’s kingdom. In just the way that “spiritual forces of wickedness in the high places” do their utmost to overthrow the kingdom of God in our day, so too did the Philistines, Amalekites and even Saul’s henchmen seek to destroy the divinely led government which David ruled.
We need to also keep in mind that those men were certainly influenced, incited and animated by devils. David surely understood—if only vaguely—that there was a spiritual adversary at work in the unseen realm around him. When he looked into the hate-filled eyes of a Philistine, he must have had some idea that the man was being driven by a spiritual force of wickedness.
Whatever the level of David’s comprehension of the spiritual realm might have been, the fact remains that the same principles he expressed regarding those opposing God’s kingdom can be carried over to the spiritual realm in which we find ourselves today.
Any believer who has been engaged in a true war for souls understands the reality of spiritual warfare. Surely such a person could join with David in lamenting, “Why must I suffer these attacks from my enemies?” (Psalm 42:9 LB) “Protect my life from the enemy’s terrifying attacks.” (Psalm 64:1 NET) And what veteran doesn’t understand this cry? “I am troubled because of the voice of the cruel ones, because of the loud cry of the evil-doers; for they put a weight of evil on me, and they are cruel in their hate for me.” (Psalm 55:3 BBE)
Yes, many of the prayers for divine vengeance found in the Imprecatory Psalms—as troubling as they may be for New Covenant believers—may certainly be used in our prayer times today. We face enemies every bit as real and ruthless as those which the psalmist faced.
“Satan in the Psalms?” Yes, he is mentioned throughout, if only by inference. Let us pray that he, his evil minions, his dark kingdom and all of his evil designs will soon be nullified and destroyed by the power of God.
And how about you? Can you sense the enemy’s oppression in your life? That is actually a very good sign! Demons typically leave people alone so long as they are living carnal lifestyles, but when a believer begins to stand for righteousness—watch out! The enemy will surely attack.