9 And David says: “Let their table become a snare and a trap, A stumbling block and a recompense to them.
Paul took verses nine and ten from Psalm 69:22-23. Psalm 69 is a Messianic psalm.
9 And David says:
Continuing to quote Scripture, Paul further documented his point about the negative attitude of those who reject the grace principle. He referenced verses nine and ten to Psalm 35:8 and 38:4.
Paul’s second quotation comes from the Greek Old Testament (LXX), from Psalm 69:22-23. This psalm predicted that what should have been the source of blessing to Israel would become a stumbling block for them. Psalm 69 is quoted a number of times in the New Testament. Another verse in Romans relates this psalm to Jesus the Messiah:
Ro 15: 3 For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached You fell on Me.”
In Psalm 69 David was under attack from venomous enemies. He asked God to turn their strategies against them. The purpose in quoting Psalm 69 was to reinforce the idea that the hardening of verse seven was deserved. David in Psalm 69 prayed that three curses would fall upon his enemies.
“Let their table [feast] become a snare [make fast] and a trap,
This quotation is from an imprecation psalm against Israel’s opponents. Paul took these curses and pointed them toward the Israel of his day. What was true of Gentiles was now true of Israel.
The word “table” refers to Jewish feasts. Celebration at their feasts became part of the problem of their negative volition toward grace. Their self-righteous religious celebrations boomeranged on them.
A “snare” is literally something that makes fast. A snare catches small animals. This word was used of a ship’s anchor. Negative volition became an anchor to their soul.
A “trap” was used for hunting. A trap catches larger animals. God would hunt them down for their negative decision toward His grace.
A stumbling block
The Messiah Christ had become a stumbling block to the majority of Israelites. Literally a stumbling block is a mechanism with a trigger that traps an animal. The negative volition of Israel created a vacuum that sucked in the religion of self-righteousness.
and a recompense [just retribution] to them.
The word “recompense” carries the idea of retribution, to repay. Israel’s rejection of God’s truth became a burden. Further to their own hardening, God judicially acted upon their stubborn and hardened hearts. He confirmed their own rejection. They were “vessels fitted to destruction” (9:22).
People who reject truth are not hopeless victims of circumstance. The reason for God’s payback is their own defiant will. Rebelliousness will bring a sentence of God’s judgment on them.
Rejection of truth is a culpable act.
Christians often react negatively to the idea that God will recompense those who reject Him. The biblical view is that we embrace what God countersigns. He knows all the conditions and circumstances whereby people reject the truth. Our responsibility is to recognize how evil, in God’s eyes, is a negative attitude toward grace. It is God’s right to know what is in the heart of man.
People harden themselves, and then God performs the additional act of hardening them further. Rejection of God’s truth is a serious matter. This is a judicial result of negative volition. Whenever people reject the gospel message, they enter into a further stage of rebellion. This rebellion might not be permanent, however. It might not prevent them from making a decision later; it is not irreversible.