Psalm Chapter 109

Psalm Chapter 109

All scriptures cited in this devotional are from the King James Version of the Bible. Unless otherwise cited or linked directly to another version of the Bible.

This writer laments by using a court trial's language, and he implies that the proceedings were motivated by false accusations made against the writer. The opposed of the writer appears to be devious, and the writer attributes weakness to himself. He also regards himself as an individual who does not have what is needed to protect himself from his enemies. Therefore, he goes to the only source of power who can rescue him - God. He does so by voicing a significant serious of curses. See "imprecations" to garner a deeper understanding of the style of these curses.
He is a prayer warrior
Hold not thy peace, O God of my praise; For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful are opened against me: they have spoken against me with a lying tongue.They compassed me about also with words of hatred; and fought against me without a cause. For my love they are my adversaries: but I give myself unto prayer. And they have rewarded me evil for good, and hatred for my love.

The writer of this psalm wants to hear God speak. His silence is deafening to the writer. See also Ps. 83:1. In the face of the barrage of hateful words directed at him by his enemies, the writer is at his wit’s end. He has offered them friendship, but they have responded with fits of accusations. Within the perceived the courtroom setting, and the psalmist accuses his enemies of false charges.

He is guilty
Set thou a wicked man over him: and let Satan stand at his right hand. When he shall be judged, let him be condemned: and let his prayer become sin. Let his days be few; and let another take his office. Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow. 10 Let his children be continually vagabonds, and beg: let them seek their bread also out of their desolate places. 11 Let the extortioner catch all that he hath; and let the strangers spoil his labour. 12 Let there be none to extend mercy unto him: neither let there be any to favour his fatherless children. 13 Let his posterity be cut off; and in the generation following let their name be blotted out. 14 Let the iniquity of his fathers be remembered with the Lord; and let not the sin of his mother be blotted out. 15 Let them be before the Lord continually, that he may cut off the memory of them from the earth.

Now the psalmist addresses a particular individual who may have done him wrong. If the assumption that the person being addressed is an actual individual, then one can surmise that the psalmist is in a court setting and he is asking the judge to pronounce judgment upon the person. The judge requested should be extended to the entire family of this false accuser. WOW! That seems so harsh to us, but back then that was the only way to erase familiaj habitual sins from among the people. Some theologians think that this refers to the Hittites who were supposed to have been killed. See Leviticus 26 for an explanation of David's reasoning.
He will be cursed
16 Because that he remembered not to shew mercy, but persecuted the poor and needy man, that he might even slay the broken in heart. 17 As he loved cursing, so let it come unto him: as he delighted not in blessing, so let it be far from him. 18 As he clothed himself with cursing like as with his garment, so let it come into his bowels like water, and like oil into his bones. 19 Let it be unto him as the garment which covereth him, and for a girdle wherewith he is girded continually. 20 Let this be the reward of mine adversaries from the Lord, and of them that speak evil against my soul.

In verses 16-20 the poet puts forth a defense for his argument of the erasure of the individual who wronged him. He continues his appeal to YHWH by atating that the enemy should receive what he was wishing on others. "17 As he loved cursing, so let it come unto him: as he delighted not in blessing, so let it be far from him." The accuser gave no thought to helping others (he found no pleasure in blessing), so why should he be blessed (may it be far from him)? Cursing others was second nature to him. It was an integral part of who he was, soaking into him like water into the body, or oil into the bone. Not only was it an inward characteristic of his personality, it was demonstrable by his public behaviour (like a cloak wrapped about him, like a belt). It was who the accuser was.
Lord, please help me
21 But do thou for me, O God the Lord, for thy name's sake: because thy mercy is good, deliver thou me. 22 For I am poor and needy, and my heart is wounded within me. 23 I am gone like the shadow when it declineth: I am tossed up and down as the locust. 24 My knees are weak through fasting; and my flesh faileth of fatness. 25 I became also a reproach unto them: when they looked upon me they shaked their heads. 26 Help me, O Lord my God: O save me according to thy mercy: 27 That they may know that this is thy hand; that thou, Lord, hast done it. 28 Let them curse, but bless thou: when they arise, let them be ashamed; but let thy servant rejoice. 29 Let mine adversaries be clothed with shame, and let them cover themselves with their own confusion, as with a mantle.

The psalmist was faced with a level of evil that just astounded him. He knew that he had no one else to call on but YHWH (see verses 21 and 26). It appears that he did not have the financial resources to garner the forces to fend off this enemy (see verse 22). He describes his [possibly physical] weakness by comparing himself to a shadow (verse 23) and his body as something that people look at with dismay (verses 24-25). This statement reminds me of Job (Job 2:8-11). The writer knew that only YHWH could deliver him. He even asked him to deliver him, for he appeals to God for the sake of his name and the fact that he is the father of the fatherless and the defenseless. Lastly, the writer uses "an imprecation on his accusers, asking that those who are clothed with cursing" (Longman 2014, 382). We know that the previous verses were laments because the writer uses a lament style of writing and ends the psalm with a verse that denotes his confidence in YHWH's ability to deliver his people.

The needy receives his help
30 I will greatly praise the Lord with my mouth; yea, I will praise him among the multitude.  31 For he shall stand at the right hand of the poor, to save him from those that condemn his soul.

We can also declare this very same verse. No matter how dark our circumstances may seem, God is always there to deliver us.

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