Read Psalm 109
For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.
1 My God, whom I praise,
do not remain silent,
2 for people who are wicked and deceitful
have opened their mouths against me;
they have spoken against me with lying tongues.
3 With words of hatred they surround me;
they attack me without cause.
4 In return for my friendship they accuse me,
but I am a man of prayer.
5 They repay me evil for good,
and hatred for my friendship.
6 Appoint someone evil to oppose my enemy;
let an accuser stand at his right hand.
7 When he is tried, let him be found guilty,
and may his prayers condemn him.
8 May his days be few;
may another take his place of leadership.
9 May his children be fatherless
and his wife a widow.
10 May his children be wandering beggars;
may they be driven from their ruined homes.
11 May a creditor seize all he has;
may strangers plunder the fruits of his labor.
12 May no one extend kindness to him
or take pity on his fatherless children.
13 May his descendants be cut off,
their names blotted out from the next generation.
14 May the iniquity of his fathers be remembered before the Lord;
may the sin of his mother never be blotted out.
15 May their sins always remain before the Lord,
that he may blot out their name from the earth.
16 For he never thought of doing a kindness,
but hounded to death the poor
and the needy and the brokenhearted.
17 He loved to pronounce a curse—
may it come back on him.
He found no pleasure in blessing—
may it be far from him.
18 He wore cursing as his garment;
it entered into his body like water,
into his bones like oil.
19 May it be like a cloak wrapped about him,
like a belt tied forever around him.
20 May this be the Lord’s payment to my accusers,
to those who speak evil of me.
21 But you, Sovereign Lord,
help me for your name’s sake;
out of the goodness of your love, deliver me.
22 For I am poor and needy,
and my heart is wounded within me.
23 I fade away like an evening shadow;
I am shaken off like a locust.
24 My knees give way from fasting;
my body is thin and gaunt.
25 I am an object of scorn to my accusers;
when they see me, they shake their heads.
26 Help me, Lord my God;
save me according to your unfailing love.
27 Let them know that it is your hand,
that you, Lord, have done it.
28 While they curse, may you bless;
may those who attack me be put to shame,
but may your servant rejoice.
29 May my accusers be clothed with disgrace
and wrapped in shame as in a cloak.
30 With my mouth I will greatly extol the Lord;
in the great throng of worshipers I will praise him.
31 For he stands at the right hand of the needy,
to save their lives from those who would condemn them.
David pours out his heart in Psalm 109. He releases his feelings, his tremendous hurt and anger toward his enemies. He uses harsh words and pleads for God’s help. Let’s not sugar-coat this. David doesn’t hold back when describing what actions he hopes God will take: Make the enemies’ days few, make their children beggars, have creditors take all they have, make it so that no one extends kindness to them, have the enemies’ names be blotted out from the next generation, clothe them with disgrace, and wrap them in shame. David was very real and very honest. It is extremely important to note, however, that David doesn’t take the action himself. He puts these thoughts, feelings, and requests into God’s hands, asking that God save him according to His unfailing love. David pours out his heart to God.
Journaling is a part of many Christians’ Bible-reading and quiet time. It may include writing keywords or short phrases to record what you’re reading and learning from God’s Word, your hurts, joys, praises, or prayer requests. Other times, journaling may take on more of a diary-like process, such as writing a letter to God. Either way, there is freedom that comes from being fully, totally, completely honest with God. This honesty includes even those thoughts and feelings that we may be scared to put words to or feel guilty for feeling. We are called, however, to pour out our hearts to him. God is our refuge (Ps 62:8b).
David’s psalm is not about requesting God to bring destruction to those with whom we disagree with or those who have hurt us, but rather to be honest and real with God. This psalm is about submitting our feelings to Him. David was brutally honest and laid his requests before God. He wanted action to come from God without taking it in his own hands. We serve a loving and just God. A God who became flesh to die for us and carry the burden of our sins on His shoulders. And with the new covenant through Jesus, we learn that we are to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us (Matthew 5:44). So, while we should continue to be truthful and forthright with God about our feelings, and sometimes action is necessary, let’s also commit to praying for those who might fall into our “enemy” category. God holds the world and future in his hands. Often, we may need to trust in that truth and pray without any other action.
- When talking about his enemies, David incorporates people who have spoken untruths about him as well as those who have been unkind. Are there people in your life that fit into that category?
- Have you committed to praying for these individuals?
- How can you love these “enemies”?
Write God a letter. Tell Him the good, the bad, the ugly. Thank Him. Present your requests to Him. Be authentic. Store your letter and reflect upon it in the future.
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4 thoughts on “Psalm 109”
I’m still learning that God invites my gut level honesty. It actually frees up space in my head and cleanses my heart in the process. I always return to what I know to be true despite my feelings—God is good & faithfully loves His own. I’m crying out to God for the Afghan people today. Would you join me in praying for believers in Afghanistan to be able to stand firm in their faith in Jesus and be filled with His love and power in the midst of terror?
As I was reading this morning, my first thought was “how is this in the Bible? I can’t believe David got away with saying these things..” But, I’m so glad for the commentary today & the reminder that God can handle our honest gut feelings. I think without realizing it, I often try to give God only my “good sounding thoughts” & try to repress any not as nice thoughts/feelings I might have. But I’m reminded that we can’t heal what we don’t reveal. Meaning, if I want God to heal me and help me move from some of my negative thoughts and emotions, then I need to be honest with Him & admit that they’re there in the first place! God is a safe place- we can trust Him with everything we’re feeling & thinking. Thankful for David’s example & how Scripture still speaks so many years later….
I believe that to love our enemies requires being more yielded to the Holy Spirit than to ourselves. We must pray for His help to do this because it does not come naturally and co-labour. Only when Spirit filled and Sprit led will we want to obey and choose to pray for the Taliban, those who hold different political views, those who hurt us, etc.
Like David did, we are to acknowledge and express our feelings to God but like Jesus did, even for those who crucified Him, aren’t we also to pray “Father forgive them for they know not what they do”?
So thankful for BRP and the people that write the daily commentary. Just like Kathy, I was anxious to get to the commentary to see how they explained David’s attitude! I am usually faithful about sharing everything with God through prayer, but this psalm and the commentary reminded me that I am not the one to judge others. Submit those feelings to God, then love and pray.