Psalm 109

When enemies are spiteful and malicious, it is the unspeakable comfort of the Christian that God is for him and that to Him they may apply,
knowing that He will concern Himself for them and will visit overwhelming ruin upon the enemy in His own time and way.

1 Hold not thy peace, O God of my praise;

2 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.

3 They compassed me about also with words of hatred; and fought against me without a cause.

4 For my love they are my adversaries: but I give myself unto prayer.

5 And they have rewarded me evil for good, and hatred for my love.

6 Set thou a wicked man over him: and let Satan stand at his right hand.

7 When he shall be judged, let him be condemned: and let his prayer become sin.

8 Let his days be few; and let another take his office.

9 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.

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.

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.

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.

Psalm 109:1-16 – The Persecutor of the Needy

   This psalm is like a patch of the Sahara amid a smiling Eden. But, terrible as the words are, remember that they were written by the man who, on two occasions, spared the life of his persecutor, and who, when the field of Gilboa was wet with Saul’s life-blood, sang the loveliest of elegiacs to his memory. These maledictions do not express personal vindictiveness. Probably they should be read as depicting the doom of the wrong-doer. The Apostle, quoting this psalm, expressly says that the Spirit of Inspiration spoke before by the mouth of David, Acts 1:16.
   Notice in Psalm 109:4, a beautiful suggestion is made of the life of prayer. The only response of the psalmist to the hatred of his enemies was to give himself more absolutely to prayer. His whole being was consumed in the one intense appeal to God. Such times come to us all. Such prayers always end in praise and thanksgiving, Psalm 109:30. Happy are we who also can count on the Advocate with the Father, Psalm 109:31. Jesus prays our prayers with us. —Through the Bible Day by Day

Psalm 109:17-31 – ​The Deliverer of the Needy

   This psalm emphasizes the difference, indicated by our Lord, between His teaching and that addressed to “them of old time,” especially on the point of forgiveness. It is in such teaching as this that the psalmist’s mood is distinctly inferior to that which has now become the law for devout men. This at least may be said, that these ancient saints did not desire vengeance for private injuries, but that God’s name and character might be vindicated. Devout men could not but long for the triumph of good and the defeat and destruction of its opposite.
   The closing paragraph voices some of those lowly, sad petitions for help, which occur in so many of the psalms. This combination of devout meekness and trust with the fiery imprecations or predictions at the core of this psalm, substantiates what has been said above as to the spirit in which the psalm was conceived. It is not personal, but the voice of the Church asking God to make known the righteousness of His government. The psalm begins and ends with praise. It starts by picturing an adversary at the right hand of the wicked, Psalm 109:6, and closes with assurance that Jehovah stands at the right hand of His afflicted servant to deliver him. “I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved” (Psalm 16:8). —Through the Bible Day by Day

Psalm 109:28—Let them curse, but bless Thou.

​   This is the Iscariotic psalm. The Apostle Peter quoted it, as applying to Judas, on the occasion of electing a successor to the traitor; but the Church has no desire to appropriate against him or any of her foes the awful anathemas of the psalmist. In reading them we must remember—first, that they may be treated as predictions rather than imprecations; secondly, that those earlier days had much of the thunder of Sinai and little enough of the tender accents of Calvary; thirdly, that it seemed to the lovers of God all important that wickedness should be punished in this life, as they had very dim conceptions of the next, and it might appear, otherwise, that God was indifferent to moral distinctions.
   Men still curse us. It is one of the badges that we belong to the Lord’s household, that they call us Beelzebub. The offence of the Cross has not ceased; and if none curse us, we may seriously question whether we are following in the footsteps of the Crucified. We must be baptized into our Savior’s death, and die with Him to all fear of man. Until we are willing to be counted the offscouring of all things, we have not entered into the true significance of baptism into his death, and participation in his risen life. The late George Müller said that he made no progress till he came to this. But when we are willing to forfeit our character, to die to our reputation, to be fools for Christ’s sake, then God begins to bless. When men revile, and persecute, and say all manner of evil against us falsely for Christ’s sake, God whispers in our heart, “Great is your reward in heaven” (Matthew 5:12). You never will know how near and tender God can be, till you are cast out by your kind. —Our Daily Homily