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.
I am doing C3 Online Bible College, and this term’s subject is Bible Interpretation (which is an excellent course, by the way). In this week’s lecture we learned that not all of what’s written in the bible – especially in the Old Testament, is there as an example to be followed. Even the great heroes of faith were still human men and women with flaws and weaknesses- unless, of course, we are looking at the life of Jesus.
I think this principle could apply to much of what David writes in this Psalm. Over half of this Psalm involves David calling down very specific curses on his enemies.
As I read this it struck me how very different and radical Jesus’s teachings are. No more “an eye for an eye” revenge mentality. He teaches us to love our enemies and pray blessings for those who curse us.
Psalm 109 reminds me of what our natural human nature would be like without Jesus. We naturally want bad things to happen to those who have wronged us! How grateful I am today that Jesus came to show the world a better way, and to give us the ability by His grace to forgive and bless our enemies.
Written by Shelley Witt