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  • Writer's picturePastor Mike

December 02 2023

Saturday, December 02

A Very Interesting Prayer

Psalm 109:1-5

To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David

1 Do not keep silent, O God of my praise!

2 For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful Have opened against me; They have spoken against me with a lying tongue.

3 They have also surrounded me with words of hatred, And fought against me without a cause.

4 In return for my love they are my accusers, But I give myself to prayer.

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

Psalm 109 must be one of the most interesting and “hard to understand” psalms in the entire book of 150 psalms. Psalm 109 is the last of what is called the "imprecatory psalms," and some consider it to be the most vehement. Remember an imprecation is a curse that invokes misfortune upon someone. Imprecatory psalms are those in which the author imprecates; that is, he calls down calamity, destruction, and God’s anger and judgment on his enemies. This type of psalm is found throughout the book. (Psalms 5, 10, 17, 35, 58, 59, 69, 70, 79, 83, 109)

From the title we learn that this psalm is ascribed to David. Peter quotes from this psalm in Acts 1:16-20 and applies it to Judas who lost his office as an apostle and needed to be replaced. David must have written Psalm 109 before he took the throne, for no king would be obligated to put up with this kind of treatment from an officer (v. 8) in his own court. The man was David was praying about was outwardly religious. He was someone who prayed (v. 7). But he hated David (vv. 3, 5) and falsely accused him (vv. 1-2, 4) and cursed him (vv. 17-19). David's attempts to return good for evil failed (vv. 4-5), and the man showed him no mercy (v. 16).

This unknown opponent may have been King Saul himself, whose life David spared on at least two occasions, or perhaps one of Saul's important officers who wanted to please his master. Had we been in this situation with David, we might have prayed as he did! There was terrible injustice in the land, and only God could remove Saul and put the rightful king on the throne. David did not avenge himself but put the matter in the hands of the Lord (Rom. 12:17-21). The psalm is built around three major requests.

First, David prays for the Lord to do something! (vv. 1-5). The silence of God indicated that the Lord was not answering prayer and working on David's behalf (28:1; 35:22-24; 50:3; 83:1). Often, we cry out to God, but nothing seems to happen. David reminded the Lord that he did not pray only when he needed help, for he praised the Lord often and thanked Him for His mercies ("God of my praise"; see v. 30; 22:25; Deut. 10:21; Jer. 17:14). In fact, in the Hebrew text, "O God of my praise" opens the psalm. God was silent but the enemy was vocal, speaking hateful lying words and accusing David of crimes he had never committed.

The word translated "adversaries" or "accusers" is found four times in this psalm (vv. 4, 6, 20, 29), and gives us the English word "Satan," one of the names of the Devil (see 38:20; 71:13; Job 1-2; Zech. 3). Satan is the accuser (Rev. 12:10) and the adversary of believers (1 Peter 5:8), and he uses people to accomplish this work. Like our Savior who was falsely accused, David was innocent of the charges (v. 3; 35:7, 19-20; 69:4; Jer. 18:18; 20:10). God's people return good for evil, while most people return good for good and evil for evil, but Satan's crowd returns evil for good (v. 5; 35:12; 38:20; Jer. 18:20). David responded to God's silence and to the enemy's attacks by praying to the Lord. His faith did not waver.

In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught us to pray for our enemies: “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you” (Matthew 5:44). So, how do we respond to a psalm like this? I personally believe that when we see Hamas and other evil people of our day do unimaginable and terrible things to other human beings and we feel deep anger and revenge in our hearts, that this is a prayer that we can pray to the Lord to express the thoughts and emotions of our mind and heart. We read this psalm and let God know how we feel and then leave it at that! After we get that “off our chest”, then maybe we can pray what the Lord told us pray in Matthew 5.

God bless!

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