1 For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.
O God, whom I praise, do not remain silent, 2 for wicked and deceitful men 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 an evil man to oppose him; 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 labour. 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 cut off the memory of them from the earth. 16 For he never thought of doing a kindness, but hounded to death the poor and the needy and the broken-hearted. 17 He loved to pronounce a curse—may it come 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 for ever round him. 20 May this be the LORD’s payment to my accusers, to those who speak evil of me.
21 But you, O Sovereign LORD, deal well with 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, O LORD my God; save me in accordance with your love. 27 Let them know that it is your hand, that you, O LORD, have done it. 28 They may curse, but you will bless; when they attack, they will be put to shame, but your servant will rejoice.
29 My accusers will 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 I will praise him. 31 For he stands at the right hand of the needy one, to save his life from those who condemn him.
Psalm 109 – When guilty accuse innocent
(Verses 1-5) There is no such thing as perfect justice this side of Heaven, even when a country’s legal system is basically fair and well administered. Any honest lawyer will confirm that. Here we have David, always a sinner, (as we all are,) but here being maliciously attacked with false accusations on points where he is innocent. He shows how a man of prayer and praise should respond. The God to whom he prays often, and praises constantly, is the One to whom David takes his problems. He simply but openly gives God the details about those who wickedly, deceitfully, dishonestly, and hatefully have turned against him. Worse still, he thought they were his friends. Have you been there? Have you treated others sinfully like this?
(Verses 6-20) Old Testament law says how such people are to be punished. David now reminds God of what He said should be applied as punishment for these sins. God hates all sin and will punish it. Even now, ‘The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Romans 6:23) Unless we repent and trust in Jesus, we face as our spiritual ‘death’, eternal punishment for our sins against God and against others. But we know that Jesus took our punishment in our place when He died on the cross for us. When we repent and trust Him, we are at once forgiven and receive eternal life, now and in Heaven. When you sin against others, first own up to God and ask Him to forgive and save you, and change your future conduct; then tell the person you hurt that you are sorry and ask for his or her pardon too.
(Verses 21-29) David then asks God, ‘deal well with me for [God’s] name’s sake; out of the goodness of [His] love, deliver me’. He then details how ‘poor and needy’ he is and has become. The way up is down! As he lowers himself before God, he knows God will help him and lift him up. He trusts his Sovereign LORD God.
(Verses 30-31) As we often see with David, when he starts with God and shares a real problem with Him, he ends up by praising God. God is faithful: trust Him!