Psalms 109

1 My God, don't turn a deaf ear to my hallelujah prayer.
2 Liars are pouring out invective on me; Their lying tongues are like a pack of dogs out to get me,
3 barking their hate, nipping my heels - and for no reason!
4 I loved them and now they slander me - yes, me! - and treat my prayer like a crime;
5 They return my good with evil, they return my love with hate.
6 Send the Evil One to accuse my accusing judge; dispatch Satan to prosecute him.
7 When he's judged, let the verdict be, "Guilty," and when he prays, let his prayer turn to sin.
8 Give him a short life, and give his job to somebody else.
9 Make orphans of his children, dress his wife in widow's weeds;
10 Turn his children into begging street urchins, evicted from their homes - homeless.
11 May the bank foreclose and wipe him out, and strangers, like vultures, pick him clean.
12 May there be no one around to help him out, no one willing to give his orphans a break.
13 Chop down his family tree so that nobody even remembers his name.
14 But erect a memorial to the sin of his father, and make sure his mother's name is there, too -
15 Their sins recorded forever before God, but they themselves sunk in oblivion.
16 That's all he deserves since he was never once kind, hounded the afflicted and heartbroken to their graves.
17 Since he loved cursing so much, let curses rain down; Since he had no taste for blessing, let blessings flee far from him.
18 He dressed up in curses like a fine suit of clothes; he drank curses, took his baths in curses.
19 So give him a gift - a costume of curses; he can wear curses every day of the week!
20 That's what they'll get, those out to get me - an avalanche of just deserts from God.
21 Oh, God, my Lord, step in; work a miracle for me - you can do it! Get me out of here - your love is so great! -
22 I'm at the end of my rope, my life in ruins.
23 I'm fading away to nothing, passing away, my youth gone, old before my time.
24 I'm weak from hunger and can hardly stand up, my body a rack of skin and bones.
25 I'm a joke in poor taste to those who see me; they take one look and shake their heads.
26 Help me, oh help me, God, my God, save me through your wonderful love;
27 Then they'll know that your hand is in this, that you, God, have been at work.
28 Let them curse all they want; you do the blessing.
29 Let them be jeered by the crowd when they stand up, followed by cheers for me, your servant. Dress my accusers in clothes dirty with shame, discarded and humiliating old ragbag clothes.
30 My mouth's full of great praise for God, I'm singing his hallelujahs surrounded by crowds,
31 For he's always at hand to take the side of the needy, to rescue a life from the unjust judge.

Psalms 109 Commentary

Chapter 109

David complains of his enemies. (1-5) He prophesies their destruction. (6-20) Prayers and praises. (21-31)

1-5. It is the unspeakable comfort of all believers, that whoever is against them, God is for them; and to him they may apply as to one pleased to concern himself for them. David's enemies laughed at him for his devotion, but they could not laugh him out of it.

Verses 6-20 The Lord Jesus may speak here as a Judge, denouncing sentence on some of his enemies, to warn others. When men reject the salvation of Christ, even their prayers are numbered among their sins. See what hurries some to shameful deaths, and brings the families and estates of others to ruin; makes them and theirs despicable and hateful, and brings poverty, shame, and misery upon their posterity: it is sin, that mischievous, destructive thing. And what will be the effect of the sentence, "Go, ye cursed," upon the bodies and souls of the wicked! How it will affect the senses of the body, and the powers of the soul, with pain, anguish, horror, and despair! Think on these things, sinners, tremble and repent.

Verses 21-31 The psalmist takes God's comforts to himself, but in a very humble manner. He was troubled in mind. His body was wasted, and almost worn away. But it is better to have leanness in the body, while the soul prospers and is in health, than to have leanness in the soul, while the body is feasted. He was ridiculed and reproached by his enemies. But if God bless us, we need not care who curses us; for how can they curse whom God has not cursed; nay, whom he has blessed? He pleads God's glory, and the honour of his name. Save me, not according to my merit, for I pretend to none, but according to thy-mercy. He concludes with the joy of faith, in assurance that his present conflicts would end in triumphs. Let all that suffer according to the will of God, commit the keeping of their souls to him. Jesus, unjustly put to death, and now risen again, is an Advocate and Intercessor for his people, ever ready to appear on their behalf against a corrupt world, and the great accuser.

Chapter Summary

To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. This psalm was written by David, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, concerning Judas the betrayer of Christ, as is certain from Acts 1:16 hence it is used to be called by the ancients the Iscariotic psalm. Whether the occasion of it was the rebellion of Absalom, as some, or the persecution of Saul, as Kimchi; and whoever David might have in view particularly, whether Ahithophel, or Doeg the Edomite, as is most likely; yet it is evident that the Holy Ghost foresaw the sin of Judas, and prophesies of that, and of the ruin and misery that should come upon him; for the imprecations in this psalm are no other than predictions of future events, and so are not to be drawn into an example by men; nor do they breathe out anything contrary to the spirit of Christianity, but are proofs of it, since what is here predicted has been exactly accomplished. The title in the Syriac version is, "a psalm of David when they created Absalom king without his knowledge, and for this cause he was slain; but to us it expounds the sufferings of the Christ of God;" and indeed he is the person that is all along speaking in this psalm.

Psalms 109 Commentaries

Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved.