NOT GETTING WHAT WE ASK FOR
Lord, forgive me for not loving others the way You have called me to love. Fill me with more of Your love.
Read Psalm 109
For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.
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[a] 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.
- Psalm 109:10 Septuagint; Hebrew sought
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHow does it make you feel to know that God knows every word you say before you say it.
Much of this psalm is made up of accusations against an enemy, followed by a wish list of choice punishments. At some points the revenge seems proportionate: he cursed others; let him be cursed (17). He’s been cruel, and not just to the psalmist, so maybe it is fair for him to be on the receiving end of cruelty.
But there’s something horrid about the desire for the man to die horribly and for his children to suffer ever after. You are not in a good place if you are praying that no one would take pity on fatherless children (12). This is a good example of the way rage and bitterness can distort us.
Jesus is the ultimate answer to any plea for God to ‘save me according to Your unfailing love’ (26). But He doesn’t crush wrongdoers with punishment, proportional or not, for their awful deeds. He has taken the punishment Himself on the cross (Isaiah 53:4–6). Good news for our enemies, yes, but also good news for us, because who among us has never wronged another person (Romans 3:23,24)?
Are you holding an offense against someone? Remember that Jesus paid it all – for your sins and for anyone else’s. Is there a confession you need to make to God today? Reparation to others?
Search me, God… See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting’ (Psalm 139:23,24).