Spirit of God, may the wonder of life, and the joy of Your salvation, fill my heart with songs of praise.
Read Psalm 109:1-31
For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
What is the one thing in the world that most breaks God’s heart? Does it trouble you? Give that some thought before going on.
Can you imagine yourself praying this psalm? Most of us would eschew David’s confidence in his own position and the strength of condemnation of the wicked he requests. Even when he expresses his weakness (21-29), it is borne out of the antagonism he is facing rather than from his own sense of sinfulness. David displays none of our self-deprecating, timid approaches to intercession.
This is the prayer of an unjust sufferer. The world is not fair, and right behavior, far from guaranteeing an easy passage, can leave one feeling at wits’ end (22-25). This psalm does not ask us to deny our feelings, as if God’s people should be able to cope with anything life throws at them. We can express ourselves honestly to a God who is “in the midst of human suffering, listening to every sigh, collecting every tear, resonating with the trembling of every fear-stricken heart” (Miroslav Volf). Why? Because Jesus Christ is the supreme example of unjust suffering.
The psalmist longs for evil to be overthrown, expressing himself in language that we might find harsh, even vindictive. He is at the end of his rope, with God silent and evil seeming to triumph. Don’t expect cool, unemotional, detached praying. He is totally engaged, driven by the vision to see evil shown up for what it is (7): restricted in its lifespan (8-13), judged by God and its memory eradicated (14,15). He prays for evil to boomerang back on itself (17-20). This may not be exactly how we would express ourselves, but the sentiment clearly agrees with resisting the devil (1 Pet. 5:8,9; Jas. 4:7) and denouncing false preachers (Gal. 1:8). It agrees with the assurance that God will “pay back trouble to those who trouble you” (2 Thess. 1:6).
Do you want to pray this psalm? Ponder your commitment to seeing evil subjugated and God glorified. How do you express it?
Lord, when the burdens of the day beat me down, and sin causes me paralyzing doubt. I thank You for Your grace to go on.
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