Help me because of your steadfast love (Ps 109:26-109:31)

“Help me!

Yahweh!

My God!

Save me according to your steadfast love!

Let them know that this is your hand.

You have done it!

Yahweh!

Let them curse!

But you will bless!

Let my assailants be put to shame!

May your servant be glad!

May my accusers be clothed with dishonor!

May they be wrapped in their own shame as in a mantle!

With my mouth

I will give great thanks to Yahweh.

I will praise him

In the midst of the throng!

He stands at the right hand of the needy.

He wants to save them

From those who would condemn them to death.”

David turned the tables as this psalm ends. He wanted Yahweh to help him because of his steadfast love. He wanted Yahweh to show his hand. He wanted Yahweh to curse his enemies, not him. He wanted the blessing of Yahweh. He wanted his accusers clothed in shame, while he was to be happy. He was going to give great praise to Yahweh in a large gathering. Yahweh was going to stand at the right hand of the needy. Thus he was going to save them from those who wanted to condemn them to death.

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David wants protection (Ps 109:20-108:25)

“May this be the reward of my accusers

From Yahweh.

This is the reward for those who speak evil against my life!

O God!

Yahweh!

You act on my behalf for your name’s sake!

Because your steadfast love is good,

Deliver me!

I am poor and needy.

My heart is pierced within me.

I am gone,

Like a shadow at evening.

I am shaken off like a locust.

My knees are weak through fasting.

My body has become gaunt.

I am an object of scorn to my accusers.

When they see me,

They shake their heads.”

Now David turns to Yahweh to be saved from these evil people who were talking about him. He wanted Yahweh to act on his behalf for his name’s sake. He relied on the steadfast love of Yahweh to deliver him from this terrible situation. David admitted that he was poor and needy. His heart was pierced. He had become like an evening shadow. He had been tossed away like a locust. His knees were weak from fasting. His body had become gaunt. He had become the object of scorn to his accusers. When they saw him, they would shake their heads in dismay.

The stories about David (Ps 109:16-109:19)

“He did not remember to show kindness.

He pursued the poor and needy.

He pursued the brokenhearted to their death.

He loved to curse.

Let curses come on him!

He did not like blessing.

May it be far from him!

He clothed himself with cursing as his coat.

May it soak into his body like water!

May it soak into his bones like oil!

May it be like a garment that he wraps around himself!

May it be like a belt with that he wears everyday!”

This is one of the few descriptions of David that is not favorable. It was an attempt to portray David as some others saw him. Apparently David did not show kindness. He pursued the poor, the needy, and brokenhearted to their death. He loved to curse so that curses should come back on him. He did not like blessings as he clothed himself in cursing. Thus the wish was for him to soak his body like water and his bones like oil. He should wear these garments and belts every day. Somehow he was to wear something like a scarlet letter of disapproval so that all could see it.

The curses against David (Ps 109:8-109:15)

“May his days be few!

May another seize his position!

May his children be orphans!

May his wife be a widow!

May his children wander about!

May his children beg!

May they be driven out of the ruins they inhabit!

May the creditor seize all that he has!

May strangers plunder the fruits of his toil!

May there be no one to do him a kindness!

May there be no one to pity his orphaned children!

May his posterity be cut off!

May his name be blotted out in the second generation!

May the iniquity of his father be remembered before Yahweh!

May the sin of his mother not be blotted out!

May they be before Yahweh continually!

May his memory be cut off from the earth!”

The enemies of David issued a whole series of curses against him. They wanted his days to be few with an early death, so that his children would be orphans and his wife a widow. They wanted someone to take over his position or the crown. They wanted his children to wander about begging. They wanted them driven out of their ruined home. Creditors should seize all his things. Strangers should plunder his fields. No one should show him kindness. No one should worry about his orphaned children. His name should be wiped out in the 2nd generation. People should remember the iniquity and sin of his father and mother. There was to be no memory of him on earth. All of this should be brought to Yahweh so that he might punish David. Obviously, these curses did not come true for David.

The trial (Ps 109:6-109:7)

“They say.

‘Appoint a wicked man against him.

Let an accuser stand on his right.

When he is tried,

Let him be found guilty.

Let his prayer be counted as sin!’”

They wanted to put David on trial. They wanted a wicked man to stand up against him. When he would be tried, he was expected to be found guilty. Even his prayer would be counted as a sin for him. This would seem to indicate that his foes were fellow Israelites who were wicked.

The current terrible situation (Ps 109:1-109:5)

To the choirmaster leader, a psalm of David

“Do not be silent!

O God of my praise!

Wicked and deceitful mouths

Are opened against me.

They speak against me

With lying tongues.

They beset me

With words of hate.

They attack me without cause.

In return for my love

They accuse me.

Even while I make prayer for them,

They accuse me.

Thus they reward me

With evil for good.

They reward me

With hatred for my love.”

Psalm 109 is a Davidic personal prayer for deliverance within a choral setting. This is a lamentation of David against his enemies. As per usual, he began by asking God not to be silent. He explained that the wicked and deceitful people had opened their mouths against him with their lying tongues. Once again, they hated him without cause, another common lament. He tried to love them, but they accused him. When he prayed for them, they rewarded his good with evil. His love was returned as hatred. David was having a hard time getting along with his wicked foes.