Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Psalm 109

Song of the Slandered

Psalm 109 is the best known of the "imprecatory" or "cursing" psalms.  The reader should remember that these psalms are fundamentally pleas for God to administer justice.  My Bible also  notes this:
Strong emotions in poetry are expressed by strong language - while to us, that language seems harsh, its these of God's righteous judgment is entirely proper. 
Perhaps these psalms are included in Scripture to express God's approval of a passionate hatred of evil and evil deeds.
I tend to agree with that thought - it seems like that's missing in our culture today, doesn't it?  True passionate hatred for evil & evil deeds. 

I also love the thought in verse 4 - David is being betrayed and falsely accused by those he believed loved him and cared about him, yet his response is to TRUST God and give himself to prayer, trusting the Lord to work on his behalf.  A great, godly response that we would do well to emulate!
In return for my love they are my accusers,
But I give myself to prayer.
~ Ps. 109:4

It is the unspeakable comfort of all good people that, whoever is against them, God is for them.
~ Matthew Henry

Another good life lesson is expressed in verses 21-22; how often we behave sinfully when our "hearts are wounded."  When we are hurt, we tend to lash out and lash back.  David reminds us to call on the  mercy of the Lord in times like these - when our hearts are wounded within us 

But You, O God the Lord . . .
Because Your mercy is good, deliver me
For I am poor and needy,
and my heart is wounded within me.
~ Ps. 109:22
In the New Testament Jesus tells us to love and pray for our enemies.  Have you ever struggled with this?  Ever wondered exactly how or what to pray for someone who is treating you wrongly?  David gives us another beautiful, godly example in verses 28-29: "Let my accusers be clothed with shame . . . "  As Matthew Henry notes,
 In this David prays that his enemies might be ashamed - that they might be brought to repentance, which is the chief thing we should beg of God for our enemies.

But I tell you, love your enemies
and pray for those who persecute you (Matt. 5:44)
~  Jesus Christ

David concludes Psalm 109 with joy, the joy of faith.  God was David's protector in his sufferings, and He will be ours as well!

  • God can be trusted with the things that most try our souls and break our hearts
  • God is the Deliverer of the poor & brokenhearted
  • God's mercy is good
  • My help is from the Lord, and I am saved according to His mercy
  • I bless the Lord that when my heart is wounded within me, His mercy is good to deliver me. 
  • I praise God that, though I am weak, He is strong. 
  • I praise the Lord that I can give myself to prayer, trusting Him to handle my worries and even troublesome people
 Today is Wednesday of "Holy Week" - the last week of Jesus' earthly life & ministry.  O, what wounds were inflicted on the Son of God this week - how falsely He was accused and betrayed by one He trusted.  How obediently He submitted to the will of the Father in all of this!

Below is a prayer penned by Scotty Smith, pastor @ Christ Community Church:
Jesus said, “This voice was for your benefit, not mine. Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.” John 12:27-32
     Dear Lord Jesus, it’s Wednesday of Holy Week and I’m moved by how troubled and yet peaceful You were as the events of that week began to unfold. There was no doubt in Your mind why You came into Jerusalem riding the foal of a donkey, in great conflict, but no doubt.
    For this very reason You came from eternity into time and space; for this very reason You emptied Yourself of Your glory by taking the form of a servant-man—the Lord’s Servant; for this very reason the Father spoke thunderous words from heaven for our benefit. In the fullness of time You came, and now at just the right time You would die.
     There would be no surprises. You knew what was coming. At the end of the week, You would pay the supreme price that fully guarantees our redemption, and the “drawing” of men and women from every single nation, tribe, people and language—a number as great as the stars in the sky, the sand of the beaches, and the dust of the earth.
     In a matter of days You would take the holy wrath of Judgment Day for all who will trust in You. At the end of the week, Your “bruised heel” would secure the ultimate crushing and “driving out” of the “prince of this world”—Satan himself. Understandably so, Your heart was troubled, greatly troubled, yet fully at peace.
     Jesus, as the events of our week now unfold, grant us grace to survey the wonders of Your cross, with greater awe, humility and gratitude than ever. In an hour when many in our culture are marginalizing and minimizing, denying and dismissing Your cross, may our boasting in Your cross grow by all-time exponential proportions.
     Love so amazing so divine demands our soul, our life our all. So very Amen, we pray, in the beauty and bounty of Your most glorious name ~

No comments:

Post a Comment