Psalm 109 Continued
Psalm 109:14 “Let the iniquity of his fathers be remembered with the LORD; and let not the sin of his mother be blotted out.”
Not of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; who, though they had their failings, they were not remembered, and much less punished in their posterity, but were forgiven. Rather of the Amorites and Hittites; the one being said to be the father, and the other the mother, of the Jews (Ezek. 16:3). They succeeding them in their land, and imitating their example, and committing the same sins they did. Or rather of their wicked ancestors, who killed the prophets; and the measure of whose sins Judas and the Jews filled up in crucifying Christ (see Matt. 23:31). The iniquity of these may be said to be remembered, it not being forgiven, when it was brought to account, and punished in their posterity, doing the same wicked actions (compare with this Rev. 16:19).
“And let not the sin of his mother be blotted out”: Or forgiven; but stand as a debt to be accounted for. Meaning not the sin of his mother Eve, nor of his immediate parent. But either of the Hittite as before, or of the synagogue of the Jews, or Jerusalem, which killed the prophets of the Lord.
In the previous lesson we had been studying about David desiring the just punishments for these evil people. We had said that God really did not need suggestions from David. This above is just a statement of what really happens. God does not forget the sins that are not under the blood of the Lamb.
Psalm 109:15 “Let them be before the LORD continually, that he may cut off the memory of them from the earth.”
Let their sins never pass from the mind of God. Let him never so forget them as not to inflict punishment for them.
“That he may cut off the memory of them from the earth”: That they may be wholly forgotten among people. Let their very name perish; and let the offender in this case be in the condition of those who have no ancestors to whom they can refer with pride and pleasure. The idea here is drawn from the honor which is felt in being able to refer to ancestors worthy of being remembered for their virtues.
This is a wish of David’s that this family will not be able to continue. This is saying, don’t let them have children and grandchildren to carry on their evil deeds.
Psalm 109:16 “Because that he remembered not to show mercy, but persecuted the poor and needy man, that he might even slay the broken in heart.”
He had no compassion; he was severe, harsh, unjust, unfeeling.
“But persecuted the poor and needy man”: The man that was destitute of friends; that was a wanderer and a beggar. There were times in the life of David when this would be strictly and literally applicable to him.
“That he might even slay the broken in heart”: The man whose heart was crushed by sorrow, that he might put “the finishing stroke” to all, and send him to the grave. Whatever might have been the “feeling” which prompted to this prayer, or however difficult it may be to vindicate the psalmist’s expression of feeling, there can be no doubt as to the propriety of inflicting punishment on such a man. The sufferings invoked are none too severe to be inflicted on a man who persecutes the poor and needy, and seeks so to multiply sorrows that the man already crushed and broken in heart shall sink to the grave.
It seems that this evil person showed no mercy for others and does not deserve any mercy to be shown to him. This man was so evil that he even got pleasure in doing terrible things to those who could not help themselves.
Psalm 109:17 “As he loved cursing, so let it come unto him: as he delighted not in blessing, so let it be far from him.”
As he loved to curse others. As he seemed to have a pleasure alike in the act of cursing and in the feeling which prompts to cursing. Let him see what it is; let it come upon him in its fullness. He has chosen this as his portion; let it be his. This, in the original, is in the indicative mood, and not, as in our version, in the optative form. “He loved cursing, and it has come upon him; he did not delight in blessing, and it is far from him.” Still, the connection would rather seem to require that we should understand this as a prayer, and not as an affirmation, for the object of the whole seems not to be to state what had come upon him. But what the psalmist wished might come upon him.
“As he delighted not in blessing”: As he had no pleasure in wishing that others might be happy, or in any measures which would tend to promote their happiness. So, let everything that could be regarded as a blessing be put far from him; let him know nothing of it.
David is saying, let him reap what he has sown. David is just asking justice for this man. We have discussed so many times, that what comes from our mouth is what we really are, because it comes from the heart. Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh. This man is evil to the core. His inner most being is full of cursing. Let the words of his mouth speak out against himself. What he speaks on others, let it be in his life.
Psalm 109:18 “As he clothed himself with cursing like as with his garment, so let it come into his bowels like water, and like oil into his bones.”
Moral qualities are often compared with raiment, as that in which we “appear” to our fellow-men (see 1 Peter 5:5; Job 29:14).
“So let it come into his bowels like water”: Margin, “within him.” Hebrew, “In his midst.” Let it penetrate him through and through. Let no part of him be unaffected by it.
“And like oil into his bones”: As if oil flowed through all his bones, so let the effects of cursing pervade his whole frame. The prayer is, that his entire nature might feel the effects of cursing; that he might know to the full what he was endeavoring to bring on others.
Cursing once in a while is bad, but it seems, this evil person here curses all the time. The fact that it clothes him like a garment means that every word he utters includes cursing. He is surrounded by it. This man is so evil that even his bones and bowels are full as well. A person who loves and worships God will have rivers of living waters flowing from their inner most being. This evil, cursing man has death coming from his inner most being.
Psalm 109:19 “Let it be unto him as the garment [which] covereth him, and for a girdle wherewith he is girded continually.”
He has chosen to put it on, to wear it, to appear in it. So let him constantly feel its consequences. As he is always obliged to wear clothing, so let this be as constantly with him and upon him as his mantle and his sash.
“And for a girdle wherewith he is girded continually”: The belt or girdle which he constantly wears (see notes Matt. 5:38).
The believers in the LORD are clothed in the robe of righteousness. This evil man is clothed in sin. He is even tied down with it. He is wrapped in it as a girdle. Thank goodness his sin is out for all to see.
Psalm 109:20 “[Let] this [be] the reward of mine adversaries from the LORD, and of them that speak evil against my soul.”
Who were so many Satans, as the word used signifies. And Judas particularly is called a devil. And of the same malevolent and diabolical disposition were the Jews in general (John 6:70). And what is before imprecated upon them is the just recompense of reward for their hatred to Christ and ill usage of him.
“And of them that speak evil against my soul”: Or “life”; in order to take it away, as did the false witnesses that rose up against him. And the Jews who charged him with sedition and blasphemy.
We see a summation here by David of all the sin in this evil person. Again, David is saying to God, you take vengeance on him for me. As we said earlier, it is a very dangerous thing to speak against the servant of God. The servant will not take vengeance, but God will take vengeance on behalf of his servant.
Verses 21-29: David petitioned the court for justice by asking for deliverance for the judge’s sake (109:21), and then for his own sake (verses 22-25). Afterwards, he requested that his enemies by rightfully punished (verses 26-29).
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 blesses 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 honor 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.
Psalm 109:21 “But do thou for me, O GOD the Lord, for thy name’s sake: because thy mercy [is] good, deliver thou me.”
The sense of the petition is, and which is a prayer of Christ as man, that the Lord God would take his part. Be on his side, be present with him, work with him, help and assist him, and that for his own honor and glory. For his truth and faithfulness sake, who had promised him help and assistance (Psalm 89:21).
“Because thy mercy is good”: That is, it is the characteristic of mercy to do good; to show kindness.
“Deliver thou me”: He prays that God would “manifest” himself as he really was, as a God of mercy.
David has finally gotten his eyes off this evil person and is asking for God’s help. God will deliver His own. Notice in the verse above, that David is not asking favors in his own name. He asks favors in the “thy name’s sake”. Have mercy upon me and lift me above all of this, is the cry of David.
Psalm 109:22 “For I [am] poor and needy, and my heart is wounded within me.”
As he was in human nature, being born of poor parents, brought up in a mean manner, had not where to lay his head, and was ministered to by others. Though he was Lord of all, and immensely rich in the perfections of his nature, and in his vast empire and dominion, and the revenues arising from thence (see 2 Cor. 8:9). It may here chiefly respect his helpless and forlorn estate as man, at the time of his sufferings and death (see Psalm 40:17).
“And my heart is wounded within me”: With the sins of his people on him, with a sense of divine wrath, and when under divine desertions. Especially when his soul was exceeding sorrowful, even unto death (Matt. 26:38).
Now we all know that David was not poor as to having material things. He is speaking of the things of the spirit here. David was just about to die of a broken heart, and that is what he is asking for help with. Many of us know what it is to have a wounded spirit. Usually guilt causes us to have a broken spirit. The first step to forgiveness is having a broken heart for what we have done. Forgiveness is soon in coming when this is our condition.
Psalm 109:23 “I am gone like the shadow when it declineth: I am tossed up and down as the locust.”
When the sun is setting, and the shadow is going off; man’s life is often compared to a shadow, because it is fleeting, momentary, and soon gone (1 Chron. 29:15). And death is expressed by going the way of all flesh. And by going to the grave, the house for all living, a man’s long home (Joshua 23:14). And so is the death of Christ (Luke 22:22), it may be rendered, “I am made to go”, denoting the violent death of Christ, who was cut off out of the land of the living, and whose life was taken away from the earth (Isa. 53:8).
“I am tossed up and down as the locust”: Or “shaken out” by the wind, as the locust is by the east wind, and carried from place to place (Exodus 10:13). Or when a swarm of them by a strong wind are crowded together and thrown upon one another. Or like the grasshopper, which leaps from hedge to hedge, and has no certain abode. And such was the case of Christ here on earth. And especially it may have respect not only to his being sometimes in Judea and sometimes in Galilee, sometimes in the temple and sometimes in the mount of Olives. But to his being tossed about after his apprehension, when he was led to Annas, and then to Caiaphas, then to Pilate, then to Herod, then delivered to the soldiers, and by them led to Calvary, and crucified.
The long persecution that David had encountered had left him tossed to and fro. At this point, David felt as if all hope of getting back where he wanted to be was fading fast away.
Psalm 109:24 “My knees are weak through fasting; and my flesh faileth of fatness.”
Hunger; want of food. Strength to stand is connected with firmness in the knee-joints, and hence, weakness and feebleness are denoted by the giving way of the knees (compare Heb. 12:12).
“And my flesh faileth of fatness”: I am lean and weak. There is not the proper supply for my strength. The idea seems to have been that fatness (Hebrew, oil) was necessary to strength.
This means that the prayers David had been sending heavenward are very serious prayers. Fasting shows you mean business with God. It seems that David had fasted for an extended length of time. His strength was gone. He had actually lost a great deal of weight from this extended fast.
Psalm 109:25 “I became also a reproach unto them: [when] they looked upon me they shook their heads.”
Or they reproached him; not only in life, traducing his conversation, blaspheming his miracles, calling him a Samaritan, saying he had a devil, and charging him with sedition. But at the time of his death they reviled him, and treated him in the most opprobrious manner.
“When they looked upon me, they shook their heads”: Which was verified in the Jews as they passed by the cross of Christ, whither they came to stare upon him and scoff at him (Matt. 27:39).
It appears that they had been ridiculing David for his fasting and prayer. They had been reminding him that all this fasting and prayer was not getting an answer. Since they did not believe in God themselves, they thought what David was doing was foolish.
Psalm 109:26 “Help me, O LORD my God: O save me according to thy mercy:”
Jehovah the Father is here addressed, who is the God of Christ, as Christ is man. Who formed him, supported him, and glorified him. And whom Christ loved, believed in, obeyed and prayed unto. Nor did he pray to a God that could not hear, but to one that was able to save him from death. As a divine Person he needed no help, being the mighty God, the Most Mighty, the Almighty. But as man he did, being encompassed about with infirmities. And as Mediator help was promised him, he expected it, and he had it (Psalm 89:21).
“O save me according to thy mercy”: Or “kindness”; as before (in Psalm 109:21), from sufferings, and out of them. From death and the grave, as he was; or his people by him, who are saved not by works of righteousness, but according to the mercy of God (Titus 3:5).
The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Notice, that David calls Him (my God). David is not asking for justice for himself, but mercy. Great is the mercy of the LORD to those who love Him.
Psalm 109:27 “That they may know that this [is] thy hand; [that] thou, LORD, hast done it.”
Which inflicted vengeance, and executed judgments on Judas and the Jews, as before imprecated. So the Targum, “that they may know that this is thy stroke;” or which was concerned in all the sorrows and sufferings of the Messiah, which could never have come upon him had it not been the will of God. It was his hand and council that determined it, or men could never have effected it (see Acts 4:28). Or which wrought deliverance and salvation as before prayed for (see Psalm 118:21).
“That thou, Lord, hast done it”: One or other, or all the above things; the finger of God was to be seen in them. Particularly in the sufferings of Christ, and in his exaltation (see Acts 2:23).
David wants this answer to his prayer to be evident to these unbelievers, so they will know that God is a God of forgiveness. He not only wants the prayer answered, but for there to be no doubt in any one’s mind who answered the prayer. Secret miracles are great, but those that are evident to the unsaved world can bring many to salvation.
Psalm 109:28 “Let them curse, but bless thou: when they arise, let them be ashamed; but let thy servant rejoice.”
Let them continue to curse me, provided thou wilt bless me. I am willing to bear all these reproaches, if I may have thy favor. That favor I value infinitely more than I do theirs; and it is a small matter that I am reviled and cursed by people, if I may secure the favor and friendship of God. (See Psalm 109:17).
“When they arise”: When they rise up against me; when they attempt to persecute me.
“Let them be ashamed”: Let them be disappointed; let them not be successful in their designs against me. On the word “ashamed” (see notes on Job 6:20, and Psalm 25:2-3).
David is saying here, let them go ahead and curse him, as long as God blesses him. David does not even want the blessing of this evil one. He wants God’s blessings. When the prayer is answered and David is rejoicing, then these evil ones will be ashamed of themselves.
Psalm 109:29 “Let mine adversaries be clothed with shame, and let them cover themselves with their own confusion, as with a mantle.”
Let confusion and disappointment seem to cover them, so as to constitute a garment. See the notes at (Psalm 109:18-19). They had “clothed themselves with cursing” (Psalm 109:18), and the prayer now is, that the covering of shame might be as complete and entire.
“And let them cover themselves with their own confusion as with a mantle”: As with an outer garment, the mantle or robe, which they might wrap all round them. Let it be so abundant that they may entirely wrap their person in it. Let their confusion correspond with their sin in the fullest manner.
For those of unbelief to see a miracle is very confusing. This would also bring shame to them as well, because they had said God did not exist. If He did not exist, how did He answer this prayer? They are now consumed with confusion and have no idea what to believe. They have been proved wrong, now what do they do?
Verses 30-31: The final verse uses a phrase from verse 6, “at the right hand”, and replaces the figure of the accuser, who stands at the right hand of his victim, with the figure of God, who stands at the right hand of the needy to provide salvation.
David’s praise for the divine Magistrate (verse 30), was based on his confidence in the compassion and mercy of the judge (verse 31).
(2 Samuel 22 and Psalm 18), record the general outcome to David’s case, which was tried in God’s courtroom.
Psalm 109:30 “I will greatly praise the LORD with my mouth; yea, I will praise him among the multitude.”
I will sing abundant praises to him (compare notes at Isa. 38:20).
Yea, I will praise him among the multitude”: In the great congregation. I will publicly acknowledge his goodness and mercy (see notes at Psalm 22:25).
David will not keep silent about this. He will open his mouth wide and praise the LORD to all who will listen.
Romans 10:10 “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
It is not good to be a silent Christian. We must praise out loud the mighty works of God.
Psalm 109:31 “For he shall stand at the right hand of the poor, to save [him] from those that condemn his soul.”
Of the Messiah (as in Psalm 109:22), at whose right hand the Lord was. To guide and direct, help and assist, protect and defend (Psalm 16:8). Or of his people, who are poor in every sense; but the Lord is on their side, and is a present help in time of trouble (Psalm 46:1).
“To save him from those that condemn his soul”: The Messiah: from his judges, the High Priest and Jewish Sanhedrim, and Pilate the Roman governor, who condemned him to death. But he committed his spirit, or soul, to God, who received it, and raised his body from the dead. And would not suffer it to see corruption, as a testimony of his innocence. Or the soul of the poor saints, which the Lord saves from the condemnation of sin, Satan, the law, and their own consciences (Rom. 8:1).
Spiritual blessings come through the right side. God upholds those who are His. He helps the poor and pleads the case of the condemned that believe in Him. Jesus is our advocate with the Father.
Psalm 109 Continued Questions
- Let the iniquity of his __________ be remembered with the LORD.
- David is saying, cut off the __________ of them from the earth.
- Why did David not want these evil ones to have children and grandchildren?
- Who had this evil man not shown mercy to?
- The evil man loved ____________.
- Where does cursing originate?
- Out of the abundance of the ________, the mouth speaketh.
- What was this evil man clothed with?
- In contrast to this evil one, what do believers have flowing from their inner being?
- This _______ man is clothed in sin.
- What is a summation of David’s feelings toward this evil one?
- It is a very dangerous thing to speak evil of whom?
- The favors that David is asking, is in whose name?
- In verse 22, David says he is _______ and __________.
- Is this speaking of material things?
- What usually causes a broken spirit?
- David said he was tossed up and down as a __________.
- What had caused David’s knees to be weak?
- How long had he fasted?
- When they looked on David, what did they do?
- Why did they believe what David was doing was foolish?
- Save me according to _____ mercy.
- The effectual ____________ ___________ of a righteous man availeth much.
- What does David want in addition to the answer of his prayer?
- Miracles that are evident to the world can bring ___________.
- David says, let them go ahead and curse me, but you God, do what?
- In verse 29, David says let his adversaries be clothed with what?
- He shall stand at the right hand of the ________.
- Jesus is our ____________ with the Father.