September 17, 2020 Daily Devotional

Commentator J. Clinton McCann describes Psalm 109 as "a submission to God of rage, hurt, and demand for justice." He says further:

"The Psalmist had been victimized, and when persons become victims, they are bound to react with rage. C.S. Lewis says that Psalm 109 shows 'the natural result of injuring a human being.' When persons are treated unjustly, we can expect them to lash out. We can expect them to express vehemently the desire for an end to the violence that has made them a victim. In other words, we can expect them to demand justice....When we hear Psalm 109 as a victim's appeal for justice, then 'what we thought was a poisonous yearning for vengeance sounds more like a just claim submitted to the real judge.'...The psalmist affirms that God's steadfast love means judgment upon victimizers for the sake of the victims--the poor and needy. Psalm 109 thus teaches us who God is, what God wills and does, and what God would have us do. To be instructed by Psalm 109 is to take our stand with God, which means we shall stand with the poor and needy as well."

Perhaps today, then, Psalm 109 might be our prayer for others: that where there is injustice, God's strong hand and steadfast love would rescue and deliver. Perhaps today we might also read it as a call to us: to stand on the side of those crying out for justice.

Psalm 109

1 Do not be silent, O God of my praise.

2 For wicked and deceitful mouths are opened against me, speaking against me with lying tongues.

3 They beset me with words of hate, and attack me without cause.

4 In return for my love they accuse me, even while I make prayer for them.

5 So they reward me evil for good, and hatred for my love.

6 They say, “Appoint a wicked man against him; let an accuser stand on his right.

7 When he is tried, let him be found guilty; let his prayer be counted as sin.

8 May his days be few; may another seize his position.

9 May his children be orphans, and his wife a widow.

10 May his children wander about and beg; may they be driven out of the ruins they inhabit.

11 May the creditor seize all that he has; may strangers plunder the fruits of his toil.

12 May there be no one to do him a kindness, nor anyone to pity his orphaned children.

13 May his posterity be cut off; may his name be blotted out in the second generation.

14 May the iniquity of his father be remembered before the Lord, and do not let the sin of his mother be blotted out.

15 Let them be before the Lord continually, and may his memory be cut off from the earth.

16 For he did not remember to show kindness, but pursued the poor and needy and the brokenhearted to their death.

17 He loved to curse; let curses come on him. He did not like blessing; may it be far from him.

18 He clothed himself with cursing as his coat, may it soak into his body like water, like oil into his bones.

19 May it be like a garment that he wraps around himself, like a belt that he wears every day.”

20 May that be the reward of my accusers from the Lord, of those who speak evil against my life.

21 But you, O Lord my Lord, act on my behalf for your name’s sake; because your steadfast love is good, deliver me.

22 For I am poor and needy, and my heart is pierced within me.

23 I am gone like a shadow at evening; I am shaken off like a locust.

24 My knees are weak through fasting; my body has become gaunt.

25 I am an object of scorn to my accusers; when they see me, they shake their heads.

26 Help me, O Lord my God! Save me according to your steadfast love.

27 Let them know that this is your hand; you, O Lord, have done it.

28 Let them curse, but you will bless. Let my assailants be put to shame; may your servant be glad.

29 May my accusers be clothed with dishonor; may they be wrapped in their own shame as in a mantle.

30 With my mouth I will give great thanks to the Lord; I will praise him in the midst of the throng.

31 For he stands at the right hand of the needy, to save them from those who would condemn them to death.

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