Psalm 109 is an ‘imprecatory’ Psalm. An imprecation is a spoken curse, and in this Psalm, David prays for God to curse and destroy his enemies. The language is quite shocking (v.8-13 fatherless children, posterity cut off). Consider several things:
- The person David is praying to God about was very evil. He is described as:
- wicked, deceitful, and lying (v.2);
- hateful without any cause (v.3);
- rewarding evil for good, hatred for love (v.5);
- did not show mercy, persecuted the poor and needy, killed the heartbroken (v.16);
- loved cursing (v.17-18);
- Though David is praying to God and asking Him to curse this person, David is not taking vengeance into his own hands – revenge. There is a big difference between talking to God about our enemies, asking Him to do justice and vengeance, and taking vengeance into our hands. Only the Lord can judge and correctly punish the wicked. (Read Romans 12:17-21.)
- David is trusting the Lord to do what is right and just. The very heart and tone of this prayer are a man who is hurting and seeing others be hurt at the hands of a cruel person, yet He calls on the Lord. He trusts the Lord to do what is right and to have mercy.
Even though Psalms like this make us uncomfortable, because they seem to contradict the whole ‘love your enemies as yourself’, they do show us that God’s people are going to face and deal with some very wicked people. We live in a wicked world where great injustice is often done. And we are going to feel frustrated and angry. The key is what we do with those feelings.
When we feel angry and when we are mistreated, we need to look to the Lord, call upon Him for justice, and let Him in His time and His way deal with evildoers. Knowing that we have a Father in heaven who cares for us and looks out for us gives us confidence and peace even in the mist of difficulty.