Psalm 109


In this psalm, David calls upon God to deal with all those who are verbally attacking him, but as we go through the psalm, we begin to see that whoever is attacking him, God’s anointed king over Israel, is actually attacking God Himself.


‘For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.’

Although the headings aren’t inspired by God, they are important because they give us some understanding of the Psalm and they help us to see why it was written. The headings usually tell us four things.

1. Who wrote them, probably wrote them or possibly wrote them.

2. Information about the historical background to the Psalm. Why it was written.

3. They tell us of the tune the Psalm was written to.

4. How it was used.

The heading tells us that this was written for the director of music. Some commentators believe that the ‘director of music’ is God Himself and others believe that it is a song leader who led choirs or musicians, 1 Chronicles 6:33 / 1 Chronicles 16:17 / 1 Chronicles 25:6. The heading also tells us this is a psalm of David.

‘My God, whom I praise, do not remain silent, for people who are wicked and deceitful have opened their mouths against me; they have spoken against me with lying tongues. With words of hatred they surround me; they attack me without cause. In return for my friendship they accuse me, but I am a man of prayer. They repay me evil for good, and hatred for my friendship.’ Psalm 109:1-5

David begins by asking the God he praises not to remain silent. His enemies aren’t using swords to attack him, but words, deceitful words against him.

Words which were used to falsely accuse David of things he hadn’t done or words which would attack his character. He asks God not to remain silent, because he doesn’t want his enemies to have the last word.

His enemy’s hatred towards him is seen in their lies and they are attacking him without cause, that is, with no real reason, Psalm 35:7 / Psalm 69:4 / John 15:25.

All David wanted to do to his enemies was to offer them friendship, Romans 12:20-21, but in return, they falsely accused him of all kinds of evil. This is typical behaviour of those who want to take over and gain all the power from someone else.

Despite doing good to his enemies and they pay him back with evil, Despite offering friendship to his enemies, they offer hatred. It’s an incredible thought, that even though David’s enemies wanted nothing but his destruction, David prayed for them, Matthew 5:11-12 / Luke 23:34.

‘Appoint someone evil to oppose my enemy; let an accuser stand at his right hand. When he is tried, let him be found guilty, and may his prayers condemn him. May his days be few; may another take his place of leadership. May his children be fatherless and his wife a widow. May his children be wandering beggars; may they be driven from their ruined homes. May a creditor seize all he has; may strangers plunder the fruits of his labour. May no one extend kindness to him or take pity on his fatherless children. May his descendants be cut off, their names blotted out from the next generation. May the iniquity of his fathers be remembered before the LORD; may the sin of his mother never be blotted out. May their sins always remain before the LORD, that he may blot out their name from the earth. For he never thought of doing a kindness but hounded to death the poor and the needy and the broken-hearted. He loved to pronounce a curse—may it come back on him. He found no pleasure in blessing—may it be far from him. He wore cursing as his garment; it entered into his body like water, into his bones like oil. May it be like a cloak wrapped about him, like a belt tied forever around him. May this be the LORD’s payment to my accusers, to those who speak evil of me.’ Psalm 109:6-20

David now asks God to help him by bringing judgment upon those who were falsely accusing him with deceitful words. He wants God to raise up someone to oppose his enemy, someone who would accuse them at their right hand. In other words, he wants his enemy to be in a hopeless situation with no one to defend them.

Notice how David also speaks of his enemy as an individual, Peter quoted Psalm 109:8 in Acts 1:20, when he was condemning Judas. If his enemy were in a courtroom, they would be found guilty, in other words, David is requesting that one of the same characters, a perverse accuser, be his adviser.

Because of David’s enemies’ slanderous attacks against the righteous leader, the prayers of the slanderous person were sinful in that they were spoken from an ungodly heart.

If David’s enemy dies young, then that would mean his children would become orphans and his wife would be a widower. His children who would be fatherless suffer great poverty and they would live as though they were cursed, that is, their names would be blotted out.

David also asks that his enemy’s descendant’s sins be held against them and that God would never forget their sins, Exodus 20:5 / Romans 5:12-21.

David asks that no mercy should be shown, either to him or his family, this is not only because of the way they were treating David but also because of the way they treated the poor and needy.

His enemy never even thought of showing kindness, not only to the poor and needed but also to the brokenhearted, which in itself is totally opposite to how God treats the brokenhearted, Psalm 34:18 / Psalm 51:17.

His enemy loved to pronounce a curse and David asks God that his enemy reap what he was sowing, 1 Peter 5:5 / Job 29:14. David’s enemies found no pleasure in blessing people, rather they found it more enjoyable to curse people. David wants them to be dressed in their own curses.

All these curses are what David asked God to bring down on his enemies, those who were deceitful in their false accusations again him, Leviticus 19:13.

David appears to be content to leave the matter in God’s hand for Him to deal with at His appointed time.

‘But you, Sovereign LORD, help me for your name’s sake; out of the goodness of your love, deliver me. For I am poor and needy, and my heart is wounded within me. I fade away like an evening shadow; I am shaken off like a locust. My knees give way from fasting; my body is thin and gaunt. I am an object of scorn to my accusers; when they see me, they shake their heads. Help me, LORD my God; save me according to your unfailing love. Let them know that it is your hand, that you, LORD, have done it.’ Psalm 109:21-27

David knew he couldn’t deal with his enemies on his own, he knows he needs God’s help. He asks for help on the basis of God’s Name and because of God’s love, Daniel 9:18-19. In other words, he wanted God to have all the glory for delivering him.

All those lies and false accusations from his enemies are having a negative effect on David. Earlier David says that his enemies were treating the poor and needy and the broken-hearted badly, and here David says that’s exactly how he is feeling, poor, needy and broken-hearted.

Physically he felt he was wasting away like an evening shadow and as a result, of his fasting. He had spent so much time fasting that he was physically weak, his fasting shows us how desperate he is to be delivered from his enemies, Hebrews 12:12.

Because David is so weak, his enemies are trying to take advantage of his physical state. We can almost imagine his enemies looking down at David and shaking their heads in pity and disgust as they pass by, Psalm 22:7 / Matthew 27:39.

No wonder David asks God to help him according to God’s unfailing love, Matthew 15:21-25. David wants all his enemies to have no doubts that it was God who delivered him from his enemy’s hands. It was nothing to do with David and what he did, the glory belongs to God and God alone.

‘While they curse, may you bless; may those who attack me be put to shame, but may your servant rejoice. May my accusers be clothed with disgrace and wrapped in shame as in a cloak. With my mouth I will greatly extol the LORD; in the great throng of worshipers I will praise him. For he stands at the right hand of the needy, to save their lives from those who would condemn them.’ Psalm 109:28-31

David knows that his enemies’ curses could never defeat God’s blessings and when his enemies come to understand that, they would be put to shame, Job 6:20 / Psalm 25:2-3, and David would rejoice.

When his enemies come to understand that their curses could never defeat God’s blessings, his enemies would be clothed in disgrace and end up wearing shame like a cloak.

InOn the day when his enemies are disgraced and clothed with shame, David says he will greatly extol the Lord, in other words, he will give God all the credit for delivering him, and he will do it publicly, Psalm 22:25 / Isaiah 38:20.

He will praise God because He stands at the right hand of the needy, in other words, God is their strength and He will save them from the hands of those who sought to condemn them.


In this psalm, David spoke about those who were falsely accusing him of doing and saying things he had never done. There’s nothing more painful than being accused of something we haven’t done and just like David, those accusations make us feel lonely and very vulnerable to even more attacks from those who accuse us.

As Christians when we’re being falsely accused of something, there are a few things we can do to help ourselves.

1. Remember Jesus knows what it is like to be falsely accused, Luke 23:2-3.

2. Remember Jesus understands and sympathises with us, Hebrews 4:15.

3. Remember God will fight for us and will have the last word, all we need to do is be silent, Exodus 14:14.

4. Remember not to take matters into our own hands, leave vengeance to God, Romans 12:18-19.

5. Remember to count it all as joy, and we will be stronger by the time it’s over, James 1:2-4.

Go To Psalm 110