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Thursday, August 11, 2016

PSALM 109

"O God of my praise,
Do not be silent!"
Our praise goes up,
His Word comes down.
O Lord do not be silent, but give us Your word. 
We have nothing apart from His word.




This psalm is in part about David with Saul as his adversary and/or with Absalom, his own son, as his adversary.  But most early Christian scholars believe it is also prophetic of Christ and His suffering and specifically concerning Judas and his betrayal and the Jews who concerted together to put Him on the cross.


Ever since Goliath taunted God's people,
David's been a little sensitive about it,
and did whatever it took to deal with it.
God ultimately took care of it.



"For they have opened the wicked and deceitful mouth against me;
They have spoken against me with a lying tongue.
They have also surrounded me with words of hatred,
And fought against me without cause.
In return for my love they act as my accusers;
But I am in prayer.
Thus they have repaid me evil for good
And hatred for my love."
(verses 2-5)

A first reading of most of this Psalm is a little scary but if read in perspective of the pure hatred that nailed God's innocent Son to the cross, even being betrayed and handed over to the powers- that-be, the Jewish council, by one of His own, Judas, it makes more sense.  The old Psalter says something like this...

"For that thung that thai sulde hafe lufed me, thai bakbited me; bot I prayed."
(For those who should have loved me, they back-bited me; but I prayed.)
or "That is, thai sulde haf lufedme for I was godson,
and thai bakbited me sayande, in Belzebub he castes out feendes;
bot I prayed for thaim."



The consequence of this betrayal fell on Judas as spoken of in Acts 1:20, but also on the Jewish nation as they were overtaken and sent out as beggars as everything they had, including the temple was destroyed.  "By banish'd Jews, who their whole wealth can lay In a small basket, on a wisp of hay." (Dryden) 

This is a picture of the whole of humanity, that though Christ died to save us from our sin, He does not promise to save us from the consequences of sin, especially those who do not repent and revel in evil ...

"Because he did not remember to show lovingkindness,
But persecuted the afflicted and needy man,
And the despondent in heart, to put them to death.
He also loved cursing, so it came to him;
And he did not delight in blessing, so it was far from him.
But he clothed himself with cursing as with his garment,
And it entered into his body like water
And like oil into his bones.
Let it be to him as a garment with which he covers himself,
And for a belt with which he constantly girds himself.
Let this be the reward of my accusers from the Lord
And of those who speak evil against my soul...
Let them curse, but You bless;
When they arise, they shall be ashamed."
(verses 16-20, 28)



As to Jesus suffering on the cross, Adam Clarke says,  "In the case of Jesus Christ all the dictates of justice and mercy were destroyed; and they persecuted this poor Man unto death.  They acted from a diabolical malice.  On common principles, their opposition in Christ cannot be accounted for." 



"Some say all the verses before "all these maledictions shall be fulfilled on my enemies...So all the opposition made by the Jews against our Lord...and they are awful examples of the wrath of God abiding on them that believe not.  But the verse "This is the work of my adversaries before the Lord: and of those who speak evil against my soul,"  That is, all that is said from the sixth verse to the twentieth are the evil words and imprecations of my enemies against my soul...let the reader remember that at the sixth verse David begins to tell how his enemies cursed him, while he prayed for them." (Adam Clarke)




"For I am afflicted and needy,
And my heart is wounded within me.
I am passing like a shadow when it lengthens...
I also have become a reproach to them;
When they see me, they wag their head.
Help me, O Lord my God;
(Christ's prayer, 'Father, save me from this hour.')
Save me according to Your lovingkindness.
And let them know that this is Your hand;
You, Lord, have done it."




"The words refer to the passion of our Lord, let them see that I suffer not on my own account;--'for the transgression of my people am I smitten'...Pilate and the Jews condemned our Lord to death as a malefactor: God shewed His immaculate innocence by His resurrection from the dead...
He went about doing good; and how often would I have gathered you...for this love they returned hatred...But, nevertheless, 'I give myself to prayer.'  'Father, forgive them; they know not...'
it was not their malice and power that brought me to this ignominious death, but that my passion, suffering, and death, proceeded from Thy hand.  By His resurrection, 'who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord.'" (Romans 1:4)



"I am shaken off like the locust."
(verse 23)


Growing up in the Midwest, plagues of locust did happen in its history, but evidence of locust were common, their sound at night orchestrating their humming with a tune-up with the crickets.  When they died, their hulls still clung by hairy claws to whatever strand of grass they could.  I was fascinated by these empty husks so light they could be blown away on a slight breeze when freed, their dried wings like the faeries. This passage could be part of the prophetic description of Christ on the cross in His passion, but He knew He would ever liveth to make intercession for our souls.  His song on earth was done, but His heavenly music swells.



"With my mouth I will give thanks abundantly to the Lord;
And in the midst of many I will praise Him.
For He stands at the right hand of the needy,
To save him form those who judge his soul."
(verse 30-31)


"From the devil and all his instruments, Christ is the all-covering shield of His Church...When we are condemned by the world, we are absolved by Christ."
(Adam Clarke)











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