Psalm 109:1-31

A prayer for help in trouble

109:1In this psalm, the writer asks God to save him from his enemies. Because his enemies do evil things, he asks God to punish them. In verses 6-19, the writer prays that God will punish his enemies. Instead, it may be that these verses are the words of the writer's enemies. These are the cruel words that they speak against him (verses 2-4).

1 You are the God that I praise.

Let me hear you speak!

2 Wicked people are saying bad things against me.

They are telling lies about me.

3 They are all round me,

and they say cruel things.

I have done nothing against them,

but they still attack me.

4 I have loved them,

but they still accuse me.

I will continue to pray for them.

109:4accuse means ‘to say that someone has done wrong things’. The word comes again in verses 6, 20 and 31. This may happen in a court, where there is a judge. The writer says that his enemies accuse him, when he has not done anything that is wrong. They are telling lies.

5 I have been kind to them,

but they do bad things to me in return.

I have loved them,

but they hate me in return.

6 Find an evil man to judge my enemy!

Put somebody at his right side to accuse him!

7 When they judge him,

show that he is guilty.

Show that even his prayers are a sin.

8 Make his life very short!

Let somebody else do the job which he did.

9 May he soon die,

so that his children have no father,

and his wife has no husband.

10 Cause his children to have no home,

so that they go from place to place,

and ask people to give them food.

11 May the people who lent money to my enemy,

take away everything that belonged to him.

Let strangers take everything

that he worked hard to get for himself.

12 Do not let anyone be kind to him.

Do not let anyone help his children,

even when they have no father.

13 Remove all the descendants in his family.

When his children die,

may nobody remember his family any more!

14 Lord, please remember his ancestors sins.

Please do not forgive his mother's sins.

15 Lord, never forget his family's sins.

May nobody on earth remember his family's name.

16 My enemy was never kind to anyone.

He was cruel to poor, weak, and helpless people.

He even caused them to die,

17 He loved to curse people.

Now may those curses happen to him!

He never asked God to bless other people,

so nobody will ask God to bless him!

18 He always cursed others,

as he always put on clothes.

So those curses have become like his food and drink.

May they go deep inside him,

like olive oil that goes into his bones.

19 Then curses will truly be his clothes.

They will be like the belt that he wears every day.

20 Yes, Lord, please punish all my enemies like that,

because they say evil things to accuse me!

21 You, Almighty Lord, must help me!

Show that your name is great.

Rescue me,

because your faithful love is good.

22 I am weak and helpless.

My heart beats fast inside me.

23 I will soon be gone,

like a shadow that disappears in the evening.

I am like an insect

that the wind blows away.

24 I am so hungry that my knees shake.

I am so thin that my bones show.

25 My enemies laugh at me!

When they see me,

they shake their heads at me.

26 Lord my God, please help me!

Please rescue me,

because of your faithful love.

27 Lord, cause my enemies to know

that you are the one who has rescued me.

28 They may curse me,

but you will bless me.

When they attack me,

they will become ashamed.

But I will be very happy,

as your servant.

29 Shame will come on my enemies.

It will cover them like a coat.

30 I will thank the Lord with a loud voice!

I will praise him,

in front of a big crowd of people.

31 He stands beside poor people,

and he is ready to help them.

When cruel people accuse a weak person,

the Lord saves that person's life.

So I will praise the Lord.