Scripture reading – Psalm 109; Psalm 110

Today’s Scripture reading considers two Psalms attributed to David. Psalm 109, titled “To the Chief Musician, A Psalm of David,” was intended to be a song for worship, praise, and thanksgiving to the LORD. Psalm 110 was titled “A Psalm of David.”

Both psalms are often called Messianic psalms, each carrying an immediate and prophetic application. For instance, Psalm 109 is identified by some as the “Iscariot Psalm,” noting there is much in the psalm that gives us a prophetic picture of Judas Iscariot’s betrayal of Jesus Christ, the Messiah King. Our devotional will be taken from Psalm 109.

Psalm 109 – The “Iscariot Psalm”

Psalm 109 gives us an agonizing testimony of a king who had known the sorrow and disappointment of betrayals. Like Christ, who suffered the betrayal of Judas and the denials of Peter, David suffered many disloyalties in his lifetime.

King Saul, provoked by jealousy, turned against David and would have killed him. Absalom led an insurrection against his father, and Ahithophel, one of David’s trusted advisors, betrayed him and cast in his lot with his son. Shimei, a Benjamite, cursed David and hurled stones and accusations against the king as he fled his palace in Jerusalem. For our study, I will suggest a brief outline of Psalm 109.

A Prayer for Deliverance from Enemies (Psalm 109:1-5)

The psalm began with David appealing to the LORD, saying, “Hold not thy peace” (i.e., don’t be silent, Psalm 109:1). He then described the sins of his enemies: slander, lies, deceit (Psalm 109:2), and unprovoked hatred (Psalm 109:3). As is often true in life, those whom the king loved, even some who were his closest allies, were become his adversaries (Psalm 109:4a).

What was David’s response to the cruelties and injustices he suffered? He prayed (Psalm 109:4b). He then, perhaps after honest self-examination, protested the cruelty of his enemies and said, “They have rewarded me evil for good, and hatred for my love” (Psalm 109:5).

An Imprecatory Prayer for God’s Judgment Against One’s Enemies (Psalm 109:6-20)

Having professed his integrity (Psalm 109:5), David appealed to the LORD to judge his enemies for their injustices. He prayed: Let the wicked be judged by their own and be rewarded in kind for his offenses (Psalm 109:6-7). Let his “days be few; and let another take his office” (Psalm 109:8). In a prophetic sense, this was accomplished when Judas betrayed Jesus and hanged himself (Matthew 27:5). His days were few, and thus a believer named Matthias, took his apostleship (Psalm 109:8; Acts 1:20-26).

The children and household of the wicked cannot escape the shadow of God’s judgment. Understanding wickedness begets wickedness, David prayed that the children of the wicked “be fatherless, and his wife a widow” (Psalm 109:8). Let the children of the wicked not prosper but “be continually vagabonds, and beg” (Psalm 109:10). Let the estate of the wicked fall victim to extortioners (Psalm 109:11), and their lineage cut off (Psalm 109:12-13). May their children bear the curse and judgment of their father’s sins (Psalm 109:14-15).

What manner of men are the wicked? They lack compassion for the needy and curse the innocent. They are resentful when others prosper (Psalm 109:16-17). Predictably, they fall victim to their sinful ways, and their shame is inevitably displayed for all to see (Psalm 109:18-19). David prayed that his enemy, being “them that speak evil against my soul,” would reap what they had sown. (Galatians 6:7).

A Prayer for Hope (Psalm 109:21-29)

Turning his focus from the offenses of his enemies and the injustices he suffered, David appealed to the LORD to make him the object of His mercy (Psalm 109:21). With a broken heart, David pled for compassion and confessed his unworthiness, saying, “I am poor and needy; and my heart is wounded within me” (Psalm 109:22).

The king’s sorrows made him appreciate the brevity of life, for he was reminded it is like the passing of a shadow (Psalm 109:23). Although he was king, he was the object of scorn and like those who mocked Christ when He was dying on the Cross, David’s enemies reproached him, and “shaked their heads” (Psalm 109:25).


David then called on the LORD to be merciful and that His mercies would be a testimony to his enemies (Psalm 109:26-27). He reasoned he could accept the curses of his enemies as long as he knew the LORD would bless him (Psalm 109:28). When his adversaries rose to curse him, the king prayed he would have cause to rejoice (Psalm 109:28b). When they suffered shame and confusion for their evil ways, David declared, “I will greatly praise the LORD with my mouth” (Psalm 109:30a).


Closing thoughts (Psalm 109:30-31)


Psalm 109 concluded with David resolving that though his enemies assailed him, he was confident the LORD would stand at his right hand (Psalm 109:31a; Hebrews 8:1; 10:12; 12:2) and advocate for him and save his soul from condemnation (Psalm 109:30-31).

I close today’s Bible study and remind all sincere believers that, like David, we also have the promise of an advocate and counselor. The apostle John encouraged and reminded first-century believers, “1My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2:1).

I pray someone reading this devotion will confess they are a sinner and accept Jesus Christ as their Redeemer, Savior, and Advocate. (1 John 5:13)

Copyright © 2023 – Travis D. Smith 

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