The Word Made Fresh
(For the worship leader. A psalm of David.)
1I praise you, O God.
Do not keep silence.
2Sinful and lying voices viciously speak against me.
3They set upon me with hateful words
and attack me without reason.
4They make accusations against me,
even though I have loved them and prayed for them.
5They reward my good deeds with evil,
and respond to my love with hatred.
6“Find a wicked accuser to stand beside him,” they say,
“and make charges against him.
7Put him on trial and find him guilty.
His prayers are nothing but subterfuge.
8Let him die young so that another can take his place.
9Let his children be orphaned. Let his wife be widowed.
10Let his children become wandering beggars
and cast them out of the ruins in which they reside.
11Let creditors claim everything he owns,
and strangers take over everything he has worked for.
12No one is going to treat him with kindness
or have pity on his orphaned children.
13Let his family tree come to an end
and his name be forgotten by his own children.
14May the LORD remember all the mistakes made by his father,
and let every mistake his mother made be permanently recorded.
15Let the LORD remember forever all the negative reports about him,
until there is no one left on earth who even remembers him.
16He was never kind to anyone, not even to the poor and needy,
but pursued the brokenhearted to death.
17He loved curses, so let him be cursed.
He hated blessings, so don’t bless him.
18He dressed himself with foul language,
so let it cling to his skin and down to his bones,
19like an overcoat wrapped around his body,
secured by a belt and worn every day.”
20LORD, turn all those curses back upon my accusers
and punish those who have said such wicked things about me,
21and defend me for your own name’s sake.
Your steadfast love is good, and will be my deliverance.
22I am poor, and very much in need,
and my heart aches.
23I am treated like an evening shadow
and shaken off like an insect.
24I have been fasting and my knees are weak from it,
and my body is thin and wasted.
25Those who speak ill of me treat me with scorn.
They shake their heads when they see me.
26Help me, LORD God!
Don’t abandon your love for me! Rescue me!
27Let them know that all my trials are from your hand,
for you have done this, LORD.
28So, let them curse me. I know you will reward me.
Put them to shame and gladden my heart.
29Let my accusers be dishonored,
and suffer the shame they deserve to bear.
30Then I will lift up a great thanksgiving to you, LORD,
and will praise you in full view of everyone.
31I know that you stand beside those who are in need
and that you will rescue them from being condemned to death.
Superscription: David’s 60th.
1-5: We are reminded in these verses of some of the earlier psalms in which the author was oppressed by naysayers.
6-19: This long section is an imaginary account of what his enemies wish for him.
20-25: He wishes their curses back on them, and laments his present precarious situation. Verses 22-25 seem to indicate that he is physically suffering from a wasting illness.
26-31: God is called upon to heal the author and to execute justice for his enemies. The psalm ends with the typical promise to give thanks and praise to God.
The psalmist has suffered greatly, but still gives thanks and praise to God. That’s a good lesson for us all.