Help Me, O Lord
by John D. Morris, Ph.D.
“Help me, O LORD my God: O save me according to thy mercy: That they may know that this is thy hand; that thou, LORD, hast done it.” (Psalm 109:26-27)
There is disagreement as to the proper interpretation of this psalm of David. Its center section (vv. 6-20) consists of a strong denunciation and curse, while the beginning and ending sections petition God for judgment and deliverance (vv. 1-5, 21-31).
Most hold that David is speaking in both sections. If so, it is a bitter and vindictive spirit finding vent. “Let Satan stand at his right hand. . . . let his prayer become sin. Let his days be few. . . . Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow. Let his children be continually vagabonds, and beg: . . . Let the extortioner catch all that he hath. . . . Let there be none to extend mercy unto him” (vv. 6-12).
Others would claim that David is quoting the curse of his enemy directed toward him and point to the use of the singular personal pronouns “he,” “his,” and “him” used 30 times in 15 verses. Indeed, if this is the proper interpretation, the psalm becomes the plea of a persecuted man of God who entrusts his enemies’ judgment entirely to the Lord. “But do thou for me, Oh GOD the Lord, for thy name’s sake: because thy mercy is good, deliver thou me. For I am poor and needy, and my heart is wounded within me. . . . I became also a reproach unto them. . . . Let them curse. . . . I will greatly praise the LORD with my mouth; yea, I will praise him among the multitude. For he shall stand at the right hand of the poor, to save him from those that condemn his soul” (Psalm 109:21-22, 25, 28, 30-31).
Like his master who had come after him, “when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously” (1 Peter 2:23). JDM