Wasn’t That Excessive?
“Well, wasn’t that excessive?”
That is what I said to myself when I read this passage.
Someone David loved now hated him and had rewarded the kindness of David with betrayal.
Psalm 109:5 And they have rewarded me evil for good, And hatred for my love.
I don’t know what this fella did to David but it must have been very serious since David asked God to judge him so severely.
Psalm 109:6 Set thou a wicked man over him: And let Satan stand at his right hand.
Here David asks for the Lord to let Satan stand at this traitor’s right hand. What does that mean?
Remember, the word “satan” means “adversary”. The adversary is a repeated theme, found 3 other times in this Psalm.
Psalm 109:4 For my love they are my adversaries: but I give myself unto prayer.
Psalm 109:20 Let this be the reward of mine adversaries from the Lord, and of them that speak evil against my soul.
Psalm 109:29 Let mine adversaries be clothed with shame, and let them cover themselves with their own confusion, as with a mantle.
David could be asking for his adversary to have an adversary of his own and then taste some of his own bad medicine. Another option could be that he is asking for a prosecutor to charge the man for his crimes.
It seems to be a reference to the Satan himself. Could the psalmist be referring to the old Devil standing in the courtroom of God where the Scriptures call him the “accuser of the brethren”?
Revelation 12:10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
That old Devil practices entrapment, he pushes his victims to sin and then points out what they have done. The saved have an advocate that defends us against those accusations, Jesus Christ.
1 John 2:1 My 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:
Could David be praying that this traitor not have the Lord’s defense against Satan’s accusations and attacks? If so, doesn’t that seem excessive?
David prays that the prayer of his adversary be treated as sin in verse 7.
Psalm 109:7 When he shall be judged, let him be condemned: And let his prayer become sin.
Doesn’t asking God to ignore someone’s prayers seem excessive?
Psalm 109:8 Let his days be few; And let another take his office.
Woah, did David just pray for someone to die? To ask that his days be cut short and someone else to take his job sure seems excessive, right?
Psalm 109:9-10 9Let his children be fatherless, And his wife a widow. 10Let his children be continually vagabonds, and beg: Let them seek their bread also out of their desolate places.
Ok, hold on, we have reached an even higher level of excessive. David prays for his adversary’s children to be without a father and for his wife to be a widow. He goes so far as to request them to have to beg. I don’t know what this dude did to David but it certainly must have been excessive!
Well, let’s answer the question, was this excessive?
I don’t if it was excessive but I know but it was honest!
The Psalms certainly present a level of honesty with the Lord that few put to practice in their prayers. I am increasingly more convinced that we should tell our Father what we are feeling and thinking without holding back and then let him have a baseline in which to begin his work within us.
I don’t know if it was excessive but it may have been.
It helps to remember that David was a military man leading armies in life or death situations. A betrayal against this leader could potentially result in hundreds or thousands of deaths. Justice leveled against this adversary could potentially prevent lots of damage. We do not fully understand the situation or this man’s crimes but it would not be far fetched to think that an evil man would be a bad father and husband. It is likely that his family would be better off destitute rather than live under his influence.
I don’t know if this prayer for extreme justice was excessive but there is one thing I do know.
I know that the Apostle Peter applied verse 8 from this passage to Judas Iscariot who betrayed our Lord.
Acts 1:20 For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take.
Now here is something amazing, on the night of his betrayal Jesus girded himself and washed all of the disciple’s dirty feet, even the most filthy of them all, those of Judas covered with the dirt from his trip to set up his treachery. Jesus showed grace to the very one he knew had already sold him out, isn’t that kind of love excessive?
Like David, I want to be more honest with my prayers but like my Lord I want to be excessive dealing out mercy, how about ya’ll?