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Bible Commentaries

Hamilton Smith's Writings

Psalms 109

Verses 1-31

PSALM 109

The ways of God in connection with the path of Christ in humiliation.

Prophetically the psalm looks on to the time when the restored godly remnant of the Jews will have to face, not only Gentile enemies, as in the previous psalm, but, the hostility of the unbelieving Jews led by Antichrist.

These trials, that the Jewish remnant will have yet to meet, have already been faced by Christ in the days of His humiliation. Thus, while the psalm prophetically gives the future experiences of the remnant, it also presents the ways of God with Christ in humiliation (v. 27), according to which the wicked, energized by Satan, are allowed to speak against Christ - the holy Sufferer, who gave Himself to prayer and waited for God to speak on His behalf.

(vv. 1-5) The opening verses touchingly present experiences which were only fully entered into by Christ in humiliation. In the ways of God there came a time when God was silent, in the presence of the insults heaped by man on the One who was wholly here for the praise of God. While submitting to the trial, the holy Sufferer looks to God and waits for Him to speak on His behalf.

The guilty nation, led by the mouth of the wicked man (singular), spoke against Christ with “a lying tongue.” The lying lips that laid false charges against Christ, were moved by hearts that hated Christ. For this hatred there was no cause in Christ. In Christ there was only love that expressed itself in doing good to His enemies. In the presence of the causeless hatred of the Jew, He gave Himself to prayer; while His enemies devised evil against One whose love only called forth their hatred. Their hostility aroused no resistance from Christ: it called forth perfect submission that took all from God, and perfect dependence that carried all in prayer to God.

In the days to come, when the Jewish remnant will have to face the hostility of the nation led by Antichrist, how greatly will they be comforted, and sustained, by the realization that Christ has already trodden the path that they are called to tread.

(vv. 6-20) The verses that follow present the call for judgment on the adversaries of Christ. Judas was a special instance of the hatred that took advantage of the humility of Christ to persecute the poor and needy man, and slay the broken in heart. Hence the Spirit of God has applied expressions used in these verses to Judas (cp. Luk_22:47-48 ; Act_1:20 ). Verse 20, however, shows that it is not only an individual of outstanding wickedness that is in view, but all the “adversaries” of the Lord who have spoken evil against His soul. Doubtless, the verses have in view, not only Judas and the guilty nation in the day of Christ's humiliation, but also Antichrist and the apostate mass of the Jews under his leadership in a day yet to come.

The enemy contemplated in these verses is viewed as energized by Satan. This we know was so in the case of Judas and will be so in the person of the coming Antichrist. We learn the judgment that will come upon such. His days are cut off (v. 8); his offspring are forsaken (vv. 9-10); his possessions are lost (v. 11); he is beyond the pale of mercy (vv. 12-15).

This overwhelming judgment comes upon one that showed no mercy, that persecuted the poor and needy man, and slew the one whose heart was broken by the causeless hatred of man (v. 16). The cursing that he loved falls upon himself; the blessing that he spurned is removed far from him. The garments of cursing with which he clothed himself, he shall for ever wear (vv. 17-19).

Such will be the judgment of those who without cause spurned the love and goodness of Christ in the days when, in His humility, He became the poor and needy Man; who spoke against Him (v. 2); who lied against Him (v. 2); who fought against Him (v. 3); who rewarded Him only evil (v. 5); who persecuted Him, and at last “slew the broken in heart” (v. 16).

(vv. 21-29) The call for judgment on the adversaries is followed by a prayer to God to act on behalf of the godly. The prayer opens with the highest plea - the maintenance of what is due to God's Name. Then follows the plea of the exceeding need of the godly soul (vv. 22-25). The very need that gave vile men the occasion to persecute calls forth the delivering mercy of God (cp. vv. 16 and 20).

A third plea for help is that it may be made manifest that these sorrows have been allowed of the Lord, and that His hand is declared in salvation. All is permitted of God in His wonderful ways with Christ, that the godly may be blessed (v. 28), and the adversaries be put to shame (v. 29).

(vv. 30-31) The closing verses anticipate the result of God's intervention. Not only will Christ celebrate the praise of Jehovah, but He will become the Leader of the praise among the multitude of God's people. Satan may stand at the right hand of the wicked to persecute the godly in humiliation: Jehovah is at the right hand of the poor to “save him from those that condemn his soul.”

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Bibliographical Information
Smith, Hamilton. "Commentary on Psalms 109". "Hamilton Smith's Writings". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/hsw/psalms-109.html. 1832.