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Matthew Henry's Commentary – Verses 1–5
Verses 1–5

It is the unspeakable comfort of all good people that, whoever is against them, God is for them, and to him they may apply as to one that is pleased to concern himself for them. Thus David here.

I. He refers himself to God’s judgment (Ps. 109:1): “Hold not thy peace, but let my sentence come forth from thy presence, Ps. 17:2. Delay not to give judgment upon the appeal made to thee.” God saw what his enemies did against him, but seemed to connive at it, and to keep silence: “Lord,” says he, “do not always do so.” The title he gives to God is observable: “O God of my praise! the God in whom I glory, and not in any wisdom or strength of my own, from whom I have every thing that is my praise, or the God whom I have praised, and will praise, and hope to be for ever praising.” He had before called God the God of his mercy (Ps. 59:10), here he calls him the God of his praise. Forasmuch as God is the God of our mercies we must make him the God of our praises; if all is of him and from him, all must be to him and for him.

II. He complains of his enemies, showing that they were such as it was fit for the righteous God to appear against. 1. They were very spiteful and malicious: They are wicked; they delight in doing mischief (Ps. 109:2); their words are words of hatred, Ps. 109:3. They had an implacable enmity to a good man because of his goodness. “They open their mouths against me to swallow me up, and fight against me to cut me off if they could.” 2. They were notorious liars; and lying comprehends two of the seven things which the Lord hates. “They are deceitful in their protestations and professions of kindness, while at the same time they speak against me behind my back, with a lying tongue.” They were equally false in their flatteries and in their calumnies. 3. They were both public and restless in their designs; “They compassed me about on all sides, so that, which way soever I looked, I could see nothing but what made against me.” 4. They were unjust; their accusations of him, and sentence against him, were all groundless: “They have fought against me without a cause; I never gave them any provocation.” Nay, which was worst of all, 5. They were very ungrateful, and rewarded him evil for good, Ps. 109:5. Many a kindness he had done them, and was upon all occasions ready to do them, and yet he could not work upon them to abate their malice against him, but, on the contrary, they were the more exasperated because they could not provoke him to give them some occasion against him (Ps. 109:4): For my love they are my adversaries. The more he endeavoured to gratify them the more they hated him. We may wonder that it is possible that any should be so wicked; and yet, since there have been so many instances of it, we should not wonder if any be so wicked against us.

III. He resolves to keep close to his duty and take the comfort of that: But I give myself unto prayer (Ps. 109:4), I prayer (so it is in the original); “I am for prayer, I am a man of prayer, I love prayer, and prize prayer, and practise prayer, and make a business of prayer, and am in my element when I am at prayer.” A good man is made up of prayer, gives himself to prayer, as the apostles, Acts 6:4. When David’s enemies falsely accused him, and misrepresented him, he applied to God and by prayer committed his cause to him. Though they were his adversaries for his love, yet he continued to pray for them; if others are abusive and injurious to us, yet let not us fail to do our duty to them, nor sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for them, 1 Sam. 12:23. Though they hated and persecuted him for his religion, yet he kept close to it; they laughed at him for his devotion, but they could not laugh him out of it. “Let them say what they will, I give myself unto prayer.” Now herein David was a type of Christ, who was compassed about with words of hatred and lying words, whose enemies not only persecuted him without cause, but for his love and his good works (John 10:32); and yet he gave himself to prayer, to pray for them. Father, forgive them.