King David’s depression: Psalm 109 study on verbal abuses:
King David expresses the mental and emotional anguish of a person oppressed by verbal abuses. The weapons they use are words. Lies and slanders. Accusations. Hate crimes. This is done by people whom David has considered his friends. They have turned against him for no legitimate reasons.
How does David defend himself against such verbal abuses? David prays.
My God, whom I praise, do not remain silent, for people who are wicked and deceitful have opened their mouths against me; they have spoken against me with lying tongues. With words of hatred they surround me; they attack me without cause. In return for my friendship they accuse me, but I am a man of prayer. They repay me evil for good, and hatred for my friendship. (1-5)
In 1-5, 16-19 We read that the enemy was wicked, deceitful, and spoke against David with lying tongues. The wicked never thought of doing kindness, hounded to death the poor, needy, brokenhearted, loved to pronounce curses and never blessed.
David asks the Lord to do to his enemy what the enemy does to others. In 8-20 David prays against his enemy. He cannot stop his accuser from smearing him with verbal abuses and wrongful accusations, so he turns to God for help.
Appoint someone evil to oppose my enemy; let an accuser stand at his right hand. When he is tried, let him be found guilty, and may his prayers condemn him. (6-7) “May this be the Lord’s payment to my accusers, to those who speak evil of me.” (20)
David speaks of how the accuser’s verbal abuses do hurt him, and how his mental anguish has affected and caused sicknesses and suffering to his physical body.
But you, Sovereign Lord, help me for your name’s sake; out of the goodness of your love, deliver me. For I am poor and needy, and my heart is wounded within me. I fade away like an evening shadow; I am shaken off like a locust. My knees give way from fasting; my body is thin and gaunt. I am an object of scorn to my accusers; when they see me, they shake their heads. (21-25)
David knows and believes that God can turn the curses from his enemy into blessing. The enemy’s curses will no longer have any effect on him. Instead God will vindicate him.
Help me, Lord my God; save me according to your unfailing love. Let them know that it is your hand, that you, Lord, have done it. While they curse, may you bless; may those who attack me be put to shame, but may your servant rejoice. May my accusers be clothed with disgrace and wrapped in shame as in a cloak. (26-29)
David knows one truth: God is always on his side. If God is for us who can be against us? This is David’s key to success. He overcomes his depression by his re-focus on God and no longer on the enemy. He witnesses God and not the enemy.
With my mouth I will greatly extol the Lord; in the great throng of worshippers I will praise him. For he stands at the right hand of the needy, to save the lives from those who would condemn them. (30-31)
David is a man of God. Here is another example of his declaration of his unwavering conviction and faith in God: “Give us aid against the enemy, for human help is worthless. With God we will gain the victory, and he will trample down our enemies.” (Psalm 108:12-13)
What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies.