In his prayer, the psalmist feels alone. The only people around him are enemies. There is no reason for them to hate him or hurt him. They are fierce and dangerous people. They would like to tear him apart, like a lion attacking its prey.
He finds no reason for this persecution. He has treated his friends with kindness and has even been generous to those who hate him. He calls upon God to help him. He would have God gather the people before the divine throne and pass judgment. He is confident that God will find him innocent and punish the wicked.
There are some graphic images of the evil man: “He who conceived iniquity and was pregnant with mischief,/ brings forth failure. He has opened a hole, he has dug it deep,/ but he falls into the pit which he has made.” Convinced that God takes care of him, the psalmist promises that he will give thanks and praise to God.
Jesus could have prayed this psalm many times in his life. Not only did his enemies persecute him, but even his friends abandoned him. He must have often felt alone. His agony in the garden, his trial, his scourging, the crowning with thorns, the crucifixion were times of particular pain and abandonment. Yet, he forgave his enemies. By dying and rising, he gave glory to God and offered salvation to the world.
As we pray this psalm with Jesus or rather as he prays this psalm in us, we can deal with the hurts caused by enemies and abandonment by friends. We can face all the evils in our individual lives and the horrors of our world today. We can thank God that, through it all, God will always be with us.
******Feature photo: luigi diamanti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net