Psalm 109: Before the Lord

I began reading Psalm 109 aloud, as I occasionally do when reading Scripture. Once I hit verse 6, that became uncomfortable:

Appoint a wicked man against him;

let an accuser stand at his right hand.

When he is tried, let him come forth guilty;

let his prayer be counted as sin!

May his days be few;

may another take his office!

May his children be fatherless

and his wife a widow!

10  May his children wander about and beg,

seeking food far from the ruins they inhabit!

11  May the creditor seize all that he has;

may strangers plunder the fruits of his toil!

12  Let there be none to extend kindness to him,

nor any to pity his fatherless children!

13  May his posterity be cut off;

may his name be blotted out in the second generation!

14  May the iniquity of his fathers be remembered before the LORD,

and let not the sin of his mother be blotted out!

15  Let them be before the LORD continually,

that he may cut off the memory of them from the earth!

Setting aside the question for now of how we should use the imprecatory psalms, I wanted to look at what verse 15 indicates. David summarizes his prayers against his enemy with the phrase “Let them be before the LORD.”

Do a word search for “before the Lord” and look at all of the entries – it’s overwhelming. Being “before the Lord” is not always a bad thing, but it is a very serious thing. Abraham is described as being before the Lord while he intercedes for Sodom (Gen. 18:22). Everything that takes place in the tabernacle is before the Lord (Exodus). The sacrifices and offerings are done before the Lord (Leviticus).

When you are before the Lord, you want to be clean (Lev. 16:30), because judgment occurs before the Lord.