Psalm 109:22 For I am poor and needy, and my heart is wounded within me.
This is a Psalm from a few days ago, but wanted to share some thoughts on it. Most of the Psalms we have read is very encouraging, but there are some that are just brutally honest. This is such a Psalm. David begins this Psalm with praise and with prayer. He says “I am a man of prayer.” But when he begins to prays, it’s ugly, and it’s harsh. David prays that his enemies would soon die, leaving his children fatherless and his wife a widow. He prays for his children to be homeless beggars. He prays for his children’s children to be blotted out. He prays that God would always remember their sins and no kindness would ever be extended to him and his future descendants. Wow. And David was a man after God’s own heart? I don’t see it here. It seems to be in total opposition to God’s heart.
God’s heart for his enemies is so much different. Can you imagine an enemy greater than the Jews and Romans that crucified Jesus? And yet when he prays for them, he prays “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” That is God’s heart. Just a few Psalms earlier we read that the “LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities (103:8-10).” He removes and does not remember our transgressions. That is God’s heart. And yet David here asks that God will always remember their sins for generations.
We may wonder how David’s heart can be so hard, and far from God’s heart, especially when he himself experienced the kindness and forgiveness of God. The answer to me is verse 22, when he says “my heart is wounded within me.” His heart is far from being like God’s heart, because his heart is wounded. He has been wounded deeply by one who he thought was a friend. Few wounds go deeper than the wounds of betrayal from one you love. In light of his wounded heart, I can understand why his prayers are so ugly and harsh.
The beauty of the Psalms is that God allows him to pray these prayers. I don’t think God will answer them. As soon as his enemy is ready to repent, God will not remember his sins, as he did not remember David’s sins. If God can forgive the Ninevites when they repented, God will forgive David’s and our enemies. He will extend kindness and grace to ALL who seek Him. But God is also close to the brokenhearted and to the wounded. So even if David’s prayer is far from God’s heart, God is close to David’s wounded heart.
And just as David is allowed to pray in such anger and anguish, we are allowed to pray freely. He sees the heart behind our prayers. And though he may not always answer us the way we want to, He always hears us. He always hears us. The most important thing God can do for David’s wounded heart, and for our wounded heart is to heal our hearts. Go to Him now, with your wounded heart and let your Abba Father hold you and heal you. That is God’s heart.