Psalm 109 (Psalms on the Trail)

Psalm 109

“O God of my praise, do not be silent!”  Psalm 109:1

“Silence is frightening, an intimation of the end, the graveyard of fixed identities. Real silence puts any present understanding to shame; orphans us from certainty; leads us beyond the well-known and accepted reality and confronts us with the unknown and previously unacceptable conversation about to break in upon our lives.”  So says the poet David Whyte in his book “Consolations.”

I was having lunch with my brother last week, and our discussion delved into the how the psalms are not rules for life but simply an outpouring of prayer and wrestling in a relationship with God. The psalmist here is lamenting God’s silence in a dire situation which she describes.  She then goes on to rain down curses on the enemy who caused the situation, which includes rejoicing that the enemy’s children will be orphaned if all the psalmist hopes for comes to pass.  I say this not to judge, because I truly believe that there is a place for utter honesty with God.

But that doesn’t mean that God doesn’t cherish our honesty with silence.  What if God’s silence is not ignoring us while we yell all the louder and hope we can finally grab God’s attention? What if God calls our spiritual hearts to attention by the silence?  Makes us uncomfortable enough to confront the violence of what we are actually saying?  Leads us to step into the unknown and hear a “previously unacceptable conversation,” as Whyte says, and learn a new perspective?  What if God can bring about transformation and “break in upon our lives” by simply remaining silent for a while?


1. Take this verse with you and ponder its meaning for you throughout the day.  What do you notice?  What do you wonder?  Has God’s or a person’s silence ever invited you to stop and reflect in a good way?

2. Or read all of Psalm 109 and see where these verses fit in.  

3. Or comment with a photo of your own that is a window of this verse’s meaning for you.

Tomorrow’s psalm will be Psalm 110:3.

Starting January 1, 2016, for 150 days I am posting a daily psalm verse with a photo that is a visual meditation on the text for me.  Each day a verse from the next psalm is chosen until all 150 psalms have been featured.   To participate you may subscribe to my blog at or “friend” me on Facebook and watch for the daily links to blog posts.  Disclaimer:  I am not a photographer and most of the photos are from a cell phone or small camera while hiking the Appalachian Trail or the C&O Canal/Great Allegheny Passage Trail.


  1. Good food for thought….