“May his days be few; may another take his place of leadership.”
Explanation and Commentary of Psalm 109:8
This Psalm of David is born out of the great distress of the author, who seems to have been falsely accused and attacked. If verse 8 sounds harsh, it is nothing compared to the curses in the rest of the Psalm. Along with Psalm 69:25, the Church refers to Judas with these verses when they decide to replace him in the twelve apostles.
It is Jesus’ influence on the world and on our hearts that causes us to wince at the words of Psalm 109. He taught in no uncertain terms that God is love and that he is merciful. He also taught us that we should extend mercy to others, even our enemies (Mt 5:44).
But the beauty of the Psalms for the Christian is that they not only express a full range of emotion, but they also express the heart of God toward evil. While it is most appropriate when praying one’s own words to pray for blessing for our persecutors, it is also appropriate to pray this Psalm, because it is a prayer for justice that comes from the mouth of God. We can pray for justice against our enemies, who we can also love and bless. It is God’s job to judge and bring calamity. Praying the Psalms is the only way to pray for that sort of justice while also protecting our own hearts from the bitterness of unforgiveness and vengefulness.
Those who take issue with God’s justice and wrath will not be able to accept that there is a hell for wrongdoers who die in unbelief. But God is Holy and awesome. Along with his perfect love and mercy is perfect justice and holiness. If evil is not punished on the cross of Christ, the person who commits evil will face his own punishment. Put your faith in Jesus, and all your sins will be paid for by Jesus.
Breaking Down the Key Parts of Psalm 109:8
#1 “May his days be few;”
The Psalmist is asking that God take the life of the evil accuser. It is also right to consider that when the Christian prays this prayer he is cursing satan. And indeed, “May his days be few.” The Christian puts all vengeance on God’s shoulders and leaves none of it on his own when he prays this kind of Psalm.
#2 “may another take his place of leadership.”
The apostles quoted this when they decided to replace Judas with Matthias, seeing in Judas’ act of treachery a similarity to Psalm 109 and 69. If God has placed leaders in positions who become corrupt, we should hope that he will replace them with men and women after his own heart (1 Sam 13:14).
Expert Overview of Psalms
Biblical Translations of Psalm 109:8
May his days be few; may another take his place of leadership.
Let his years be few; let someone else take his position.
May his days be few; may another take his office!
Let his days be few; and let another take his office.
Let his days be few, And let another take his office.
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Master's Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years.