King David’s relationship with the LORD and position in God’s kingdom entitled him to constant protection from his enemies. David prayed, “Let them be ashamed and confounded that seek after my soul: Let them be turned backward, and put to confusion, that desire my hurt” (Psalm 70:2). Although David had many enemies on earth, he also had spiritual enemies because of the work he was doing to establish God’s eternal kingdom and the birth of his Messiah.
The word translated hurt, ra‘ (rah) which means bad or evil (7451) is derived from the word ra‘a‘ (raw – ah´) which also means evil, but is properly translated as to spoil, literally by breaking into pieces and figuratively to make or be good for nothing (7489). Satan did not want David to establish and unify God’s kingdom on earth because it was his territory so to speak. After he enticed Eve to sin in the Garden of Eden, Satan was given temporary reign over the earth until the Messiah came and overpowered him.
The word ra‘ combines together in one the wicked deed and its consequences. It generally indicates the rough exterior of wrongdoing as a breach of harmony, and as breaking up what is good and desirable in man and in society. While the prominent characteristic of the godly is lovingkindness (2617), one of the most marked features of the ungodly man is that his course is an injury to both himself and to everyone around him (7451).
Part of life on earth is the inevitability of being hurt. Because Satan is alive and well on planet earth, there is no way to escape evil. Peter said, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
David said in Psalm 69, “Because for thy sake I have borne reproach; shame hath covered my face” (Psalm 69:7). David may have felt like he had a target on his back because of the frequency of his troubling situations. No doubt he was a marked man and Satan was behind most of David’s trials and tribulations. In spite of the difficulty David experienced, David knew that God loved him and was aware of everything that happened to him.
David said, “Thou hast known my reproach, and my shame, and my dishonor: Mine adversaries are all before thee. Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: And I looked for some to take pity, but there was none” (Psalm 69:19-20). The word translated reproach, cherpâh (kher – paw´) means disgrace (2761) and is derived from the word châraph (khaw – raf´) which means to pull off and by implication “to expose (as by stripping)” (2778).
I think one of the most disgraceful things that can happen to a person is to be raped. There is something about being stripped of your clothes that makes you feel vulnerable and at the mercy of your attacker. In the gospel of John, it says that “the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments” (John 19:23). The Greek word translated took, lambano is sometimes used to denote the violent act of seizing or removing something. In essence, what this verse is stating is that Jesus was stripped of his clothing after he was nailed to the cross. He experienced the humiliation of being exposed publicly. He was taunted and insulted and made to feel worthless in the eyes of his followers.
When David said, “Thou hast known my reproach, and my shame, and my dishonor” (Psalm 69:19), he was probably talking about the LORD seeing what was going on in his life. Today we know that Jesus had a similar experience and could relate to David based on his own reproach, shame, and dishonor. It is possible that David was writing prophetically when he said, “Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness” (Psalm 69:20) because in Psalm 69:21 it says, “They gave me gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink,” something that Jesus experienced when he was on the cross.
People that have not been raped or experienced any other kind of reproach or type of dishonor may wonder why Jesus died on a cross. For those of us that have experienced rape, we know that he died such a death so that he could understand our pain and suffering in a more intimate and personal way. Because I know that Jesus understands what I went through, being raped doesn’t hurt quite so much.