This section of the Psalms has no shortage
of laments and even though I am an optimist, I can appreciate the realistic
nature the Scriptures presents. Life is
not a bed of roses, is it? Sometimes we
feel really outnumbered, outclassed, outgunned, and just plain “outed”. If we’re not in one of those times right now,
hang on. It’s coming. Paul reminds, however, “…our struggle is not
against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities,
against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil
in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12).
David seemed to recognize this as well:
there was something happening here that was beyond him and it was overwhelming. David writes in the first five verses:
1Hear me, my God, as I
voice my complaint; protect my life from the threat of the enemy. 2Hide
me from the conspiracy of the wicked, from the plots of evildoers. 3They
sharpen their tongues like swords and aim cruel words like deadly arrows. 4They
shoot from ambush at the innocent; they shoot suddenly, without fear. 5They
encourage each other in evil plans, they talk about hiding their snares; they
say, “Who will see it?” 6They plot injustice and say,
devised a perfect plan!”
Surely the human mind and heart are
Verse 1 serves as both an introduction and
summary of verses 2-6: David asks the Lord to “protect my life…”. The Hebrew word translated “protect” means “to
watch or keep guard of”.1 David is
asking the Lord to set up a watch tower over his life and preserve it by His
power. Now, that’s a request!
In their conspiracy (verses 2-6), they
prided themselves in the perfection of their wicked plots as they lay in ambush
for God’s faithful servant. Prepared
for battle, they brag to each other about the brilliance of their scheming.
This battle hasn’t stopped. Satan is still enticing people to attack the
righteous. The wicked still wait in
hidden places for the perfect opportunity to strike. David’s last sentence strikes a grim
the human mind and heart are cunning.”
David, however, doesn’t stop with
lamentations. Instead, he turns his
lamentation into a light at the end of the tunnel! Look at how he ends this Psalm:
7But God will shoot them
with his arrows;
they will suddenly be struck down.
8He will turn their own
tongues against them and bring them to ruin;
all who see them will shake their heads in
9All people will fear;
they will proclaim the works of God
and ponder what he has done.
10The righteous will
rejoice in the Lord and take refuge in him;
all the upright in heart will glory in
Just as suddenly as the evil pounce on the
righteous, so will the Lord suddenly bring his judgment. Indeed, David understood the words of the
Lord well in Deuteronomy 32:35: “it is Mine to avenge; I will repay.” The
Lord would foil the plans of the wicked by turning their own plans against
them! As a result of this turn of
events, those who wish to harm God’s people in general (and David in specific)
the works of God and ponder what he has done.”
David finishes this psalm by reminding those
who are righteous to rejoice and take refuge in the Lord. He is good to His kids and protects them. This doesn’t mean problems won’t happen. This doesn’t mean that people won’t say bad
things about us, but it does mean that we are able to see past the
circumstances and see the God Who reigns in absolute control over all of it.
1Wilhelm Gesenius and
Samuel Prideaux Tregelles, Gesenius’
Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament Scriptures (Bellingham, WA:
Logos Research Systems, Inc, 2003), 563.
The Lord is a PRETTY good place to take refuge.
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