1 O LORD my God, in thee do I put my trust: save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me: 2 Lest he tear my soul like a lion, rending it in pieces, while there is none to deliver.
3 O LORD my God, If I have done this; if there be iniquity in my hands;
4 If I have rewarded evil unto him that was at peace with me; (yea, I have delivered him that without cause is mine enemy:)
5 Let the enemy persecute my soul, and take it; yea, let him tread down my life upon the earth, and lay mine honour in the dust. Selah.
6 Arise, O LORD, in thine anger, lift up thyself because of the rage of mine enemies: and awake for me to the judgment that thou hast commanded.
7 So shall the congregation of the people compass thee about: for their sakes therefore return thou on high.
8 The LORD shall judge the people: judge me, O LORD, according to my righteousness, and according to mine integrity that is in me.
9 Oh let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end; but establish the just: for the righteous God trieth the hearts and reins.
10 My defence is of God, which saveth the upright in heart.
11 God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.
12 If he turn not, he will whet his sword; he hath bent his bow, and made it ready.
13 He hath also prepared for him the instruments of death; he ordaineth his arrows against the persecutors.
14 Behold, he travaileth with iniquity, and hath conceived mischief, and brought forth falsehood.
15 He made a pit, and digged it, and is fallen into the ditch which he made.
16 His mischief shall return upon his own head, and his violent dealing shall come down upon his own pate.
17 I will praise the LORD according to his righteousness: and will sing praise to the name of the LORD most high.
David begins with a declaration of his trust in God — the first place to begin in any problem or prayer, the reason we pray in the first place.
In verses 3-8 David affirms that this situation is not because of his own sin. That’s the next thing we need to think about in any trouble: are our hearts clean? Did we bring this on ourselves? David, like Job, knew that these circumstances came on him in the innocency of his heart.
As an aside, what if we can’t say that? What if we know we have done something wrong and we fear that our awful circumstances may be God’s chastening or even just the natural results of our sin? I John 1:9: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we go to God in true confession, seeking cleansing and not just an “out” for our troubles, He will cleanse us. Then we can pray for deliverance and help in confidence.
In verse 7 David seems to be appealing to the Lord’s testimony before the congregation. Sometimes our prayers for deliverance are not just for ourselves, but so that others may see God’s righteous deliverance. That was a testimony to people in David’s time and is still a testimony today through the Psalms and the OT narratives about David’s life
Oh let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end. That is an applicable prayer for our day!
God is angry with the wicked every day. I think in these days we forget this sometimes. On the other hand, there are some who over-emphasize it and blame every calamity on the wicked and God’s anger. This may seem at odds with passages like John 3:16, but it is not. God does love the world and has provided a way of salvation, but He is angry at wickedness and will deal with it, as verses 12-13 indicate.
Verses 14-16 show the consequences of wickedness that the wicked brings on himself — the sowing and reaping principle.
David ends with praise to God. So often we forget that — we want to run into the throne room and cry for help, then run off again without praising God for His righteousness (which is one basis for our appeal and our confidence).
Thank God for His righteousness, the knowledge that He will always do the right thing at the right time, and that we can cry to Him for deliverance!
You can read others’ thoughts on this passage, or feel free to join us and share your own, at Butterfly Kisses.