Psalms Sundays are hosted by Erica of Butterfly Kisses.
Prayer for Deliverance from Enemies.
For the choir director; set to Al-tashheth. A Mikhtam of David, when Saul sent men and they watched the house in order to kill him.
1 Deliver me from mine enemies, O my God: defend me from them that rise up against me.
2 Deliver me from the workers of iniquity, and save me from bloody men.
3 For, lo, they lie in wait for my soul: the mighty are gathered against me; not for my transgression, nor for my sin, O LORD.
4 They run and prepare themselves without my fault: awake to help me, and behold.
5 Thou therefore, O LORD God of hosts, the God of Israel, awake to visit all the heathen: be not merciful to any wicked transgressors. Selah.
6 They return at evening: they make a noise like a dog, and go round about the city.
7 Behold, they belch out with their mouth: swords are in their lips: for who, say they, doth hear?
8 But thou, O LORD, shalt laugh at them; thou shalt have all the heathen in derision.
9 Because of his strength will I wait upon thee: for God is my defence.
10 The God of my mercy shall prevent me: God shall let me see my desire upon mine enemies.
11 Slay them not, lest my people forget: scatter them by thy power; and bring them down, O Lord our shield.
12 For the sin of their mouth and the words of their lips let them even be taken in their pride: and for cursing and lying which they speak.
13 Consume them in wrath, consume them, that they may not be: and let them know that God ruleth in Jacob unto the ends of the earth. Selah.
14 And at evening let them return; and let them make a noise like a dog, and go round about the city.
15 Let them wander up and down for meat, and grudge if they be not satisfied.
16 But I will sing of thy power; yea, I will sing aloud of thy mercy in the morning: for thou hast been my defence and refuge in the day of my trouble.
17 Unto thee, O my strength, will I sing: for God is my defence, and the God of my mercy.
Once again David is beseeching God for protection from very real enemies sent to watch his house in order to kill him, and once again, though few of us have been in that exact situation, we can draw from David’s experience.
I don’t think it’s at all hard to understand that his first words here are cries for deliverance. They remind me of Peter’s cry: “Lord, save me.” When we’re in dire straits we get right down to business.
In many of David’s psalms he either acknowledges that his sins are causing his problems and confesses them or, as in this one, he proclaims his innocence. He was close enough in his relationship to God to know the difference between chastening or an outside attack. It’s good for us to examine our hearts with the Lord’s help and confess any sin there. But sometimes we do face an enemy’s unprovoked attack, and we can go to the Lord with a clean conscience.
One aspect of the Psalms I have a hard time reconciling is the imprecatory nature of some of David’s prayers, calling for God’s judgment against his enemies. One thing to remember is that this era was a different dispensation: the New Testament teachings about loving your enemy weren’t written yet (although one or two proverbs foreshadow them). Another aspect is that every person has an opportunity to respond to God’s grace, but if they continue in their own ways, they will face His judgment. We think of that judgment coming most often at the end of life when we stand before God, but certainly many times in the Bible people faced His judgment during the course of their own lives. Sometimes it brings them to repentance; sometimes it serves as a warning to others. I have prayed that certain national enemies would be saved and brought to repentance, but asked the Lord, if He knows they won’t come to that point, to take them out so they won’t cause any more trouble. I’d be interested to hear whether others interpret or apply this differently.
Of course, since I don’t have personal enemies in the same sense as David did, I tend to apply these verses to mankind’s greatest enemy, Satan.
My two favorite parts of the Psalm and the parts that minister to and remain with me are verses 9, 16, and 17:
Because of his strength will I wait upon thee: for God is my defence.
But I will sing of thy power; yea, I will sing aloud of thy mercy in the morning: for thou hast been my defence and refuge in the day of my trouble.
Unto thee, O my strength, will I sing: for God is my defence, and the God of my mercy.
Satan is stronger than we are, but he that is in us is stronger than him. We can praise God for His deliverance, defense. power, strength, mercy, and refuge.