A Meditation of David, which he sang to the LORD concerning the words of Cush, a Benjamite.
The word for Meditation is "Shiggaion" and is only found in one other place……Habakkuk 3:1. I could bean "A passionate Psalm with Strong meaning."
In Habakkuk it isn't translated…….the meaning of the word is really unknown. Some believe it means "to wander, to cry aloud."
Cush, a Benjamite, doesn't tie to any particular scripture or known event in David's life. Some speculate that
may have been part of the Saul's administration since Saul was from the tribe of Benjamin. This situation may have arose from the lingering hostilities from the tribe Saul belonged to. Cush
Spurgeon called this the Song of the Slandered Saint.
The Psalm describes four different judgments.
First, Other people Judge us Wrongly - Vs 1&2
1 O LORD my God, in You I put my trust;
Save me from all those who persecute me;
And deliver me,
2 Lest they tear me like a lion,
Rending me in pieces, while there is none to deliver.
LORD with all Capitals is Jehovah.
- God is the word Elohim.
- This is David naming Jehovah as his God.
- And it was in the God Jehovah where David placed his trust.
David called on the Lord to save and deliver him from his persecutors.
- Sometimes we are saved from those who persecute us.
- Sometimes we are delivered through the persecution.
- David sounded sure that if God didn't intervene then they (Cush and somebody) would tear him to shreds.
- David knew what it was like to wrestle a lion.
- And he saw this threat equal to being torn by the lion.
The second Judgment, We judge ourselves honestly
3 O LORD my God, if I have done this:
If there is iniquity in my hands,
4 If I have repaid evil to him who was at peace with me,
Or have plundered my enemy without cause,
5 Let the enemy pursue me and overtake me;
Yes, let him trample my life to the earth,
And lay my honor in the dust. Selah
Whatever the source of the slander made against David, he found it offensive.
- The accusation was that he repaid evil to him who was at peace with him…
- And that he plundered an enemy without cause.
David said to God……..If I have done these things, then let them overtake me.
- David isn't claiming perfection when he says his hands are clean.
- Only that he didn't commit this particular slander.
Third judgment, God judges sinners righteously.....vs 6-13
6 Arise, O LORD, in Your anger;
Lift Yourself up because of the rage of my enemies;
Rise up for me to the judgment You have commanded!
7 So the congregation of the peoples shall surround You;
For their sakes, therefore, return on high.
8 The LORD shall judge the peoples;
Judge me, O LORD, according to my righteousness,
And according to my integrity within me.
David attributes humanlike emotions to God here.
- He's pretty sure God will be angry in agreement with him and rise up on his behalf.
- Is it okay to attribute human emotions to God? He is not cold and distant without them but He does not get His feelings hurt either.
David is calling God down to act on his behalf and he knows the people of the congregation will then see the hand of God and surround Him.
- David suggests, for their sakes God should return on high.
God will judge the people.
- Have we seen judgment from God?
- David asks God to judge him according to his righteousness.
- This sounds dangerous……….We know about David's righteousness.
- I assume David is speaking of his integrity in this matter only.
- He doesn't want the ultimate judgment of spiritual matters but only the judgment of God on the things of this matter.
9 Oh, let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end,
But establish the just;
For the righteous God tests the hearts and minds.
10 My defense is of God,
Who saves the upright in heart.
David wasn't looking for special favors from God.
- He was asking for God to end the wickedness of these people and establish the just.
- He knew God looked into the heart and mind of a person and knew their motives.
- David was alright with God searching his heart and he asked that his intentions and heart be weighed against the actions and intentions of the wicked who were slandering him.
David was at a disadvantage against the people, whoever they were.
- He knew his only defense was with the Lord.
- There was no way the slander could be defended without the help of a just and holy God.
11 God is a just judge,
And God is angry with the wicked every day.
12 If he does not turn back,
He will sharpen His sword;
He bends His bow and makes it ready.
13 He also prepares for Himself instruments of death;
He makes His arrows into fiery shafts.
David reminds us that God is just. Our world often forgets that. When we look at a judge that is soft on crime it makes us mad. We see criminals back on the streets. Yet, when we look to God we think on judgment day he will be soft on crime. There is no small sin. God is just and His judgments will be perfect. On judgment day many will be looking for this loving, warm, understanding, squishy God they've heard about while they stand before the perfect, just judge.
One commentary believes that 11b should say God is not angry with the wicked every day. This may make sense. God at least doesn't judge us instantly for our wickedness. In time, though, He will act. David says he sharpens the sword and bends the bow. These are acts of war…….God will go to war and fight the battles against the wicked and evil. When we are in Him, He will fight our battles on our behalf.
Why does God not judge us instantly? Is it because the sinner is not really guilty? Or we really aren't clear on the Law? Or is it that we deserve mercy because we are so special? Maybe it's because God is not really powerful enough to bring justice? Or God is not really just?
Fourth judgment, Sin itself judges Sinners ultimately.
14 Behold, the wicked brings forth iniquity;
Yes, he conceives trouble and brings forth falsehood.
Iniquity comes from the wicked. This seems like a given. The trouble started inside that wicked person. It was conceived in their heart and mind and then brought forth as a falsehood and slander.
15 He made a pit and dug it out,
And has fallen into the ditch which he made.
16 His trouble shall return upon his own head,
And his violent dealing shall come down on his own crown.
One man said, "The pit digged is the grave of the man who digs it."
Remember Haman built the gallows and then he was hanged on them.
This is God's justice at work isn't it? God turns the sin around and it becomes a judgment on the sinner. Examples? The sin against God is doing things other than what we were made for. Any sin, in the end, hurts us.
17 I will praise the LORD according to His righteousness,
And will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High.
David didn't praise God over his own righteousness. His claim to righteousness was only in the specific case he was pleading with God about. David knew his righteousness was nothing and praised God in His righteousness.
The Psalm started with David in trouble and needing deliverance and ends with him singing the praise to the name of Jehovah el-yone' (the Lord Most High).