1 Listen to my prayer, O God, do not ignore my plea;
2 hear me and answer me. My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught
3 at the voice of the enemy, at the stares of the wicked; for they bring down suffering upon me and revile me in their anger.
4 My heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death assail me.
5 Fear and trembling have beset me; horror has overwhelmed me.
6 I said, “Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest-
7 I would flee far away and stay in the desert; Selah
8 I would hurry to my place of shelter, far from the tempest and storm.”
9 Confuse the wicked, O Lord; confound their speech, for I see violence and strife in the city.
10 Day and night they prowl about on its walls; malice and abuse are within it.
11 Destructive forces are at work in the city; threats and lies never leave its streets.
12 If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it; if a foe were raising himself against me, I could hide from him.
13 But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend,
14 with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship as we walked with the throng at the house of God.
15 Let death take my enemies by surprise; let them go down alive to the grave, for evil finds lodging among them.
16 But I call to God, and the LORD saves me.
17 Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice.
18 He ransoms me unharmed from the battle waged against me, even though many oppose me.
19 God, who is enthroned forever, will hear them and afflict them. Selah Men who never change their ways and have no fear of God.
20 My companion attacks his friends; he violates his covenant.
21 His speech is smooth as butter, yet war is in his heart; his words are more soothing than oil, yet they are drawn swords.
22 Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.
23 But you, O God, will bring down the wicked into the pit of corruption; bloodthirsty and deceitful men will not live out half their days. But as for me, I trust in you.
As I read this psalm as well as others written by David, I usually ask myself when David wrote this psalm. The beauty of old age is that you can look back on the experiences of your past to better understanding the events happening around you at the present. As I read this, I would have to agree with Charles Spurgeon that it was written at the time of Absalom‘s rebellion. This psalm reveals that David is honest with the Lord. Yes, his thoughts trouble him and he is not sure what course of action to take in this situation. When your son and one of your closest friends (in this case one of his advisors Ahithophel) turn against you and tries to destroy you how do you react? This psalm is also similar to the thoughts that Christ probably had about Judas when he betrays him in the garden.
Some of David’s feelings:
- my thoughts trouble me
- I am distraught
- my enemy brings suffering on me
- my enemy revile me in their anger
- my heart is in anguish
- terrors of death assail me
- fear and trembling have beset me
- horror has overwhelmed me
David’s prayer and his plea:
- I will flee to my place of shelter
- confuse the wicked
- confound their speech
- let death take my enemies by surprise
- let them go alive to the grave
- Lord save me
- Lord ransom me unharmed from this battle
- they bring suffering on him
- they are violence
- they bring malice and abuse within the city
- they are my friends my companions
- they refuse to change their ways
- they have no fear of God
- they violate their covenant
- they speak lies
- their ways are set on war
Cast his cares on God
Looks to God to sustain him
Acts in righteous knowing God never let the righteous fall
And the key to everything that David does he trusts God
As we walk with the Lord daily and study, his Word this psalm will help us trust in him more. We do not live in a perfect world and more importantly, we cannot create the perfect world around us. We might try to control our surroundings and those around us to make our world perfect to us, but sin has a way of entering in and destroying that perfect world. We tend to focus too much on finding a purpose driven life instead of having a walk that is blameless before the Lord. In times of trouble, David left judgment in God’s hand and trusted God to lead him though the green pastures. Even when he was walking through the valley of death, he knew God was with him. So, if you are facing times when your world is collapsing and even your friends turn against you, just know that God is there. However, if it is you who are rebelling against God and his righteous ones, and you have no fear of God, but say in your heart I have no need of God then be warned that God will bring down the wicked into the pit of corruption.