1 Rescue me, O LORD, from evil men; protect me from men of violence,
2 who devise evil plans in their hearts and stir up war every day.
3 They make their tongues as sharp as a serpent’s; the poison of vipers is on their lips.
4 Keep me, O LORD, from the hands of the wicked; protect me from men of violence who plan to trip my feet.
5 Proud men have hidden a snare for me; they have spread out the cords of their net and have set traps for me along my path.
6 O LORD, I say to you, “You are my God.” Hear, O LORD, my cry for mercy.
7 O Sovereign LORD, my strong deliverer, who shields my head in the day of battle-
8 do not grant the wicked their desires, O LORD; do not let their plans succeed, or they will become proud.
9 Let the heads of those who surround me be covered with the trouble their lips have caused.
10 Let burning coals fall upon them; may they be thrown into the fire, into miry pits, never to rise.
11 Let slanderers not be established in the land; may disaster hunt down men of violence.
12 I know that the LORD secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy.
13 Surely the righteous will praise your name and the upright will live before you.
As one studies Exodus and the way that God interacts between Moses and Israel, we get a glimpse of the nature of man and the nature of God. The most important aspect of God is that his nature is unchangeable, but his relationship with man is not. In Exodus 34:6,7 Moses describes Jehovah relationship to man as “a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abundant in loving-kindness and truth, keeping loving-kindness for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin; and that will by no means clear the guilty”. In this psalm David prays to God not to grant the wicked their desires or let their plans succeed.
One of the greatest joys I have found in studying God’s Word daily is the understanding I gain about God, me, those around me, and the rest of humankind and the relationships that exist between them. The process of aging has greatly increased my understanding of God’s Word since I now have a tremendous treasures of life experiences to give me greater insights to the lives that the great men of faith have lived in the past. I look back and see how the little issues in my life help me better understand the issues in David’s life. David’s youth was that of a shepherd. At the time of his anointing by Samuel, he was out in the field working and not with his family as they were having dinner with Samuel. David probably enjoy the simple life of being a shepherd. He probably learned the secret that Paul shares with us in Philippians 4:11″ Not that I speak in respect of want for I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therein to be content”. However, the contentment that he had did not always help him understand the actions of others.
It is only when I went through difficult times such as David or Paul did that, I can truly state I know how to be content even when the world around me is falling apart. I like the comment that Charles Spurgeon makes about this psalm in his book The Treasury of David :
This Psalm is in its proper place, and so fitly follows 139 that you might almost read right on and make no break between the two. Serious injury would follow to the whole Book of Psalms if the order should be interfered with as certain wiseacres propose. It is The Cry of A Hunted Soul the supplication of a believer incessantly persecuted and beset by cunning enemies, who hungered for his destruction. David was hunted like a partridge upon the mountains, and seldom obtained a moment’s rest. This is his pathetic appeal to Jehovah for protection, an appeal which gradually intensifies into a denunciation of his bitter foes. With this sacrifice of prayer, he offers the salt of faith; for in a very marked and emphatic manner he expresses his personal confidence in the Lord as the Protector of the oppressed, and as his own God and Defender. Few short Psalms are so rich in the jewelry of precious faith.
This psalm was probably written when David was fleeing from Saul right after Doeg the Edomite slew eighty-five of the inhabitants of Nod. It was witnessing this type of evil that caused David to write this psalm. In this psalm the evil men and the men of violence were those that served with David in the past. Saul was not only the king that David served but was also his father in law; Michal David’s wife was his daughter. Therefore, it is the knowledge of Psalm 139 that gives David hope. Yes, David could follow the ways of man and take action against this evil, however he realizes that he must leave this in God’s hand. However, leaving judgment in God’s hand is not an easy matter. Individuals today like to have full control of the events in their lives. However, David follows the truths he wrote about in Psalm 139. This knowledge of God and the relationship I can enjoy helps set the stage for studying David’s life. By studying the Psalms, David’s life and relating them to the events in my life I can see how contentment can come to those who truly wait on the Lord. They have the blessed assurance that God is truly in control.