TO THE CHOIRMASTER: FOR THE FLUTES. A PSALM OF DAVID.
Give ear to my words, O LORD; consider my groaning. 2 Give attention to the sound of my cry, my King and my God, for to you do I pray. 3 O LORD, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch. 4 For you are not a God who delights in wickedness; evil may not dwell with you. 5 The boastful shall not stand before your eyes; you hate all evildoers. 6 You destroy those who speak lies; the LORD abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man. 7 But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love, will enter your house. I will bow down toward your holy temple in the fear of you. 8 Lead me, O LORD, in your righteousness because of my enemies; make your way straight before me. 9 For there is no truth in their mouth; their inmost self is destruction; their throat is an open grave; they flatter with their tongue. 10 Make them bear their guilt, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; because of the abundance of their transgressions cast them out, for they have rebelled against you. 11 But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may exult in you. 12 For you bless the righteous, O LORD; you cover him with favor as with a shield.
A few thoughts for meditation:
1) In this psalm, David again wrote from the perspective of one who is groaning under the schemes and lies of his enemies. They are “boastful”, “speak lies”, “bloodthirsty”, and “deceitful”. Perhaps this was another song written during the rebellion of Absalom, or maybe even when he fled from Saul. But he appealed to God in his prayer as the God of righteousness, truth, and justice. He knew God hated such behavior. He knew God would eventually bring justice. And on that basis, he pleaded for God to intervene to stop the wicked. He had studied and meditated upon the attributes of God, and so he knew how to appeal to them in prayer.
2) David then in confidence of God’s eventual answer began to celebrate the coming deliverance. He knew the steadfast love of God overflowed to those who loved him. He knew that one day he would be able to return to God’s house and worship him again. He asked the Lord to keep him faithful and “straight” and to avoid being led astray by the lies of his enemies. How difficult it can be to know how to act in obedience or wisdom when we do not know all the facts! But God knows all the facts and has promised to guide us through such situations as we trust him. He also prayed for the schemes of his enemies to backfire, to “fall by their own counsels”. David knew just how destructive evil can be and prayed for God to wipe it out. Such should still be our prayer today, that God would cause the schemes of wickedness to backfire and self-destruct before they hurt anyone else, especially his Church. The Church faces such schemes often. How often is she slandered or ridiculed or lied about by the world? How often do people in general suffer from the corrupt ways of wicked men in places of power? Often we feel powerless to do anything about such things and often we are powerless humanly speaking. But we can ask the all-powerful and righteous God for help. Part of the Church’s role in society is not only to call people to repentance but to pray for righteous rulers so that we may live peaceful lives.
3) David concluded with a call to rejoice. Those who take refuge in the Lord will be protected by him and experience God’s favor even while they suffer from the schemes of their enemies. Our deliverance from wicked men may not come instantly but it will come eventually. God will not allow them to rule forever. Such promises are often fulfilled in this life. We see throughout history how wicked men self-destruct in their wickedness and people rejoice to see them go. But often the answer to that prayer may take months or even years to work out. It may take time for the wicked to build the snare which will eventually catch their own feet. God answers these prayers for deliverance in his good time. David himself had to wait years before God finally delivered him from Saul, but he knew God would keep his promise at the right time, and so he faithfully served where God had put him for the time being. But this promise is ultimately fulfilled when Christ returns. One day, we will live with God in a new creation unstained by sin and wickedness and where the meek will inherit the earth. And that is a cause to rejoice even now. That future victory is guaranteed by the death and resurrection of Christ. Though wickedness may seem to be great today, God is working even now to overthrow it, and eventually it will be banished forever. Pray “thy kingdom come” in light of such confidence.