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For the director of music. To the tune of “Do Not Destroy.” Of David. A miktam. When Saul had sent men to watch David's house in order to kill him.


[Preliminary Comments: Yet another historically based Psalm – see 1 Sam 19:11- as David becomes aware of Saul's plans which are revealed by his daughter. He petitions the Lord to deal with those against him [v.1-7] and then strengthens himself by the things he knows about the Lord.]



PART 1: v.1-7: The Evil of the Enemy


v.1,2 David petitions the Lord to save him from whose who would come against him


v.1  Deliver me from my enemies, O God;
     be my fortress against those who are attacking me.
v.2  Deliver me from evildoers
     and save me from those who are after my blood.


v.3,4 He declares he is innocent of any cause for their actions


v.3  See how they lie in wait for me!
     Fierce men conspire against me
     for no offense or sin of mine, Lord.
v.4  I have done no wrong, yet they are ready to attack me.
     Arise to help me; look on my plight!

v.5 He appeals to the One who established this nation


v.5  You, Lord God Almighty,
     you who are the God of Israel,

v.5b,6 He calls on Him to deal with these evil ones


rouse yourself to punish all the nations;
     show no mercy to wicked traitors.

v.6  They return at evening,
     snarling like dogs,
     and prowl about the city.

v.7 Their words reveal their arrogance


v.7  See what they spew from their mouths—
     the words from their lips are sharp as swords,
     and they think, “Who can hear us?”


PART 2: v.8-17: The Lord


v.8 But the Lord is not deterred by such people and just mocks them


v.8  But you laugh at them, Lord;
     you scoff at all those nations.


v.9 This God is his strength and protection


v.9  You are my strength, I watch for you;
     you, God, are my fortress,

v.10 He knows the Lord will deliver him


v.10  my God on whom I can rely.

God will go before me
     and will let me gloat over those who slander me.

v.11 He asks not for destruction of them, just discipline that is seen


v.11  But do not kill them, Lord our shield,
     or my people will forget.
In your might uproot them
     and bring them down.

v.12 May their words reveal what they are like


v.12  For the sins of their mouths,
     for the words of their lips,
     let them be caught in their pride.
For the curses and lies they utter,

v.13 But yet, deal with and remove their evil natures


v.13  consume them in your wrath,
     consume them till they are no more.
Then it will be known to the ends of the earth
     that God rules over Jacob.


v.14,15 If not, they will keep coming back


v.14  They return at evening,
     snarling like dogs,
     and prowl about the city.
v.15  They wander about for food
     and howl if not satisfied.

v.16,17 Yet he will rejoice in God's strength & love and protection


v.16  But I will sing of your strength,
     in the morning I will sing of your love;
for you are my fortress,
     my refuge in times of trouble.

v.17  You are my strength, I sing praise to you;
     you, God, are my fortress,
     my God on whom I can rely.



[Additional Thoughts: As so often with David's writing, he focuses first on his enemies [Saul and his followers in this case] and their wrong doing [v.1-7,12,14,15] but then strengthens himself by declaring truths about the Lord – God who laughs at the folly of the world [v.8], who is David's security [v.9,16,17], who is always there for David [v.10], who is mighty to bring down enemies [v.11,12], and who rules over Israel [v.13] and thus [implied] will protect them as a nation and he as the Lord's anointed over Israel.]



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