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FRAMEWORKS: Psalm 7: A Cry against a threatening oppressor


A shiggaion of David, which he sang to the Lord concerning Cush, a Benjamite.


[Preliminary Notes: The only psalm called a ‘shiggaion', an uncertain term thought possibly to mean a lament. The title suggests the object of David's lament is a man named Cush, a Benjamite who appears nowhere else in scripture, presumably someone of power who was coming after David [v.1,2] threatening his life, yet someone about whom David professes his innocence [v.3-5]. David trusts in the Lord who David sees as a bringer of justice [v.6,7] who he believes will vindicate him [v.8], seeing and knowing him as righteous [v.9]. His trust is in this Judge who comes against the unrighteous, [v.10-13] whose self-destructive folly is obvious [v.14-16] His Lord, the Judge, is worthy of his praise [v.17].



v.1,2 David turns to the Lord because of enemies who threaten his life


v.1  Lord my God, I take refuge in you;
    save and deliver me from all who pursue me,
v.2  or they will tear me apart like a lion
    and rip me to pieces with no one to rescue me.


v.3-5 He declares his innocence of guilt against others


v.3  Lord my God, if I have done this
    and there is guilt on my hands —
v.4  if I have repaid my ally with evil
    or without cause have robbed my foe—
v.5  then let my enemy pursue and overtake me;
    let him trample my life to the ground
    and make me sleep in the dust.


v.6-9 He asks the Lord to come as a Judge to end the violence of the wicked


v.6  Arise, Lord, in your anger;
    rise up against the rage of my enemies.
    Awake, my God; decree justice.
v.7  Let the assembled peoples gather around you,
    while you sit enthroned over them on high.
v.8      Let the Lord judge the peoples.
Vindicate me, Lord, according to my righteousness,
    according to my integrity, O Most High.
v.9  Bring to an end the violence of the wicked
    and make the righteous secure—
you, the righteous God
    who probes minds and hearts.


v.10-13 He sees God the Judge as his shield who comes against the unrighteous


v.10  My shield is God Most High,
    who saves the upright in heart.
v.11  God is a righteous judge,
    a God who displays his wrath every day.
v.12  If he does not relent,
    he will sharpen his sword;
    he will bend and string his bow.
v.13  He has prepared his deadly weapons;
    he makes ready his flaming arrows.


v.14-16 He declares the folly of the wicked who bring self-destruction


v.14  Whoever is pregnant with evil
    conceives trouble and gives birth to disillusionment.
v.15  Whoever digs a hole and scoops it out
    falls into the pit they have made.
v.16  The trouble they cause recoils on them;
    their violence comes down on their own heads.


v.17 The knowledge of the Lord's righteous ways releases praise in him


v.17  I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness;
    I will sing the praises of the name of the Lord Most High.



[Additional Comment: Behind the general thrust of this psalm we see:

•  one with a trusting relationship with the Lord [David],
•  the unrighteous who often persecute the righteous [Cush],
•  the Lord who is righteous – who does all things rightly,
•  the Lord who brings justice, holding the unrighteous to account,
•  the response of the persecuted righteous [David] to be confident in, and trust in the Lord and call upon Him for help in times of trouble.]



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