Yesterday I shared that I usually use the word “Psalmist” in place of David because my focus is on the red thread binding Jesus through all of Scripture, and that my Bible currently in use does not contain notes on the history. Here in this Psalm, the Psalm itself mentions the purpose of this Psalm being written, “A Shiggaion of David, which he sang to the Lord concerning the words of Cush, a Benjamite”. This Psalm again shows David coming to God unsure of whether his suffering is punishment from God or the enemy. He again repents and turns to God in trust that God’s judgment is righteous. He will praise God even if the suffering continues, and he is torn apart. Can we say the same thing? I find myself wanting to curl up and stay in bed forever, to give up. But David faithfully continues to praise God through it all, while also committing himself into God’s hand for discipline as well. In fact, he even takes the time to pray for the righteous to be established and the evil to come to an end. So, he seeks aide for others as well even knowing God may be casting judgment on him.
David, Cush-a Benjamite, Lord my God, my pursuers, my soul, my friend, my enemies, the assembly of the peoples, the wicked, the righteous, the upright in heart, a man who does not repent.
Verse 9 “Oh, let the evil of the wicked come to an end, and may you establish the righteous—you who test the minds and hearts, O righteous God!”
Psalm 11:5 “The Lord tests the righteous, but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence.”
Job 23:10 “But he knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold.”
Psalm 139:1 “O Lord, you have searched me and known me!”
1 Samuel 16:7 “But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
1 Chronicles 28:9 “”And you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father and serve him with a whole heart and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but of you forsake him, he will cast you off forever.”
Psalm 26:2 “Prove me, O Lord, and try me; test my heart and my mind.”
Jeremiah 11:20 “But, O Lord of hosts, who judges righteously, who tests the heart and the mind, let me see your vengeance upon them, for to you have I committed my cause.”
Jeremiah 17:10 “”I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.””
Jeremiah 20:12 “O Lord of hosts, who tests the righteous, who sees the heart and the mind, let me see your vengeance upon them, for to you have I committed my cause.”
Revelation 2:21-29 “I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her sexual immorality. Behold, I will throw her onto a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her I will throw into great tribulation, unless they repent of her works, and I will strike her children dead. And all the churches will know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you according to your works. But to the rest of you in Thyatira, who do not hold this teaching, who have not learned what some call the deep things of Satan, to you I say, I do not lay on you any other burden. Only hold fast what you have until I come. The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, ad he will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father. And I will give him the morning star. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.'”
Hold fast to God.
Give him praise and thanks no matter the circumstance.
Jesus in the Psalm
“David’s sufferings are not only anticipatory of Christ’s sufferings. They are also an example of how all of God’s children suffer in union with their Savior”.*
Matthew 10:16-25 “”Behold I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues, and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles. When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour. For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death, and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next, for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.
“A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household.”” (You can read on to see that Jesus, like David in these Psalms, follows with telling us to not fear these people.)
1 Peter 1:3-12 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.”
Just as Jesus was, David was betrayed “by a fellow Israelite from a friendly tribe”, as many of us have been as well. As Louis and I say often, sheep bites hurt worse than wolf bites. How this Psalm describes that feeling of pain when it is the church members that betray us. We also cry out to God to save us, “lest like a lion they tear my soul apart, rending it in pieces, with none to deliver.”
Matthew 26:23 “He answered, “He who has dipped his hand in the dish with me will betray me.”
Psalm 41:9 “Even my close friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted his heel against me.”
In that pain do you and I turn to self pity, or do we repent of anything we may have done? David chooses repentance and to let God handle the situation. His trust in his Redeemer is so great that he knows the outcome will be righteous even if it means he is the one judged to be in the wrong. Again we see him reach, like Paul, for the shield of faith (Ephesians 6:16).
Do you have God as your shield in hand today? Or does that visual/metaphor mean little to you, lost in the vocabulary of Christianese? What is attacking you today. To take up this shield is to give it to God, to throw down your weapons of attacking back. In this way God is your shield, you are relying on Him to handle the situation, as your defense.
Tomorrow: Psalm 8
*Note: I am using the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible for the Jesus in the Psalm section, so these are paraphrases of the commentary with my own ideas sprinkled in.
Thank you for reading. I am excited to hear your key verses, observations, and thoughts! Please leave a comment to share them with us.
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