Author: David – Possibly written when David was being hunted by Saul (1 Samuel 24)
Verse 1 – Plead my cause, O Lord, with those who strive with me; fight against those who fight against me.
Verse 2 – Take hold of shield and buckler, and stand up for my help.
Verse 3 – Also draw out the spear, and stop those who pursue me. Say to my soul, “I am your salvation.”
David didn’t understand why he was being pursued. He asks God to fight for him. He knows that he was anointed to be king, so why were they trying to kill him? David gave it over to God. Cruelty may be far removed from our daily lives here in the U.S., but it’s a reality to others elsewhere.
Verse 4 – Let those be put to shame and brought to dishonor who seek after my life; let those be turned back and brought to confusion who plot my hurt.
verse 5 – Let them be like chaff before the wind, and let the angel of the Lord chase them.
The chaff is the useless part of threshing. David wanted his enemies to be blown away, not amounting to anything.
Verse 6 – Let their way be dark and slippery, and let the angel of the Lord pursue them.
Verse 7 – For without cause they have hidden their net for me in a pit, which they have dug without cause for my life.
Verse 8 – Let destruction come upon him unexpectedly, and let his net that he has hidden catch himself; into that very destruction let him fall.
Keeping in mind, David had done nothing to the enemies that were pursuing him, especially when Saul was after him to take his life. This is not a prayer to be used when someone has wronged another and they come after them. David was simply crying out for God to stop the enemy before they got to him. Let them fall into the same demise they had set for David.
Verse 9 – And my soul shall be joyful in the Lord; it shall rejoice in His salvation.
Verse 10 – All my bones shall say, “Lord, who is like You, deliver the poor from him who is too strong for him, yes the poor and the needy from him who plunders him?”
Verse 11 – Fierce witness rise up; they ask me things that I do not know.
Verse 12 – They reward me evil for good, to the sorrow of my soul.
Verse 13 – But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth; I humbled myself with fasting; and my prayer would return to my own heart.
Verse 14 – I paced about as though he were my friend or brother; I bowed down heavily, as one who mourns for his mother.
David felt as though he had been betrayed for those he tried to help. Remember when Saul would call for David to play his music that would calm King Saul? David had prayed for him, even though Saul continually tried to kill him. I think that’s the greatest attack when someone we have prayed for and helped turns against us.
Verse 15 – But in my adversity they rejoiced and gathered together; attackers gathered against me, and I did not know it; they tore at me and did not cease;
Verse 16 – With ungodly mockers at feasts they gnashed at me with their teeth.
Who else was betrayed in this way? Christ Jesus healed the sick, fed thousands, raised the dead, and then the people turned on Him until they crucified Him. These verses that David wrote, describes what also happened to our Savior. Our own persecution here on this earth is only temporary. Our strength to endure will come from the same place David’s did – the Lord.
Verse 17 – Lord, how long will You look on? Rescue me from their destruction’s, my precious life from the lions.
Verse 18 – I will give You thanks in the great congregation; I will praise You among many people.
We all wonder and ask God, “Why is my deliverance being delayed?” Without posting a 20 page sermon and bringing Daniel’s prayer into the boat, I’ll simply say: God’s wisdom and timing are perfect. Sometimes, God has to work around us with people in order to line everything up, that we are not aware of. In the very next verse after David questions God, he praises and thanks Him for deliverance. We know God is fighting for us, so why not include thanksgiving and praise in the same prayer as the request?
Verse 19 – Let them not rejoice over me who are wrongfully my enemies; nor let them wink with the eye who hate me without cause.
In John 15:25, Jesus said, “They hated Me without cause.”
Verse 20 – For they do not speak peace, but they devise deceitful matters against those who are quiet in the land.
Verse 21 – They also open their mouth wide against me, and said, “Aha, aha! Our eyes have seen it!”
Verse 22 – This You have seen, O Lord; do not keep silent. O Lord, do not be far from me.
Verse 23 – Stir up Yourself, and awake to my vindication, to my cause, my God and my Lord.
Verse 24 – Vindicate me, O Lord my God, according to Your righteousness; and let them not rejoice over me.
Verse 25 – Let them not say in their hearts, “Ah, so we would have it!” Let them not say, “We have swallowed him up.”
We’ve all had people who have lied on us, deceived us without our knowing, but God is the only One who can vindicate us. When we try to do it, things can backfire. Manipulating and plotting are not God’s way of bringing justice to us. But I will tell you this: God will see to it that the ones who have wronged us will see justice in a way that only God can bring. He sees what has been done, and He knows what we feel. He’s all-knowing and perfect in justice. When this happens, give it to Him and take your hands off. His ways are righteous.
Verse 26 – Let them be ashamed and brought to mutual confusion who rejoice at my hurt; let them be clothed with shame and dishonor who magnify themselves against me.
Verse 27 – Let them shout for joy and be glad, who favor my righteous cause; and let them say continually, “Let the Lord be magnified, who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant.”
Verse 28 – And my tongue shall speak of Your righteousness and of Your praise all the day long.
We can learn a lot from David in this psalm when we need relief from persecution. Just remember this: Consider the source from which persecution comes. When Christians are living right, some will despise their own lives to the point of jealousy, making them lash out at you. However, some may want what the believer have, favor with God, knowing they have been forgiven. God is greater than anything another can do to us.