Hey, my website is back up again! Sorry for all the emails last week. When I transferred my old blog posts to this new website the formatting was a disaster. Little did I know, that every time I touched an old post, my followers got an email. Well, now I know.
I’ll send out emails twice a week with my thoughts about a new psalm (like below), and I will update soon with news on my second book. Hopefully VERY soon!
Psalm 64 For the director music. A psalm of David. (1)Hear me, my God, as I voice my complaint; protect my life from the threat of the enemy. (2)Hide me from the conspiracy of the wicked, from the plots of evildoers. (3)They sharpen their tongues like swords and aim cruel words like deadly arrows. (4)They shoot form ambush at the innocent; they shoot suddenly, without fear. (5)They encourage each other in evil plans, they talk about hiding their snares; they say, "Who will see it?" (6)They plot injustice and say, "We have devised a perfect plan!" Surely the human mind and heart are cunning. (7)But God will shoot them with his arrows; they will suddenly be struck down. (8)He will turn their own tongues against them and bring them to ruin; all who see them will shake their heads in scorn. (9)All people will fear; they will proclaim the works of God and ponder what he has done. (10)The righteous will rejoice in the LORD and take refuge in him; all the upright in heart will glory in him!
Hide Me from the Wicked. To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David. (ESV)
Oppressed by the Wicked but Rejoicing in the LORD. To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David (NKJV)
Psalm 64 gives no indication of a particular time in David’s life. The song is dedicated to the worship director of the tabernacle.
This whole psalm has reference to David’s enemies, persecutors, and slanderers; many such there were, and a great deal of trouble they gave him, almost all his days, so that we need not guess at any particular occasion of penning this psalm.Matthew Henry, English Minister, 1662-1714
O God, listen to my complaint. Protect my life from my enemies' threats. Hide me from the plots of this evil mob, from this gang of wrongdoers. They sharpen their tongues like swords and aim their bitter words like arrows. They shoot from ambush at the innocent, attacking suddenly and fearlessly. Psalm 64:1-4 NLT
David opens his song with a call upon God to listen, to hear him! God is always listening, but aren’t there times when we all cry those same words? God are you even there? Are you listening to me? Where are you?
Or maybe, like in the case of this song, we are instead saying, “Okay, God, are you ready to listen to me now? I have something to say.”
Hear my voice, O God, in my complaint; preserve my life from dread of the enemy. ESV
Dread: to anticipate with great apprehension or fear.
David didn’t pray for deliverance from his enemies in this verse, he prayed for deliverance from fear. David was a soldier. He knew what “dread” was and what it could do to the bravest of warriors. And here, in this song, David is beyond afraid and is praying for deliverance from that fear.
We need to pray as the psalmist does, not so much for the deliverance from enemies as for deliverance from fear of them.(Morgan-cited by David Guzik) http://www.enduringword.com
Many people suffer day in and day out with fear, even the great king and soldier David did. Maybe we need to take David’s lead here and pray more for deliverance from fear and dread, rather than the thing itself. In the garden of Gethsemane on the night Jesus was betrayed, He spent hours in prayer with the Father (Matthew 26:36-46; Luke 22:39-46). Jesus prayed for God to change His plans, that He wouldn’t have to suffer and die. But He also submitted to the Father’s will. I believe that during that time, Jesus prayed for strength. He was God, but He was human. He knew everything, yet He was still afraid.
Did Jesus pray for strength and for deliverance from fear?
For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 2 Timothy 1:7
The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." Romans 8:15
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:26
(As the Israelites are about to follow Joshua into the Promise Land FINALLY) Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
Even if there are mobs and gangs of evil doers who speak slander against us, God told us and has always told His children to not be afraid. Even if they have tongues as sharp as swords and words that pierce like arrows, God commanded His children to be brave and to stand upon our faith in the One True God.
They encourage each other to do evil and plan how to set their traps in secret. "Who will ever notice?" they ask. As they plot their crimes, they say, "We have devised the perfect plan!" Yes, the human heart and mind are cunning. Psalm 64:5-6 NLT
David is not worrying about one man but many, enough that he is ganged up upon. They believe they are not accountable to anyone, even God. These men are determined to destroy David.
These wicked men did not believe in God and were foolish enough to think that their wickedness and devilish plans were not only hidden from men but from God also.James Burton Coffman, pastor, 1905-2006
But God himself will shoot them with his arrows, suddenly striking them down. Their own tongues will ruin them, and all who see them will shake their heads in scorn. Then everyone will be afraid; they will proclaim the mighty acts of God and realize all the amazing things he does. The godly will rejoice in the LORD and find shelter in him. And those who do what is right will praise him. Psalm 64:7-10 NLT
“But God!” David’s enemies don’t know his God. His God has arrows too, and a plan. And David’s God is always faithful. These two words show David’s great faith, but show an even greater God. Do we have faith like this? To know that things are hard and the road ahead may look and feel bleak…but God…
But God has one arrow that will be their death, his curse which is never causeless, and therefore shall come; with it they shall be suddenly wounded, that is, their wound by it will be a surprise upon them, because they were secure and not apprehensive of any danger.Matthew Henry, English minister, 1662-1714
Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. Romans 12:19
Is not this laid up in store with me, and sealed up among my treasures? To me belongeth vengeance, and recompence; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall upon them make haste. Deuteronomy 32:34-35 KJV
God is faithful, and God will move. His timing and His will are perfect. Sometimes it’s hard to wait and trust. David knew this. God has a Master Plan. And in this Master Plan He will save and defend us, He will have vengeance, and He will be glorified.
The wicked asked “who will see?”
God will see. God will move. Then “everyone will see!”
Then all mankind fears; they tell what God has brought about and ponder what he has done. Psalm 64:9 ESV Everyone sees it. God's work is the talk of the town. Be glad, good people! Fly to GOD! Psalm 64:9 MSG
David once again has gone from fear and praying for help with his fear, to remembering God’s faithfulness and the strength of His defense, to knowing that ultimately others will come to know the Lord because of the present sufferings, and finally, praising the Lord!
Let the righteous one rejoice in the LORD and take refuge in him! Let all the upright in heart exult! Psalm 64:10 ESV
God’s people will sing for joy and run to His arms for safety.
Father in heaven thank you for your promises, for your faithfulness, for your covenant “hesed” love from the time of Abraham to David to the first Christians to now. Thank you that you are the same then as you are now. We rejoice in you today. Give us strength to face whatever comes our way; be our stronghold, our high tower, our redeemer. Amen.