1 Lord my God, I take refuge in you;
save and deliver me from all who pursue me,
2 or they will tear me apart like a lion
and rip me to pieces with no one to rescue me.
3 Lord my God, if I have done this
and there is guilt on my hands—
4 if I have repaid my ally with evil
or without cause have robbed my foe—
5 then let my enemy pursue and overtake me;
let him trample my life to the ground
and make me sleep in the dust.
6 Arise, Lord, in your anger;
rise up against the rage of my enemies.
Awake, my God; decree justice.
7 Let the assembled peoples gather around you,
while you sit enthroned over them on high.
8 Let the Lord judge the peoples.
Vindicate me, Lord, according to my righteousness,
according to my integrity, O Most High.
9 Bring to an end the violence of the wicked
and make the righteous secure—
you, the righteous God
who probes minds and hearts.
10 My shield is God Most High,
who saves the upright in heart.
11 God is a righteous judge,
a God who displays his wrath every day.
12 If he does not relent,
he will sharpen his sword;
he will bend and string his bow.
13 He has prepared his deadly weapons;
he makes ready his flaming arrows.
14 Whoever is pregnant with evil
conceives trouble and gives birth to disillusionment.
15 Whoever digs a hole and scoops it out
falls into the pit they have made.
16 The trouble they cause recoils on them;
their violence comes down on their own heads.
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.
Vs 1-5: Look how seriously David takes sin and the consequences of sin. Those pursuing him are vicious like lions. Yet, David knows that if his sin has brought it about, he deserves whatever consequences God has in store for him. This is frightening! Thanks be to God for his grace that he does not treat us as our sins deserve!
Vs 6-9: These verses paint a picture of God judging the assembles peoples of the earth. David asks to be vindicated according to his own righteousness and integrity – although I wonder if David is looking forward to the perfect righteousness of his descendant, the Messiah – Jesus.
Vs 10-13: Look at the contrasts in these verses: God is a shield who saves the upright, but he is also preparing deadly weapons for those who do not relent in their evil. These verses are hard to read, but they’re important, too. The seriousness of sin and our need for a saviour are so clear!
Vs 14-16: In addition to the consequences of sin in God’s judgement (in the verses above), these verses show that true wisdom is found in this life in following God’s ways – and that life is much harder for those who by their sin dig pits in their life that they get stuck in. Of course – this isn’t a promise of ease for those who follow Jesus. We will still face trials in this life, but we will face them armed with God’s wisdom and strength!
Vs 17: The theme of this Psalm is God’s righteousness. A reason for great praise!
What will you do today as a result of this Psalm?
What will you pray today as a result of this Psalm?