This Psalm was
written during the days when David ran from Saul, his worst enemy.
This is called by many an ‘imprecatory’ Psalm. The word
means to pray down a curse of judgment upon your enemies. Spurgeon
said this about the situation. “Saul hunted David over hill and
dale. David appealed to heaven with a bold heart and a clear
conscience; irritated beyond measure by oppression and malice.”
This appeal to
the Lord for judgment can be divided into three scenes acted out on
the stage of life. Each scene ends with a doxology of praise.
The first scene
is that of a ‘Battlefield’ in verses 1-10. Please have you
Bible in hand as we study this text together. In verses 1-3 we find
‘The Battle Strategy’. In verse 1 we see ‘The Warfare
Strategy’. David asks the Lord to ‘Plead my cause,’ The phrase
has the idea of developing the best warfare to bring the enemy
down. He is asking the Lord to plead against them that …strive…
with him. The word denotes an adversary and developing the best
strategy to bring them to naught. The phrase “…fight against
them that fight against me.” has
the idea of put your strength Lord up against their strength. “Vain
is the help of man, but ever effectual is the interposition of
In verses 2 and
3 we have ‘The Weapons Of Strategy’. David asks the Lord to
help him by standing with ‘shield’ and ‘buckler’
against his enemies. These are both weapons of defense. We have no
means of defending ourselves but He has all ability and power to
defend. If the Lord stand between us and our enemies, ‘Who can
stand against Him?’ In verse 3 David asks the Lord to take out
the ‘spear’ and ‘stop the way’ against his enemies.
This is a long pointed weapon of offense. It was used to hold back
the enemy so that those standing behind could have time to escape.
He is our salvation of deliverance. He holds at bay our enemies
that we might escape their evil plans.
In verses 4-6
we find ‘The Battle Secrecy’. In this verse David asked for
his enemies to be “…confounded and put to shame…” that seek
after him. In the last part of verse 4 he asked that they may be ‘confused’.
Both of these words are similar. It has the idea of the Lord
leaving them not knowing which way to turn or which way is up. It
has the idea of the slang statement, ‘Put them in the middle of
the week looking both ways to Sunday’.
In verse 5 he
asks the Lord to cause them to hear the “…chaff before the wind;”
During the time of barley harvest they winnowed the barley. The
process is the wheat is thrown in the air over a sheet and that
which the wind blows away is the chaff or the imposter. That which
fell in the sheet is the real thing. His cry was ‘Lord, blow
them away with the wind of your adversity’.
In verses 5 and
6 he asks the angel of the Lord to ‘chase’ them down a dark
slippery path. In verses 8-9 David asked that they be caught in the
net or trap they have set for him. “How often Satan outwits
himself and burns his fingers with his own coals.” (Spurgeon)
In verses 9-10
there is ‘The Battle Shout’. David finds ‘joy’ and ‘rejoicing’
in his soul. The word ‘joy’ means to spin around like a
top. The word ‘rejoice’ means to be bright with cheerful
mirth. In verse 10 every part of his body breaks out in rejoicing
over the Lord’s deliverance. David in verse 10 contemplates the
fact that there is none like the Lord.
There is one
place in the battlefield scene that has blessed me. It is in verse
3, which says, “…say unto my soul, I am thy salvation.” When
the battle is raging and the fiery darts of the enemy are flying one
sweet word from the Lord, our battle commander, will calm all our
fears. We will feel as though we have left the battlefield and have
gone on an R&R. (Rest and Recreation).