Supplication of a Believer against Slander.
THE PETITION. ó Shiggaion of David, a plaintive song, or elegy, full of emotion, which is apparent it both in the structure and in the accompanying music, which he sang unto the Lord concerning the words of Cush, the Benjamite, one of his detractors at the court of Saul. David prays for the establishment of his innocence, because he knows himself to be guiltless and because Jehovah will be glorified in his vindication. V. 1. O Lord, my God, his Creator and the Guide of his pathway, in Thee do I put my trust, this word of faith, love, and hope stating the motive for his confident approach to the Throne of Grace; save me from all them that persecute me, during the time when he was never sure of his life, 1 Sam. 24 to 26, and deliver me, v. 2. lest he tear my soul like a lion, a ravenous beast, rending it in pieces, while there is none to deliver. So eager are his enemies to take his life, and so hopeless seems his case. But David makes his appeal for help in the consciousness of his innocence of any deliberate wrong-doing. V. 3. O Lord, my God, here the mighty Ruler and Judge of the universe, if I have done this; if there be iniquity in my hands, namely, the crime charged to him by Cush; v. 4. if I have rewarded evil unto him that was at peace with me, becoming guilty of treachery toward those who trusted him; (yea, I have delivered him that without cause is mine enemy, rather, plundered without reason, in pure wantonness, my adversary;) v. 5. let the enemy persecute my soul, in just retribution, and take it; yea, let him tread down my life upon the earth, trampling it into extinction, and lay mine honor, his personal and official dignity, in the dust, bringing it to the deepest humiliation. Selah. It is only the sense of his innocence which can give David the assurance expressed in this offer, which is now followed by a call to revenge his wrongs. V. 6. Arise, O Lord, in Thine anger, the appeal being all the more importunate since it seemed that God had hitherto been careless of him, lift up Thyself, towering up on high, because of the rage of mine enemies, His great power alone being able to crush them in spite of their threatening attitude, and awake for me to the judgment that Thou hast commanded, the decision which, as David confidently believed, the Lord had ordained in this case. V. 7. So shall the congregation of the people compass Thee about, the scene being that of the last great Judgment, when God will gather the nations before Him; for their sakes, therefore, return Thou on high, assuming the judgment-seat as the great Ruler and Judge of all men. Davidís single case is merged with the judgment of all men; he is willing to put his matter to the supreme test. Every believer, in spite of all his sinful weakness, must be ready always to have the record of his daily life examined, for he must ever abstain from all crimes and wicked deeds.
DAVIDíS CONFIDENT TRUST. ó V. 8. The Lord, the great Judge of all men, shall judge the people, David at that time confidently expecting a decision in his favor. Judge me, O Lord, according to my righteousness; for he was sure of being acquitted of deliberate wrong-doing if the record of his life were tested, and according to mine integrity that is in me, according to which David always led his life. V. 9. Oh, let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end, putting a stop to their torturing of the believers; but establish the just, protecting them in their righteous cause; for the righteous God trieth the hearts and the reins, the affections and motives of man named after their supposed seat. With this certainty, Davidís prayer gains in confidence. V. 10. My defense is of God, He Himself having undertaken his protection and vindication, which saveth the upright in heart, those who are believers in truth, without a show of hypocrisy. V. 11. God judgeth the righteous, being just in all His judgments, and God is angry with the wicked every day, always abhorring their evil ways and preparing for their punishment. V. 12. If he, namely, the wicked person, turn not, He will whet His sword, for a just and severe retribution; He hath bent His bow and made it ready, for the sudden destruction of the ungodly. V. 13. He hath also prepared for him the instruments of death; He ordaineth His arrows against the persecutors, the burning arrows and darts of His lightnings being tile messengers of His punishment. V. 14. Behold, he, the wicked man, travaileth with iniquity, laboring and struggling, as in the throes of childbirth, in bringing forth transgression, and hath conceived mischief, and brought forth falsehood, his intention is to do harm to others, but in the end the deception will strike himself. V. l5. He made a pit and digged it, with the intention of destroying the righteous, and is fallen into the ditch which he made. V. l6. His mischief shall return upon his own head, slaying him with his own weapons, and his violent dealing shall come down upon his own pate, the wrath of God thereby being made manifest upon the oppressors. V. l7. I will praise the Lord according to His righteousness, giving Him thanks even now because of tile certainty of deliverance from the present distress; and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord most high. Beginning in a tone almost of despair, the believer ends his prayer with a confident, a triumphant shout; for such is the effect of faith.