Weds 20th May - Psalm 64
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 from 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!
- - -
Here is another Psalm of David but any link to a specific time is open to question. It could be when he is on the run from King Saul or it could be linked to Absalom’s conspiracy against him (see 2 Samuel 15:1-14). It is more likely to be the latter from what David is saying in this Psalm.
Whatever the cause, David is facing another tough situation.
He appeals to God…
- hear me
- protect me
- hide me
His enemies seem to take centre stage in the first six verses. Note the change from Psalm 63 where David’s relationship with God takes centre stage and his enemies just about get a mention (Psalm 63:9-10).
Now, his enemies take up the majority of the Psalm.
However, there is a ‘But God…’ in the second half.
When David ‘voices his complaint’ (v.1), he is not moaning at God. He is just letting God know what he is going through and what’s on his mind.
He is facing the ‘threat of an enemy.’
How are these enemies troubling David?
- evil plans
- plotting injustice
How does David describe their characteristics?
Where does all this stem from?
v.6 ‘surely the human mind and heart are cunning.’
Jeremiah goes one stage further - ‘the heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.’ (Jeremiah 17:9)
Jesus goes even further - “for it is within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come – sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile a person.” (Mark 7:21-23)
As a 16th Century evangelical once said, ‘There, but for the grace of God, go I.’
Today, we, as the people of God, face such an enemy who wants to destroy God’s work in us and to destroy God’s work across the world.
We do not face such persecution and imprisonment as thousands of our brothers and sisters around the world are doing as they stand firm in their faith.
We do, however, face a growing threat in the undermining of biblical truths across society in matters of relationships, both in practice and in teaching in our schools. We also face challenges in our being able to speak out against God’s clear mandate for living.
So we ‘voice our complaint’ to God and we pray…
- hear us
- protect us
- hide us
That’s not the end of the Psalm. We come to David’s ‘But God…’ (v.7b)
The wicked will not prosper ultimately, even if it seems they are gaining the upper hand.
God will intervene and we can have absolute confidence in His righteous judgments.
Remember what Abraham said, “will not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Genesis 18:25)
God will step in and turn their wickedness against themselves and bring them to ruin.
The result will be twofold.
- All people will respond in reverence for God; in proclamation of His works and in pondering (meditating) what He has done.
- The people of God (the righteous) will
- rejoice in the Lord
- take refuge in the Lord
- glory in the Lord
We all have a ‘But God…’ in our lives – what’s yours?
‘Thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of Him everywhere.’ (2 Corinthians 2:14)
Thursday 21st May - Psalm 65
Friday 22nd May - Psalm 66
Saturday 23rd May - Psalm 67
Sunday 24th May - Psalm 68
Monday 25th May - Psalm 69
Tuesday 26th May - Psalm 70