Thursday, June 9, 2011

Psalm 140

Preserve me from Violence
As in Psalm 138. David set before his seed God's promise as the anchor of hope (2Sa 7:1-17); and in Psalm 139, God's omniscience as our consolation in danger and motive for shunning evil; so in this Psalm he sets forth the danger from calumnious enemies, and our only safety in Jehovah, our strength.—Andrew Robert Fausset.
It is believed that this psalm was penned by David when he was being persecuted by Saul.  In this psalm,
  1. David complains of the malice of his enemies, and prays to God to preserve him from them
  2. He encourages himself in God as his God
  3. He prays for and prophesies the destruction of his persecutors
  4. He gives assurance to God's afflicted people
Spurgeon notes this:
With this sacrifice of prayer David offers the salt of faith; for in a very marked and emphatic manner he expresses his personal confidence in the Lord as the Protector of the oppressed, and as his own God and Defender. Few short Psalms are so rich in the jewelery of precious faith.

Spurgeon also reminds us that, though David expresses his anger towards his enemies, he leaves vengeance in the hands of the Lord:
It is to be noticed that concerning his enemies David was often hot in language through indignation, and yet he was cool in action, for he was not revengeful.  His was no petty malice, but a righteous anger: he foresaw, foretold, and even desired the just vengeance of God upon the proud and wicked, and yet he would not avail himself of opportunities to revenge himself upon those who had done him wrong.
September 11, 2001 - every American remembers that day.  No American will ever forget that day.  9/11.  The day terrorism struck on American soil, and many people lost their lives at the hands of evil, violent men.  Our lives were changed forever that day, and the events that took place that horrible morning perhaps help us understand the feelings David has expressed here in Psalm 140 regarding violent men who plan evil things in their hearts. 
Deliver me, O Lord, from evil men;
Preserve me from violent men,
Who plan evil things in their hearts.
~ Ps. 140:1

Cross erected at Ground Zero, site where the World Trade Center once stood.

Thou hast covered my head
in the day of battle.
~ Ps. 140:7 
When our boys were little, we took them horseback riding at Shelby Farms.  A little ways down the trail on our ride, one of the horses got spooked and bucked my son off, then was rearing and pounding the ground with his hooves very close to my son's head, trying to trample him.  As I was watching in terror, my husband quickly threw his body on top of Michael's to protect him from the horses' hooves.  Even more so our Heavenly Father covers our heads in the "day of battle."

A captain or prince had always beside him in battle an armour bearer, whose duty it was "to cover his master's head", that is, to ward off with the shield the blows aimed at his head, and which, in the heat of the fight, had escaped his own notice.
Benjamin Weiss

  • God is our safety and protector from evil people
  • God is our strength and salvation, and covers our head in the day of battle
  • The Lord will maintain the cause of the afflicted and justice for the poor
  • I praise the Lord for His protection over me, and that evil people cannot ultimately prevail over me
  • I bless the Lord that the upright shall dwell in His presence, and I am upright by my position in Christ Jesus
PRAYER: by pastor Bob Hostetler

Keep me, O LORD, out of the hands of the wicked;
protect me from people who find fault so freely with others
and have no insight into the deceit and hypocrisy of their own actions.

O LORD, I say to you, "You are my God."
Hear, O LORD, my cry for mercy.
O Sovereign LORD, my strong deliverer,
who shields my head in the day of battle-

do not grant the wicked their desires, O LORD;
do not let their plans succeed,
for the sake of your people,
for the sake of your righteousness,
for the sake of your reputation.

Let slanderers not be established in the land;
may disaster hunt down men and women who wreak havoc.

I know that you secure justice for the poor
and uphold the cause of the needy;
do it now,
do it here,
do it, please,
that the righteous may praise your name
and the upright will live before you.

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