Psalms



by Ken Cayce



© Ken Cayce All rights reserved.


Copyright



Table of Contents



Introduction

Chapters




Introduction


Back to Table of Contents




Psalms Explained





Go To PsalmsIndex



Book of PsalmsExplained

"Title": The English title comes for the Septuagint, which entitled the book Psalmoi, meaning "Sacred Songs Sung to Musical accompaniment". The Hebrew title for the book is tehilim, meaning "praises". If one word could be chosen to describe the book, certainly "praises" would qualify, for there is no psalm that does not contain an element of praise.


The entire collection of Psalms was entitled "Praises" in the Hebrew text, and later, rabbis often designated it "The Book of Praises". The Septuagint (LXX; the Greek translation of the Old Testament), labeled it "Psalms". Compare "the Book of Psalms" in the New Testament (Luke 20:42; Acts 1:20). The Greek verb from which the noun "psalms" comes basically denotes the "plucking or twanging of strings", so that an association with musical accompaniment is implied. The English title derives from the Greek term and its background. The Psalms constituted Israel's ancient, God-breathed (2 Tim. 3:16), "hymn book", which defined the proper spirit and content of worship.


There are 116 psalms that have superscriptions or "titles". The Hebrew text includes these titles, with the verses themselves. When the titles are surveyed individually and studied as a general phenomenon, there are significant indications that they were appended to their respective psalms shortly after composition and that they contain reliable information (compare Luke 20:42).


These titles convey various kinds of information such as authorship, dedication, historical occasion, liturgical assignment to a worship director, liturgical instruction (e.g., what kind of song it is, whether it is to have a musical accompaniment, and what tune to use), plus other technical instructions of uncertain meaning due to their great antiquity. One very tiny, attached Hebrew preposition shows up in the majority of the Psalm titles. It may convey different relationships, e.g. "of", "from", "by", "to", "for", "in reference to", "about". Sometimes it occurs more than once, even in short headings, usually supplying "of", or "by", person X ... "to", or "for", person Y information. However, this little preposition most frequently indicates the authorship of a psalm, whether "of" David, the accomplished psalmist of Israel, or "by" Moses, Solomon, Asaph or the sons of Korah.


"Authorship - Date": From the divine perspective, the Psalter points to God as its author. Approaching authorship from the human side one can identify a collection of more than 7 composers. King David wrote at least 73 of the 150 Psalms;


The superscriptions (part of the Hebrew text before the first version English), name six authors.


Moses, 1 Psalm (Psalm 90);


David, 73 Psalms;


Asaph, 3 Psalms (Psalms 50, 73-83);


Solomon, 2 Psalms (Psalms 72, 127);


Heman, 1 Psalm (Psalm 88);


Ethan, 1 Psalm (Psalm 89).


In addition to these authors, 10 psalms are assigned to "The Sons of Korah", (Psalms 42, 44-49, 84, 85, 87), though they were most likely performers rather that authors. (See the superscription in Psalm 88). Sixty-one psalms are anonymous.


In such a collection of hymns, a widely divergent range of dates is inevitable: from the oldest, the Psalm of Moses (90), to a number of postexilic psalms, or a period of about one thousand years (1400 - 400 B.C.), to the late sixth or early fifth century B.C. post-Exilic period (Psalm 126).


"Background": The backdrop for the Psalms is twofold:


(1) The acts of God in creation and history; and


(2) The history of Israel.


Historically, the psalms range in time from the origin of life to the post-Exilic joys of the Jews liberated from Babylon. Thematically, the psalms cover a wide spectrum of topics, ranging from heavenly worship to earthly war. The collected psalms comprise the largest book in the Bible and the most frequently quoted Old Testament book in the New Testament. Psalm 117 represents the middle (out of 1189), in the Bible. Psalm 119 is the largest in the entire Bible. Through the ages, the psalms have retained their original primary purpose, i.e., to engender the proper praise and worship of God.


The Bible tells us that before Jesus and His eleven sorrowful, bewildered disciples left the Upper Room to walk the dark pathways to the Mount of Olives, they sang a hymn, a psalm.


So it has been through the millennia. When God's people gather, whether in times of grief or celebration, they sing. The song style and instrumentation change with time, but singing remains a deeply rooted, fundamental part of the Judeo-Christian heritage.


From the spontaneous choir of former slaves on the far side of the Red Sea to the elaborate professional choirs and orchestras king David assembled among the Levites, singing became integral in Israel as worship became more and more organized. For instance, when David moved the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem for the first time, he appointed "some of the Levites ... to praise the Lord God of Israel". They used "stringed instruments and ... cymbals ... [and] trumpets" (1 Chron. 16:4-6). He also gave Asaph and his kinsmen the directive that thanksgiving be sung to the Lord.


Years later, when the elderly David turned the kingship over to Solomon, he designated 4000 Levites to praise the Lord with musical instruments that were made for them (1 Chron. 23:5). In addition, David set more than 300 others to sing ("prophesy), worship songs in the temple (1 Chron. 25:1-31).


All the music written for the instruments and all the songs written for the choirs came together hundreds of years later in what we now call the Book of Psalms, 150 prayers and songs that became the hymnbook of the people of God. In fact, many of the words from those psalms found their way into historic hymns of the church and are now in contemporary praise and worship hymns.


While it is difficult to get the full effect without knowing the melodies, to read the words in Psalms is to read lyrics that once echoed off the walls of the temple in Jerusalem. It is to join hearts and hands across time for the purpose of enthroning the God whose mercy endures forever.


What Does This mean to Us?


At least three major themes are woven through these 150 psalms:


God and His Rule: Both Psalms and Proverbs were written as Hebrew poetry. Psalms was used in worship, while Proverbs was used in instruction in homes and royal courts. Psalms is all about God, whereas Proverbs focuses more on horizontal relationships between people. Whatever human affairs are included in Psalms are always in the context of people and their relationship to God. Psalms is about the rule of God, His kingdom, law, glory, worthiness, primacy and standards. As the songs of Psalms were sung in worship, the attention of worshipers was constantly directed upward, to Him.


Honesty: The songs of Israel are characterized by passion, transparency, vulnerability, and pathos. Whether the psalmist warns against concealing sin (32), begging for forgiveness (51), admitting there is no place to hide from God (139), acknowledging that evil so often seems to prevail (73), or asking God to administer justice to His enemies 55), readers are invited to come boldly to the throne of grace to find mercy and grace in time of need (Heb. 4:16).


Worship: The Book of Psalms was Israel's hymn book. It contained the individual and corporate reasons to praise God within the nation and to declare His glory to the nations. It is no surprise that the entire book concludes with a final psalm that encourages worshipers to praise God in "church" and in all creation, with all manner of musical instruments, for His acts and His greatness (150:6).


"Historical - Theological Themes": The basic theme of Psalms is living real life in the real world, where two dimensions operate simultaneously:


(1) A horizontal or temporal reality; and


(2) A vertical or transcendent reality.


Without denying the pain of the earthly dimension, the people of God are to live joyfully and dependently on the Person and promises standing behind the heavenly/eternal dimension. All cycles of human troubles and triumphs provide occasions for expressing human complaints, confidence, prayers, or praise to Israel's sovereign Lord.


In view of this, Psalms presents a broad array of theology, practically couched in day-to-day reality. The sinfulness of man is documented concretely, not only through the behavioral patterns of the wicked, but also by the periodic stumbling's of believers. The sovereignty of God is everywhere recognized, but not at the expense of genuine human responsibility. Life often seems to be out of control, and yet all events and situations are understood in the light of divine providence as being right on course according to God's timetable. Assuring glimpses of a future "God's day" bolsters the call for perseverance to the end. This book of praise manifests a very practical theology.


A commonly misunderstood phenomenon in Psalms is the association that often develops between the "one" (the psalmist), and the "many" (the theocratic people). Virtually all of the cases of this occur in the psalms of King David. There was an inseparable relationship between the mediatorial ruler and his people; as life went for the king, so it went for the people. Furthermore, at times this union accounted for the psalmist's apparent connection with Christ in the messianic psalms (or messianic portions of certain psalms). The so-called imprecatory (curse pronouncing) psalms may be better understood with this perspective. As God's mediatorial representative on earth, David prayed for judgment on his enemies, since these enemies were not only hurting him, but were primarily hurting God's people. Ultimately, they challenged the King of Kings, the God of Israel.


Classification of the Psalms: There have been numerous attempts to classify the psalms. Though each psalm is an individual poem with its own theme, there are enough noticeable shared forms and ideas to warrant categorization. The following classification is based partly on form and partly on content:


1. Lament Psalms contain a plea for deliverance or defense and are addressed directly to God. They may be individual (Chapters 5-7, 13, 17, 22, 25, 26, 28, 31, 35, 36, 38, 39, 42, 43, 51, 54-57, 59, 61, 63, 64, 69-71, 86, 88, 102, 109, 120, 130, 140-143). Or national (Chapters 12, 44, 58, 60, 74, 77, 79, 80, 82, 83, 85, 90, 94, 106, 108, 123, 126, 137).


2. Psalms of confidence include a lament, but the ideas of security, peace, joy, and confidence predominate. They may be individual (Chapters 3, 4, 11, 16, 23, 27, 62, 121, 131 (or national (Chapters 115, 125, 129).


3. Songs of Thanksgiving express public thanksgiving for what God has done or in anticipation of what He will do. They may be individual (Chapters 9, 10, 30, 32, 34, 40, 41, 92, 107, 116, 138), or national (Chapters 65-68, 118, 124).


4. Psalms of Praise are constructed around three key elements: a call to praise or introduction, a cause for praise (usually for God's attributes or deeds), and a conclusion (Chapters 8, 19, 29, 33, 100, 103, 104, 111, 113, 114, 117, 135, 136, 145 - 150).


5. Enthronement Psalms of the Divine Kingdom contain the expression "the Lord reigns" (or, in the case of Psalm 98, "the Lord, the King"), and speak of the rule of God over all the earth. They are prophetic of Christ's kingly rule (Chapters 47, 93, 96 - 99).


6. Songs of Zion extol Zion, or Jerusalem, for its exalted role as the abode of God's glory and as the religious and political capital of the nation (Chapters 15, 24, 46, 48, 50, 76, 81, 84, 87, 95, 122, 134). The Pilgrim Psalms (see below), are sometimes included here, but they do not really constitute a distinct literary type.


7. Royal Psalms concern the reign of the king, either historical or messianic, or both (Chapters 2, 18, 20, 21, 45, 72, 89, 101, 110, 132, 144).


8. Wisdom Psalms emphasize the traditional teaching of the wise men of Israel: meditation of the law, the way of the righteous versus the way of the wicked, and the necessity of practical righteousness (Chapters 1, 14, 37, 49, 52, 53, 73, 75, 91, 112, 119, 127, 128, 133, 139).


9. Historical Psalms trace the history of God's saving activity on behalf of Israel (Chapters 78, 105).


Other categories, identified strictly for content, overlap with the above. These include the following:


1. Messianic Psalms are prophetic in some way of the Messiah. They include psalms in which the righteous man's character is a type of Christ (34:20; 69:4, 9), the righteous man's experience foreshadows Christ's experience (22), the existing king's ideals and calling will be fulfilled in Christ, the ultimate King (Chapters 2, 45, 72), Christ's work is prophesied with no contemporary reference (only 110), or the enthronement of Christ as universal King over the earth is predicted (Chapters 47, 93, 96 - 99).


2. Imprecatory Psalms contain an imprecation or prayer for retributive justice to fall on one's enemy (Chapters 35, 55, 58, 59, 69, 83, 109, 137, 140). These may be justified by remembering that the Israelites were building a political kingdom and, as long as evil men triumphed over them, God's rule was thwarted. The psalmists were concerned primarily with the glory of God, and at the very least, they did put the matter into God's hands for His just dealing. These prayers are actually in the same spirit as the petition "Thy kingdom come" (Matt. 6:10), because the coming of God's kingdom includes the destruction of the wicked (see the note on Psalm 109).


3. Psalms of Ascents or Pilgrim Psalms (Chapters 120 - 134), were sung by pilgrims journeying up to Jerusalem for the three annual feasts of Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles.


4. Acrostic Psalms are those in which each verse begins with a consecutive letter of the Hebrew alphabet (Chapters 9, 10, 25, 34, 37, 111, 112, 119, 145). Psalm 119 is in a class by itself with eight verses for each letter of the alphabet.


Superscriptions in the Psalms: The identification of many of the technical words in the superscriptions is dubious. The headings include names for types of psalms ("a psalm"), musical terms ("to the chief musician"), melody indicators ("upon Shoshannim", 45), and liturgical indicators ("for the Sabbath day", 92). Fourteen psalms contain historical superscriptions that give some brief mention of the occasion on which the psalm was written (Chapters 3, 7, 18, 30, 34, 51, 52, 54, 56, 57, 59, 60, 63, 142).


Purpose of the Psalms: The purpose of the psalms was well expressed by David when he instituted hymns in Israel. He appointed the Levites "to record [better: make petition] and to thank and praise the Lord God of Israel" (1 Chron. 16:4). The Book of Psalms is a record of petitions (or laments), thanksgiving, and praise to God by His people. As such it has brought comfort, encouragement, and blessing to God's people throughout the ages. Every human emotion is covered in these hymns of aspiration to God.


Structure" The Book of Psalms is arranged in five books:


Book 1 (Psalms 1-41);


Book 2 (Psalms 42-72);


Book 3 (Psalms 73-89);


Book 4 (Psalms 90-106);


Book 5 (Psalms 107-150).


Each of the first four books concludes with a doxology, while Psalm 150 serves in its entirely as both a doxology for the fifth book and an appropriate conclusion of the entire Psalter The fivefold arrangement has long been recognized, but no explanation for its origin has proved satisfactory. The most common is the early Jewish tradition that judged the five books to be an imitation of the five books of Moses. None to date, however, has satisfactorily enumerated undisputed likenesses between the two sets of books, although some parallels have been found.





Chapters


Back to Table of Contents




Chapter Selection



Chapters



Back to Table of Contents



Psalms 1 Psalms 51 Psalms 101
Psalms 2 Psalms 52 Psalms 102
Psalms 3 Psalms 53 Psalms 103
Psalms 4 Psalms 54 Psalms 104
Psalms 5 Psalms 55 Psalms 105
Psalms 6 Psalms 56 Psalms 106
Psalms 7 Psalms 57 Psalms 107
Psalms 8 Psalms 58
Psalms 108
Psalms 9 Psalms 59 Psalms 109
Psalms 10 Psalms 60 Psalms 110
Psalms 11 Psalms 61 Psalms 111
Psalms 12 Psalms 62 Psalms 112
Psalms 13 Psalms 63 Psalms 113
Psalms 14 Psalms 64 Psalms 114
Psalms 15 Psalms 65 Psalms 115
Psalms 16 Psalms 66 Psalms 116
Psalms 17 Psalms 67 Psalms 117
Psalms 18 Psalms 68 Psalms 118
Psalms 19 Psalms 69 Psalms 119
Psalms 20 Psalms 70 Psalms 120
Psalms 21 Psalms 71 Psalms 121
Psalms 22 Psalms 72 Psalms 122
Psalms 23 Psalms 73 Psalms 123
Psalms 24 Psalms 74 Psalms 124
Psalms 25 Psalms 75 Psalms 125
Psalms 26 Psalms 76
Psalms 126
Psalms 27 Psalms 77 Psalms 127
Psalms 28 Psalms 78 Psalms 128
Psalms 29 Psalms 79 Psalms 129
Psalms 30 Psalms 80 Psalms 130
Psalms 31 Psalms 81 Psalms 131
Psalms 32 Psalms 82 Psalms 132
Psalms 33 Psalms 83 Psalms 133
Psalms 34 Psalms 84 Psalms 134
Psalms 35 Psalms 85 Psalms 135
Psalms 36 Psalms 86 Psalms 136
Psalms 37 Psalms 87 Psalms 137
Psalms 38 Psalms 88 Psalms 138
Psalms 39 Psalms 89 Psalms 139
Psalms 40 Psalms 90
Psalms 140
Psalms 41 Psalms 91 Psalms 141
Psalms 42 Psalms 92 Psalms 142
Psalms 43 Psalms 93 Psalms 143
Psalms 44 Psalms 94 Psalms 144
Psalms 45 Psalms 95 Psalms 145
Psalms 46 Psalms 96 Psalms 146
Psalms 47 Psalms 97 Psalms 147
Psalms 48 Psalms 98 Psalms 148
Psalms 49 Psalms 99 Psalms 149
Psalms 50 Psalms 100 Psalms 150

Psalms 1



Psalm 1

We are about to begin one of the most loved books in the Bible. The Psalms have been used at funerals, to comfort those who have lost a loved one and have also, been read for comfort and joy. The most prominent of the penmen, was David. More than 72 of the Psalms are attributed to him. Some of the other penmen are: 12 attributed to Asaph, 12 by the sons of Korah, 2 by Solomon, 1 by Moses, 1 by Ethan and over 40 that the penman is unknown. I believe that many of the unknown are also from David. There are 150 chapters in this book of Psalms. The longest chapter in the Bible is the 119 chapter of Psalms. It contains 176 verses. Some of the Psalms are so personal in nature that you feel as if you are eavesdropping on a conversation the penman had with God. Many of the chapters are instructions for the proper way to worship. There are many lessons to be learned in this book for us today.


Jesus frequently quoted from the book of Psalms. There are well over a hundred quotations in the New Testament (by various penmen), taken from the book of Psalms. The book of Psalms is a book of prophecy, as well. The birth, crucifixion, resurrection, and the second coming of Christ are all spoken of in Psalms.


As in no other of the books, we see a fellowship with the spirit of man and almighty God. As in all of the other Bible studies, we will be looking at the spiritual side of this book. The Christians, as well as the Hebrews, have used the book of Psalms in their worship services. The Hebrews sang from the book of Psalms as they entered their place of worship. Perhaps, Jesus and the disciples sang from the Psalms after sharing the Passover feast.


Matthew 26:30 "And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives."


We do know, from the Scripture above, that they sang.


The Psalms are written as poetry. As we said above, the Psalms are prayers and praise toward Almighty God. David wrote the most popular Psalm, the 23rd. Many people have memorized this particular Psalm. In it, we find that Jesus is the great Shepherd, and we believers are His sheep. David makes us aware of the supernatural care that God takes of His sheep. Notice that David calls God Lord in this chapter. Then he goes on to describe the blissful state the man has with His Lord. I won't quote it here and ruin it for the lesson. We will find in this first lesson, actually the message of the entire book. The blessings for those who make God their Lord, and the punishments for those who do not.


Verses 1-6: This wisdom psalm basically functions as an introduction to the entire book of Psalms. Its theme is as big as the whole Bible because it tells of people, paths, and ultimate destinations (for a significant parallel, see Jer. 17:5-8). By two cycles of contrast, Psalm 1 separates all people into their respective spiritual categories:


  1. By observation, all people are separated ethically (1:1-4)
  2. A picture of the Godly (1:1-3).
  3. A Picture of the Ungodly (1:4).
  4. By outcome, all people are separated judicially (1:5-6).
  5. The Failure of Ungodly People (1:5).
  6. The Fruition of Lifestyles (1:6).
  7. Recognition of the Godly.
  8. Ruination of the ungodly (1:6b).

"Psalm 1": The key word in the Psalm is the word "Blessed". It serves here as a pronouncement upon a man, but a certain kind of man. In essence, the psalm is teaching that the blessed or happy man is the righteous man. The happy man avoids evil influences, deeds, and attitudes (verse 1); he delights in God's Word (verse 2); Therefore, God causes him to prosper (verse 3). On the other hand, the "ungodly" is worth no more than "chaff" (verse 4), and his destiny is judgment (verse 5). Finally, the evaluation by the Lord Himself is described (verse 6). There is an ellipsis which is understood with both clauses in verse 6: "For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous" [and it will be blessed], "but" [He also knows] "the way of the ungodly" [and it] "shall perish". The psalm forms an appropriate introduction to the Psalter since it sets before the readers the three characters who will figure mostly in the psalms: the righteous, the ungodly and God.


Psalm 1:1 "Blessed [is] the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful."


"Blessed": The word "blessed" means "happy" or "inward joy is theirs" (Matt. 5:3-12). An exclamation of strong emotion, it results from deep reflection on a subject. The psalmist paints a picture of the gravitational pull of evil.


From the perspective of the individual, this is a deep-seated joy and contentment in God; from the perspective of the believing community, it refers to redemptive favor (compare the blessings and cursings of (Deut. 27:11 - 28:6).


"The counsel of the ungodly" refers to advice that encourages people to live evil lives without concern for righteousness or obedience to God (26:4-5; Prov. 4:14). The ungodly move from counsel to walking on the "path" to settling into the "seat" as they embrace an evil way of life.


Just as the Sermon on the Mount began with blessings, we see this book of Psalms begins with blessings. Blessed, in the verse above, is not speaking of a single blessing, but of walking in blessings from God. To be blessed of God means that we are walking in the salvation that Jesus purchased for us with His precious blood. We are walking in the righteousness of Christ. Notice in the statement (the man), this is an individual thing. Though there may be many worldly people living next to this person, he or she has decided not to walk in the counsel of the worldly. This is a deliberate decision on this person's part. This person may be walking alone. The following Scripture describes the walk of the person who decides not to walk in the counsel of the ungodly.


Galatians 2:20 "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."


The word (walketh), means to continually walk. Notice the progression here. At first, he is walking, then he is standing, then last he is sitting. This shows that we must not fellowship with those of unbelief. When you stop and stand, you are giving more time than walking, and sitting requires even more time. The scornful can be either someone who professes belief and feels he is so much better than the average, or it could be those who totally reject Christianity. We would call him an atheist. We need to see in this that fellowshipping with those of unbelief is dangerous. A believer in Christ is cautioned not to fellowship with those of unbelief. Light and darkness cannot prevail in the same place.


2 Corinthians 6:14 "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?"


True happiness comes from fellowship with God, not with the world.


Psalm 1:2 "But his delight [is] in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night."


"His delight ... in the law": Switching to a positive description, the spiritually "happy" man is characterized by the consistent contemplation and internalization of God's Word for ethical direction and obedience.


The law of the Lord here, means the Word of God (the Bible). To meditate is to think strongly on the matter. We find then, that we are not only to read the Bible, but to think strongly about what it is saying to us. We are to ever keep the teachings of the Bible before us. When we think upon God's Word, the Holy Spirit will teach us of the hidden things of the Word. The more we meditate, the more we know. We will never be able to learn it all, but we can learn more each time we study and think on God's Word. When it says day and night, it is speaking of taking God's Word with us wherever we go. Our waking thoughts are all guided by God's Word. Even in business transactions, we should make our decisions based on God's Word.


Psalm 1:3 "And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper."


"Like a tree": Because of the mostly arid terrain of Israel, a lush tree served as a fitting symbol of blessing in the Old Testament. "Planted": Literally "transplanted". Trees do not plant themselves; neither do sinful people transport themselves into God's kingdom. Salvation is His marvelous work of grace (compare Isa. 61:3; Matt. 15:13). Yet, there is genuine responsibility in appropriating the abundant resources of God (compare Jer. 17:8), which lead to eventual productivity.


The image here is of a "tree" nourished by the constant supply of water from the river. The Hebrew word suggests the attributes of strength, stability, and endurance. Supplies of grace drawn from the Word of God are what sustain godly people. They put down roots in scripture and draw strength from it for their lives (Jer. 17:8). Those who are deeply "planted" in God's Word may not be wealthy, but they will be fruitful in God's work, which is true prosperity (92:12-14).


A tree planted by water would be a very strong tree. For a tree to be planted, would indicate that it was not a wild tree. It would be nourished by the water. Water in the Scriptures many times means the Word. We see an example of that in the following Scripture.


Ephesians 5:26 "That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,"


Then what this is saying to us, is that if we read and think on the Word of God, we shall be made very strong. This nourishment of the Word of God will make this Christian very strong in the spirit, and will make him or her to be fruit bearers. Christianity is contagious, if you have a good dose yourself, you will give it to others around you as well. You will become a fruit producer.


Matthew 13:23 "But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth [it]; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty."


We see in the Scripture above, the leaf that shall not wither. This means that it is evergreen. The evergreen symbolizes everlasting life. This person has everlasting life. The prosperity mentioned above is in the soul.


3 John 1:2 "Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth."


Some people cannot handle great wealth. If a person who cannot handle wealth, becomes rich in this world's goods, they might lose their soul. The best policy is in this next Scripture.


Matthew 6:33 "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."


The closest walk that most of us have with God, is in the real trials of life. We realize that we are not able to handle a problem on our own, and we reach out to God. If riches would cause me to wander away from God, I do not want riches.


Psalm 1:4 "The ungodly [are] not so: but [are] like the chaff which the wind driveth away."


"The ungodly are not so": This is an abrupt contrast, literally "Not so the wicked!"


"Chaff": A frequent Old Testament word picture from harvest time for what is unsubstantial, without value, and worthy only to be discarded.


We know that the chaff grows with the wheat until harvest time. The chaff is destroyed, and the wheat is carried into the barn. The ungodly live around the godly in this world, but at harvest time there is a separation. The ungodly, like the chaff, are destroyed at harvest time. The ungodly are of no use, just as the chaff is thrown away at harvest.


Psalm 1:5 "Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous."


To "stand in the judgment" of God is a desired outcome here, a symbol of divine approval. "Congregation of the righteous" refers to God's people, those whose faith is reflected by their delight in God's Word (1:2), and who live according to it. In the day of judgment, the wicked will not be left standing with those who love God and strive to obey Him; they will be separated and sentenced to eternal punishment.


"Therefore ... not stand": "Therefore" introduces the strong conclusion that the ungodly will not be approved by God's judgment.


At harvest time, we shall all appear at the judgement seat of Christ. The ungodly shall be cast into the lake of fire and the believers in Christ shall reign with Him. How wonderful to stand before Jesus and hear Him say: "Well done thy good and faithful servant". How terrible for the ungodly who will hear Him say, Get away from me, I never knew you. We stand or fall by the judgement of Jesus. The ungodly will fall at this judgement. Heaven is for the believers in Christ. There will be no ungodly in heaven.


Psalm 1:6 "For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish."


"The Lord knoweth": This is far more than recognition; the Lord "knows" everything. In this context, the reference is to personal intimacy and involvement with His righteous ones (Matt. 7:23; 2 Tim. 2:19).


"The way of": The repetition of this phrase picks up on the "path" imagery so characteristic of this psalm. It refers to one's total course of life, i.e., lifestyle. Here these two courses arrive at the ways of life and death (as in Deut. 30:19; Jer. 21:8; Matt. 7:13-14).


The righteous carves his name upon the rock, but the wicked writes his remembrance in the wind. The righteous man plows furrows of earth and sows, and has a harvest here, which shall never be fully reaped until he enters the enjoyments of eternity. But as for the wicked, he plows the sea, and though there may seem to be a shining trail behind his keel, yet the waves shall pass over it, and the place that knew him shall know him no more forever" (Charles Spurgeon).


"Shall perish": One day the wicked person's way will end in ruin; a new order is coming and it will be a righteous order. So, Psalm 1 begins with the "blessed" and ends with those who "perish" (compare Psalms 9:5-6; 112:10).


There is the broad way which leads to destruction, but there is also the narrow way of righteousness which leads to eternal life in Christ. The righteous have their names written in the Lamb's book of life. We, by our own free will, choose eternal life or death. The way we choose to follow on this earth determines the outcome. The righteous are made righteous in the sight of God, when we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. Our own righteousness was as filthy rags, until we washed in the blood of the Lamb and took on His righteousness. God knows even the thoughts of your heart. God knew from the foundation of the earth. He did not, foreordain, but foreknew.


Psalm 1 Questions


1. Who wrote most of the Psalms?


2. Name 3 others who wrote at least one Psalm.


3. Who does the author believe that some of the Psalms, not attributed to a specific penman, were written by?


4. What is the longest chapter in the Bible?


5. How many verses does it contain?


6. Many of the Psalms are giving instructions for the proper way to do what?


7. How many quotes from Psalms are there in the New Testament?


8. What things cause the book of Psalms to be known as a prophetic book?


9. Who used the book of Psalms in their worship services?


10. What is the most popular Psalm?


11. Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the _____________.


12. Nor standeth in the way of ___________.


13. Nor sitteth in the seat of the _____________.


14. What is blessed, in verse one, really speaking of?


15. What does the statement, (the man) indicate to us?


16. What does Galatians chapter 2 verse 20 tell us about the Christian walk?


17. What does walketh mean?


18. Who can these scornful be?


19. What does 2 Corinthians 6:14 tell us about fellowship?


20. What is the law of the Lord?


21. What does meditate mean?


22. What does the statement (day and night), mean here?


23. The person who delights in the Lord is compared to what in verse 3?


24. What nourishes the tree?


25. What does the water symbolize?


26. If we read the Bible and think on the Word, what will happen to us?


27. What is the fruit spoken of in verse 3?


28. What is meant by the leaf not withering?


29. What type of prosperity is verse 3 speaking of?


30. What are the ungodly like in verse 4?


31. Who will not stand in the judgement?


32. What do the Christians hope to hear the Lord Jesus say, when we stand before Him?


33. Who knows the ways of the righteous?


34. What will happen to the ungodly?





Go to Previous Section | Go to Next Section | Return to Top

Return to Psalms Menu | Return to Bible Menu


Psalms 2



Psalm 2

Psalm 2: Psalm 2 is attributed to David (in Acts 4:25), and is called the second psalm (in Acts 13:33). The introductory rhetorical question, "Why do the heathen rage" (verse 1), is shown in the following verses to be a question of incredulity: Why do the nations attack God's anointed king when their attack is doomed to failure? Historically, "his Anointed" (verse 2), referred to David or to any of his descendants who were experiencing opposition (compare 1 Sam. 24:6); prophetically, it refers to the Messiah who, as Son of David, also experienced opposition (Acts 4:25-27). The fact that God "shall laugh (verse 4), at the world's opposition to the Anointed One presages their calamity because the Lord has installed His "King upon ... Zion" (verse 6). And adopted Him as His "Son"; therefore, the nations may be taken as an "inheritance" at the son's request (verse 8). Every Davidic ruler was an adopted son (2 Sam. 7:14), but the real significance of the promise is fulfilled only in Christ, the eternal Son of God (Acts 13:33; Heb. 1:5; 5:5). The wise alternative is to submit to this Son (verses 10-12).


Verses 1-12: Sometimes Psalm 2 is said to share with Psalm 1 in the role of introducing the Psalter (compare "blessed" in 1:1 and 2:12). Also, it seems that which the function of Psalm 1 is to disclose the two different "ways" for individuals, Psalm 2 follows up with its application to nations. This psalm is normally termed "royal" and has had a long history of messianic interpretation. Although it has no title, it seems to bear the imprint of David's hand. As such, it fluidly moves from the lesser David through the Davidic dynasty to the Greater David, Jesus Christ. Psalm 2 progressively shines its poetic spotlight on 4 vivid scenes relating to the mutiny of mankind against God


  1. Scene One: Human Rebellion (2:1-3).
  2. Scene Two: Devine Reaction (2:4-6).
  3. Scene Three: Divine Rule (2:7-9).
  4. Scene Four: Human Responsibility (2:10-12).

Psalm 2:1 "Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?"


"Why" sets the tone of the psalm, one of astonishment at the senseless rejection of God's rule. This psalm is meant to be read in connection with Psalm 110, fulfilled both in David's time and at the time of the people's rejection of the Messiah (Acts 4:25-26). "Imagine" communicates the activities of a people who complain and are discontent.


"Imagine a vain thing": This is the irony of man's depravity, devising, conspiring, and scheming emptiness (compare Psalm 38:12; Prov. 24:2; Isa. 59:3, 13).


All who were not followers of God were thought of as heathen. At the time this was written, if you were not an Israelite, you were thought of as a heathen. Today it is according to who is speaking. The Arabs believe all people besides them are heathen. The Christians believe that those who have totally rejected Jesus as their Savior and Lord are heathen. The list could go on and on. In all of the lessons we have done, the idea is to apply these Scriptures to our present circumstance.


I believe that, even though the penman of this Psalm was speaking of some local problem, he was also speaking of all down through the ages when the heathen would rage. Ungodly men and women have never had peace within them. Rage in the Scripture above, means to be tumultuous. Ungodly people believe to settle anything should be through fighting. Most of the things imagined never come about. This Scripture brings to mind the way it will be just before the return of the Lord. Men's hearts failing them, for fear of things that are coming upon the earth. Heathens are really those who have rejected Jesus Christ as Savior. We will see this very thing in the next few verses.


Psalm 2:2 "The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, [saying],"


Against ... against": The nations and peoples, led by their kings and rulers (verse 1), direct their hostility toward the Lord and His anointed one. The consecrated and commissioned mediatorial representative referred to David in a near sense and Messiah, i.e., Christ, in the ultimate sense (compare Acts 4:25-26).


Psalm 2:3 "Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us."


Their bands ... their cords": Mutinous mankind, instead of understanding that these are God's love-bonds (Hosea 11:4), view them as yoke bands (Jer. 5:5).


Not only did Herod and Pilate try to do away with Jesus, but even many rulers in our day have gone totally against the teachings of Jesus in the Bible. So many decisions made in the courts of our land are directly opposed to the teachings in the Bible. We can look back and point a finger at the people involved in the crucifixion and total rejection of Jesus nearly 2000 years ago. But I say, where are our leaders who will stand up for the Lord Jesus Christ today? Are we a nation of God fearing people, or have we compromised too? This chapter of Psalms is a prophetic chapter. This is all about Jesus Christ the Lord (Messiah). To look back to verse one and connect it to this; the entire world who do not know God, are raging and imagining bad things about God.


Verse 3 above says it all. Worldly people do not want to serve a holy God. One more very important thing to notice is that, these rulers and counsel [set themselves] against the Lord. God has given us a free will to serve Him or to turn against Him. They have chosen to turn against Him. Ungodly leaders have a tendency to have ungodly subjects. When people are not subject to God, they have no morals, and the whole society turns to evil. This seems to me to be what this above Scripture is saying. Pornography, filthy books and movies, homosexuality, lesbianism, incest, drugs, and alcohol are all products of a society out of fellowship with God. Who will stand up and say, it is enough? We must repent and serve God.


Psalm 2:4 "He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision."


God laughs at the very idea that people think they can oppose His will (37:13).


All of man's power is as nothing with Almighty God. Even the next breath that we take, is by permission from Almighty God. The Father has given this power to Jesus Christ.


Philippians 2:10-11 "That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth;" " And [that] every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ [is] Lord, to the glory of God the Father."


For a mere human being to come against the Father or His Son is absurd. God does not even bother to try to straighten them out, He just laughs that they would be so foolish. To have them in derision, means He would laugh them to scorn. To reject Jesus (God's Son), seals your doom. This is one thing God will not forgive.


Psalm 2:5 "Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure."


"Then": After mocking them with the laughter of divine contempt, God speaks and acts from His perfectly balanced anger.


There is a time when God's wrath will come into His face. Then it is too late. God is patient as we read above, but there is a time, when He will speak in His wrath. What a terrible thing to feel the wrath of God. Believers in the Lord Jesus Christ will be saved from the wrath to come.


Romans 5:9 "Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him."


The word vex in this instance, means to tremble. It would certainly be the time to tremble, if the wrath of God was vented against you. We know that the soldiers which came to get Jesus fell backwards just at Jesus answering them. The power in the voice of God is beyond our understanding. The voice of God speaking to the children of Israel from the mountain, frightened them so that they begged Moses to talk to God for them. God was not even angry then. Think how unbelievably frightening the voice of God would be, if He were angry.


Psalm 2:6 "Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion."


"Have I set": their puny challenge (verse 3), is answered by this powerful pronouncement. It's as good as done: His king will be enthroned on Jerusalem's most prominent hill.


God will put whoever He wants to in authority, anytime He wants to. No power on earth can keep Him from doing what He wishes. This is possibly, looking forward to Jesus Christ who will be Lord of lords and King of kings. Zion is symbolic of the church of the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus is not only King, but Lord as well. Of course there is a literal Zion, but I believe this is speaking of His church.


Psalm 2:7 "I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou [art] my Son; this day have I begotten thee."


"I will declare the decree": The installed mediator now recites the Lord's previously issued enthronement ordinance.


"Thou art my Son": This recalls (2 Sam. 7:8-16), as the basis for the Davidic king. It is also the only Old Testament reference to the Father/Son relationship in the Trinity, a relationship decreed in eternity past and demonstrated in the incarnation, thus a major part of the New Testament.


"This day have I begotten thee": He expresses the privileges of relationship, with its prophetic application to the Son, Messiah. This verse is quoted in the New Testament with reference to the birth of Jesus (Heb. 1:5-6), and also to His resurrection (Acts 13:33-34), as the earthly affirmations.


When was Jesus "begotten"? Answering this question involves understanding the meaning here of the word "day". As God lives beyond time, He cannot be limited to a 24-hour period. This word means an eternal day. Jesus did not become the Son of God at a point in time; rather He has eternally been in the process of being generated as the Son in God's eternal day. There has never been a time when Christ was not the Son of God. On several occasions during His ministry on earth, the Sonship of Christ was particularly emphasized, in the Incarnation (Luke 1:35), in the Baptism (Matt. 3:17), and in the Resurrection (Rom. 1:4). These events did not make Christ the Son of God, but only proved that He already was. As the Christian thinks of the present ministry of Christ, he recognizes this also as an opportunity to appreciate Christ's unique relationship with the Father (Heb. 1:1-4; compare John 1:51).


This leaves absolutely no doubt at all that this is speaking of the Lord Jesus. Just as the voice came from the heavens at Jesus' baptism, and said, "This is my beloved Son", we see Jesus here as King.


Matthew 3:17 "And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."


We can also look at the voice from the heavens at the transfiguration.


Matthew 17:5 "While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him."


Psalm 2:8 "Ask of me, and I shall give [thee] the heathen [for] thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth [for] thy possession."


A very small part of the heathen was the inheritance of David, and therefore the Messiah only can be spoken of in this verse. Before Messiah "all kings" were to "fall down; all nations to do him service" (Psalm 72:11; compare Isa. 49:22; 60:3-4; Matt. 28:19).


"And the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession": The whole world, not only the Jewish nation, but the Gentiles also, as this phrase is almost universally used in the Old Testament (as Psalm 19:4; 22:28; 46:10; 65:5; Isa. 40:28; 45:22). And so, these words declare the great amplitude of the kingdom of the Messiah.


We see in this, the power and authority that Jesus has. All of the inhabitants of the earth have been bought and paid for by the precious blood of Jesus Christ (God's Anointed). The Scripture from (Philippians 2:10), leaves no doubt how far reaching this power and authority of Jesus is. What Adam and Eve lost in the Garden of Eden, Jesus purchased back on the cross. Whether we know Jesus as our Savior and Lord or not, we are His property. He can either save us, or condemn us to an eternity in hell when we stand before him on judgement day. Jesus is the Judge. We are His creation and He purchased us with His blood at Calvary.


1 Timothy 4:10 "For therefore we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, specially of those that believe."


Jesus made salvation available to all mankind. Not all will accept the salvation He offered.


1 Corinthians 10:26 "For the earth [is] the Lord's, and the fullness thereof."


Psalm 2:9 "Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel."


"Thou shalt ... thou shalt": The supreme sovereignty of "the King of kings" is pictured in its subjugation might. The shepherd's "rod" and the king's scepter" are the same word in the original. Shepherding and kingly imagery often merged in ancient Near Eastern thought (compare Micah 7:14).


"Rod of iron" is the scepter that represents kingship, iron being symbolic of strength (Rev. 2:26-27; 19:15). The phrase "dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel" illustrates the strength of the king over the nations; in comparison to him, they are like fragile pottery.


One of the reasons the Jews did not accept Jesus as Messiah, was because they were expecting a mighty warrior such as David, who would conquer their enemies for them. Jesus, when He comes back to the earth this time to reign for the 1000 years, will be that Lord and Master that they were looking for then. His rule will be absolute. Those who do not do the will of God will be destroyed. The Potter has power to destroy His creation, if it is not pleasing unto Him. I believe this Scripture above just shows His absolute rule.



Verses 10-12: The tone of these verses is surprising. Instead of immediate judgment, the Lord and His Anointed mercifully provide an opportunity for repentance. Five commands place responsibility on mutinous mankind.


Psalm 2:10 "Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth."


"Be wise ... be instructed" are favorite words in wisdom literature. Kings should act prudently and with discretion. This begins with reverencing God and submitting to His authority.


Psalm 2:11 "Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling."


If ye will not serve him (i.e. honor and obey him), from love, do it from fear. "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" (Psalm 111:10). And rejoice. Do not be content with "fear". Go on from fear to love, and so to joy.


"Rejoice": Do not esteem his yoke your dishonor and grievance. But know that it is a greater glory and happiness to be the subjects of this King, than to be emperors of the greatest empire. And accordingly rejoice in it, and bless God for this inestimable grace and benefit.


With "trembling": Not with a fearful looking for of judgment, but with modesty and humility. In which sense this word, when joined with "fear" as here, is used (Phil. 2:12), and stands opposed to pride, haughtiness, and arrogance. Men should so rejoice in Christ as to have no confidence in the flesh, or assume any degree of glory to themselves. Or have any rejoicing in themselves, but wholly in Christ, giving all the glory of what they have to him.


We see from this that to fear the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom. The kings and judges of this world are subject to a higher Power. They may rule over the little people on the earth, but there is someone higher than they are. All mankind, whether kings or judges, or presidents, or any other holders of high office in the earth, must answer to Almighty God. To fear God, is the only fear we are to have. This fear is more of a reverence. When we fear Him enough to serve Him, there will be a rejoicing that will come with knowing we are saved. Even though we rejoice at knowing we are saved, there is a fearful awareness of His power and greatness.


Psalm 2:12 "Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish [from] the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed [are] all they that put their trust in him."


"Kiss the Son": This symbolic act would indicate allegiance and submission (compare 1 Sam. 10:1; 1 Kings 19:18). The word for "Son" here is not the Hebrew word for "son" that was used in verse 7, but rather its Aramaic counterpart (compare Dan. 7:13), which is a term that would especially be suitable for these commands being addressed to "nations" (verse 1).


"Perish from the way": These words pick up the major burden (of Psalm 1).


To kiss the Son, is an acceptance of Him for who He is. Abraham had faith, and his faith was counted to him as righteousness. We also find that without faith, it is impossible to please God. There is only one Way to everlasting life, and that is through faith in Jesus Christ. We read in Jesus' own words:


John 14:6 "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."


We must also note that in the verse above, it speaks of trust. I believe that a mature Christian, who has been acting in faith, will get to the point of resting in Jesus that can only be attained by trusting the lord in every aspect of their lives. To trust means, I have absolute confidence in the actions of God in my behalf.


Psalm 2 Questions


1. Who does verse 1 say rages?


2. What else do they do?


3. Who do the Arabs believe are heathen?


4. Who did the Israelites (when this was written), believe were heathen?


5. Who do the Christians believe are heathen?


6. What does rage, in the Scripture, mean?


7. What is the state of mind of the worldly, just before the Lord comes back?


8. The kings of the earth set themselves against whom?


9. Who were 2 specific people who tried to do away with Jesus?


10. How do those in authority today come against Jesus?


11. What question does the author ask rulers of our day?


12. What one word describes the message in chapter 2?


13. Ungodly leaders have a tendency to have ________ subjects.


14. Name a few things that are products of a society out of fellowship with God.


15. What does verse 4 say God is doing?


16. What makes it possible for us to take our next breath?


17. What does (have them in derision) mean?


18. Who will not feel the wrath of God?


19. What happened to the soldiers who came for Jesus, when He answered their question?


20. Who can God put in authority?


21. What is Zion symbolic of?


22. Name 2 times when a voice came from heaven and said; This is my beloved Son.


23. Who did Jesus buy and pay for at Calvary?


24. What does 1 Timothy chapter 4 verse 10 mean?


25. What was one of the reasons the Jews did not accept Jesus as their Messiah?


26. How are we to serve the Lord?


27. Who must earthly judges and kings answer to?


28. What is meant by (kiss the Son)?


29. Who is the Way?





Go to Previous Section | Go to Next Section | Return to Top

Return to Psalms Menu | Return to Bible Menu


Psalms 3



Psalm 3

A Psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom his son.


"Psalm 3": The historical background to the psalm is described (in 2 Sam. chapters 15-18). Though David petitioned (in verse 7), Arise, O Lord; save me", it is clear from (2 Sam. 15:32-37), that David shrewdly sent his friend Hushai back to Jerusalem to deceive Absalom. David used means but trusted only in God.


Verses 1-8: This psalm intermingles both lament and confidence. In its sweeping scope, it becomes a pattern for praise, peace and prayer amidst pressure. As it unfolds through 3 interrelated historical phenomena, David shares his theological "secret" of having assurance in the face of adversity.


  1. The Psalmist's Predicament (3:1-2);
  2. The Psalmist's Peace (3:3-6);
  3. The Psalmist's Prayer (3:7-8).

The first of 73 psalms attributed to David by superscription. Further information connects its occasion with the Absalom episode (2 Sam. chapters 15-18), although many of its features are more descriptive of persecution in general.


Verses 1-2" "Increased ... many ... many": The psalmist begins on a low note with his multiplied miseries.


Psalm 3:1 "LORD, how are they increased that trouble me! Many [are] they that rise up against me."


He might well say so, for the party that sought his ruin was very numerous and very formidable. Absalom his son had stolen away the hearts of the generality of the people, and was at the head of them. Ahithophel, his counsellor, sought his ruin. Shimei, with others of his enemies, reproached him as utterly forsaken of God. While many of his friends, undoubtedly, trembled for his safety, and, had Ahithophel's advice been followed, his ruin, morally speaking, would have been unavoidable. No wonder then that he was in great trouble, as he certainly was in great danger. But in the midst of it he takes the right method, and has recourse to God, his strong helper. As he went up the Mount of Olives, with his head covered and barefoot, he wept and prayed, wept and believed, and God heard him from his holy habitation.


This Psalm was sometimes called THE MORNING HYMN, or A MORNING PRAYER. We know the sadness in David's heart when he fled from his own son. This is a similar feeling that the Lord Jesus felt when the Hebrews turned against Him. Many believers in Christ in our day, feel those we thought to be friends, hating us. The sorrow we see David feeling here, is felt by many of us who have made an unshakeable stand for the Lord Jesus. As we said, part of the sadness from David, was that his own flesh and blood was trying to kill him and take over.


As I have said in previous lessons, we must find the application of this Scripture to our lives today, for it to be of help to us. Today in our society, you can easily alienate those around you by professing your Christian faith. It is not a popular thing to be a true believer in the Word of God. If you carry your Bible with you, you are called a Bible toting so and so. If you read your Bible on a regular basis, you are thought of as a fanatic. Praise God! I am a fanatic for Jesus.


The statement above, made by David, was true. Many people sided with Absalom against David. The majority sided against Jesus also. The majority of people around the world today are not true believers.


2 Timothy says [having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof].


David asked: How can this be? We also ask, LORD, how can this be? The first thing we must remember is that, Jesus won the battle at Calvary. We are still in this world, but we are not of this world. The only battle that we are to fight is the good fight of faith. Though the world seems to be coming apart around us, look up, for our redemption draweth nigh.



Verses 2-3: No help for him ... but thou ... a shield for me": There is a strong contrast between the allegation and the psalmist's assurance. David's attitude and outlook embraces the theology that Paul summarized (in Rom. 8:31). Psalm 3 also introduces Divine Warrior language (compare Exodus chapter 15 as a background).


Psalm 3:2 "Many [there be] which say of my soul, [There is] no help for him in God. Selah."


An active believer, the more he is beaten off away from God, either by the rebukes of providence, or the reproaches of enemies, the faster hold he will take, and the closer will he cleave to him. A child of God startles at the very thought of despairing of help in God. See what God is to his people, what he will be, what they have found in him, what David found in him.


  1. Safety; a shield for me; which denotes the advantage of that protection.
  2. Honor; those whom God owns for his, have true honor put upon them.
  3. Joy and deliverance. If, in the worst of times, God's people can lift up their heads with joy, knowing that all shall work for good to them, they will own God as giving them both cause and hearts to rejoice.

"Selah": Here signifies a lifting up of the voice, to cause us to consider the sentence as a thing of great importance.


The condition of a man's soul is known only by him and God. Others may speculate, but only he and God know whether he is right with God or not. So many times, it is easy to look at another and say he isn't saved, because he has committed sin. This was the case with these accusing David. They were reminding him of his sin with Bath-sheba. They were saying God had not forgiven him. Many today try to bring up sins in a person's life that are already forgotten by God. When you are saved, your sins are washed away by the blood of the Lamb. You or anyone else, are not to go back and drag them up again. Only you and God know if you were truly repentant or not. No one, then or now, can judge another. God is the Judge of all.


"Selah": The Amplified Bible adds "pause and calmly think about that" to each verse where "Selah" appears. When we see the word in a psalm or (in Habakkuk 3), we should pause to carefully weigh the meaning of what we have just read or heard, lifting up our hearts in praise to God for His great truths.


Psalm 3:3 "But thou, O LORD, [art] a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head."


"The lifter up of mine head" could be translated "raises my head high", a testimony to the encouragement God provides (9:13; 27:6). The dejection David felt when he looked at his circumstances stands in sharp contrast.


All who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, have the Lord for their shield. We are told to take the shield of faith to fight the devil.


Ephesians 6:16 "Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked."


David is expressing his faith in the Lord to protect him. We know, that without faith, it is impossible to please God. We must have faith to be counted righteous in God's sight. The word translated shield here, could have just as easily been translated protector or buckler. This means then, that this was not just a covering for the chest area, but for his entire being. The word glory could have also been translated splendor. (Lifter up of mine head), shows that God will even yet elevate David back to his former glory. Looking at this from the standpoint of the Christian: We see God is our protector, we are saved by His grace and not by our works. Jesus Christ will come back to this earth to reign as King of kings and Lord of lords for 1000 years. Jesus brings Christians with Him, who will reign with Him as His subordinates. Jesus Christ is the lifter of the Christian's head.


Psalm 3:4 "I cried unto the LORD with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah."


"His holy hill" refers to Jerusalem, the place where God installed both the Ark and David as king, the earthly symbol on His throne, His covenant (2:6). The hill was a place where God's glory resided in a unique way. Still, David knew that God's glorious presence in this holy place did not mean He was inaccessible, unconcerned, or absent. God always hears the cries of His people (4:3).


We can see from this that, David cried out in prayer. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. We are told in the Scriptures that God knows the desires of our heart even before we ask. Just the same, God hears and answers quicker, it seems, when we cry out in anguish to Him. God came to the rescue of the Israelites in Egypt, because He heard their cries. A very good example of calling out to God in prayer is the following Scripture (in 2 Sam).


2 Samuel 22:7 "In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried to my God: and he did hear my voice out of his temple, and my cry [did enter] into his ears."


How beautiful it is for God to hear our prayer and answer! An answered prayer is a joy indeed.


Psalm 3:5 "I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the LORD sustained me."


"I laid me down and slept": Since God is known for His sustaining protection, David could relax in the most trying of circumstances.


We see in the fact that David slept, that he had every confidence in the LORD. He knew that he had done all he could, when he prayed. He also believed that God had protected him and answered his prayer. This sleep was not a fitful sleep, but total rest. David knew that his safety was in Almighty God, not in the armies. Remember the protection that David had previously known when Saul was trying to kill him. God protected him from Saul, and God protected David from Absalom. The question that I would like to ask my Christian friends is, do we have that much confidence in God? Can we lie down at night and rest, knowing that God's protection is upon us? Is it God we do not have confidence in, or is it guilt that causes us to doubt? I have said before that, trust is a state beyond faith. We must learn to trust God in our affairs.


Psalm 3:6 "I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set [themselves] against me round about."


David was a man of courage from his youth. The instances of his attacking the lion and the bear, when he kept his father's sheep, his engaging with Goliath, and his military exploits, show it. And though there were now many thousands up in arms against him, and his own son at the head of them; all the tribes of Israel were revolting from him, and he was only attended with a few of his friends, yet he was not dismayed. For that he refers to this insurrection appears by what follows.


Leviticus 26:8 "And five of you shall chase a hundred, and a hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword."


You see, one, with God is a majority. We have nothing to fear, if God is on our side.


Psalms 91:5-7 "Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; [nor] for the arrow [that] flieth by day;" "[Nor] for the pestilence [that] walketh in darkness; [nor] for the destruction [that] wasteth at noonday." "A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; [but] it shall not come nigh thee."


We are also told, that the fearful and unbelievers will be lost.


Revelation 21:8 "But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death."


To be saved we must have faith in God. Our faith will be counted unto us as righteousness. Our faith and trust must be in Jesus Christ, who is the author and finisher of our faith.


Psalm 3:7 "Arise, O LORD; save me, O my God: for thou hast smitten all mine enemies [upon] the cheek bone; thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly."


"Arise, O Lord": This is a battle cry for God to engage the enemy and defend His soldiers (compare Num. 10:35; Psalm 68:1).


Save me, is the cry of all mankind. Jesus is the Savior of the world. He is the Savior of all who will believe. We see, in this Scripture above, that the enemies of David have been rendered helpless to harm him (broken the teeth of the ungodly). Notice David did not render his enemies harmless, God did. All believers need to remember that Satan was defeated by the LORD Jesus Christ on the cross at Calvary. Jesus won the victory for us. All we have to do is stand against the devil, and he will flee from us. The word (arise), could mean many things, but I believe it indicates Jesus rising from the grave. We are assured of life after death, because Jesus arose from the grave. O, death, where is thy sting?


Psalm 3:8 "Salvation [belongeth] unto the LORD: thy blessing [is] upon thy people. Selah."


"Salvation belongeth unto the Lord": This is a broad-sweeping, all-inclusive deliverance, whether in the temporal or eternal realm.


Jesus Christ our Lord is Salvation for all who will believe. In the first verse (of chapter 1 of Psalms), we read of blessings. There is only one way to obtain salvation.


Romans 10:9-10 "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." "For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."


We could work every day of our life and still not be saved. Salvation is by the free gift of the grace of God. We were actually purchased by the precious blood of the LORD Jesus Christ. He was our atonement in full, there is no more to pay. All mankind has their own free will to receive Jesus as our Savior, or to deny Him and be lost. Each individual is a free moral agent. We can choose life through belief in Jesus, or death by denying Him. He came to save all, but only those who accept Him belong to Him. We find in the next Scripture that Jesus prays for His own.


John 17:9 "I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine."


In some glorious way, God has called us by His grace, justified us by the blood of Jesus, and quickened us by His Spirit. God blesses whom He will. I often compare the calling of God to a young man seeking a wife. He calls her, sometimes several times, it is up to her to answer that call. All believers in Christ are His bride


Psalm 3 Questions


1. Who wrote this Psalm?


2. Who was David fleeing from in this chapter?


3. What were 2 names this 3rd Psalm was known by?


4. What was possibly the greatest sadness David felt in his flight?


5. What is an easy way to alienate worldly friends today?


6. If you read your Bible on a regular basis, you are called what?


7. Did Absalom have any followers?


8. What is the only fight Christians should fight?


9. The condition of a man's soul is known only by whom?


10. What are some of the things people believe that Selah means?


11. What sin of David's were they reminding David of?


12. What happens to our sins, when we are saved?


13. What is God to David in verse 3?


14. Who is the Christian's shield?


15. What are 2 other things that the word here translated shield, could have been translated?


16. Shield was not just a covering for the chest, but in fact what?


17. What was another word that could have been used instead of glory?


18. What does (lifter up of mine head) mean to David?


19. Who is the lifter of the Christian's head?


20. The effectual fervent prayer of a _____________ ______ availeth much.


21. I laid me down and ______.


22. What message can we get from David sleeping here?


23. David knew his safety was in whom?


24. Do we have as much confidence in God as David did?


25. What is a state beyond faith?


26. How many does Leviticus chapter 26 say that five can chase?


27. What things from chapter 91 of Psalms should we not be afraid of?


28. Who does Revelation chapter 21 say shall have their part in the lake of fire?


29. What will be counted unto us as righteousness?


30. What is the cry of all mankind?


31. Who is the Savior of the world?


32. What does (broken the teeth of the ungodly) mean?


33. What is a message that all believers need to remember?


34. What is one of the things arise could mean?


35. _____________ belongeth unto the LORD.


36. What was every Christian purchased with?


37. Who is our atonement?


38. In some glorious way, God has called us by His _________.





Go to Previous Section | Go to Next Section | Return to Top

Return to Psalms Menu | Return to Bible Menu


Psalms 4



Psalm 4

To the chief Musician with stringed instruments, A Psalm of David.


Psalm 4. Verse 8 indicates that this psalm is an evening prayer. It may well have been offered on the same occasion as described in the superscription of Psalm 3. "Have mercy upon me", (verse 1), is a cry that David and others echo throughout the Psalter: the pious always petition for God's benevolent attributes to be demonstrated.


Verses 1-8: There are certain similarities between Psalms 3 and 4. For example, the former is sometimes labeled a morning psalm (compare 3:5), while the latter has been called an evening psalm (compare 4:8). In both, David is besieged with suffering, injustice and oppression. Additionally, Psalm 4 also exhibits the changing attitudes of the worshiper in his most difficult circumstances. David's movement will be from anxiety to assurance, as he travels down the road of prayer and trust in God. At the end of yet another day of pressure, pain, and persecution, David engages in 3 conversations which ultimately lead to a point of blessed relaxation:


  1. Praying to God for Preservation (4:1);
  2. Reasoning with His enemies about Repentance (4:2-5);
  3. Praising God for True Perspective (4:6-8).

Psalm 4 introduces the first of 55 assignments to the master, director or chief overseer of worship services in its title. Further instruction is given in the direction "on stringed instruments". The chief musician, therefore, was to lead the great choir and the string portion of the orchestra in this celebration of worship.


Psalm 4:1″ Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me [when I was] in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer."


"O God of my righteousness": The ultimate basis for divine intervention resides in God, not in the psalmist. On union with God's righteousness based on His mercy (see Jer. 23:6; compare 1 Cor. 1:30).


"Distress": This is an important word for trying circumstances in the psalms. It pictures the psalmist's plight as being in straits, i.e., painfully restricted. Here his testimony to God's historical salvation, "thou hast enlarged me"; conveys the picture that his Lord had provided space or room for him.


The chief musician was the director of music in the sanctuary. We will find that David had set one person over the music in the sanctuary in the following verses.


1 Chronicles 6:31-32 "And these [are they] whom David set over the service of song in the house of the LORD, after that the ark had rest." "And they ministered before the dwelling place of the tabernacle of the congregation with singing, until Solomon had built the house of the LORD in Jerusalem: and [then] they waited on their office according to their order."


The word Neginoth means instrumental music, or stringed instruments. It can be extended to mean a poem set to music. We know that the desire of the believer in Christ is to be a sweet sound in His ear. Singing and soft music, soothes the troubled soul. We know also, that Saul had called for David to sing and play for him. This is the very way David had gotten into the house of Saul. The word that was translated chief musician, is thought by some to mean [unto the end], which would indicate this was actually addressed to Christ. It really does not matter to whom it is addressed. The prayer is to God.


David is definitely calling to God, when he says: Hear me when I call. David is saying: You helped me before, help me now. We have all prayed along these lines at one time or another. Wonder why we think that God will not hear our prayers? David is not alone in crying for mercy either. Mercy is unmerited favor. Just like David, we may not deserve God's help, but He will help us anyhow, when we pray to Him. Notice in this also, that David says his righteousness is from God. Remember, we were not righteous until Jesus took our sin on His body and clothed us instead with His righteousness. Our righteousness was as filthy rags, but now our righteousness is in Jesus. We need to see also, that David thanked Him for answering earlier prayers, while he is asking for this prayer to be answered. God wants to hear us say that He was the One who brought the last victory to us. Praise God every chance you get. He likes to hear it. Do we truly believe that God answers prayer? Then pray and believe, and you shall have what you ask.



Verses 2-3: God's agenda for David (verse 3), is radically contrasted with that of his enemies (verse 2). The term for "godly" or "pious" in the Old Testament is above all else indicating a person blessed by God's grace.


Psalm 4:2 "O ye sons of men, how long [will ye turn] my glory into shame? [how long] will ye love vanity, [and] seek after leasing? Selah."


The problem above is they are sons of men. These are men who have not been grafted into the family of God, and become sons of God. This would be worldly men who have their thoughts stayed upon things of this world. This really is the condition of our world today. (2 Tim. 3:2-4), describes these people exactly. They have no time for God. Let us see who are the sons of God? Let's look at two Scriptures that show us that all believers in Christ are sons of God.


Romans 8:15 "For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father."


Galatians 4:6 "And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father."


Until a person, male or female, receives Jesus Christ as their Savior and becomes a son of God, they will do all sorts of things that shame God. Leasing means falsehood in this Scripture. This could mean a lot of things. They are a liar, or perhaps they are seeking false gods. It could even be both. "Love vanity", just means loving this world and all things in it.


Psalm 4:3 "But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the LORD will hear when I call unto him."


It is the privilege of true and heroic natures to rise to a consciousness of their strength and dignity in the hour of peril, and when the victims of unjust persecution. Besides his innate greatness, David has a grandeur and dignity, derived from his deep sense of the covenant between God and His anointed, and his own imperfect but sincere endeavor to act worthily the part of God's vice-regent on earth. His selection by Jehovah is an unanswerable reply to his calumniators, and the surest proof of his own uprightness.


"Hath set apart": That is, has distinguished or honored. So rightly the LXX and Vulgate; the Hebrew word occurs in (Exodus 8:22; 9:4; 11:7). Of severance between Israel and Egypt (Compare Psalm 17:7).


"Godly": Hebrew [chasÓd], properly, graced or gracious, according as it is used of Israel or of the God of Israel. The covenant relationship is more prominent in the word than a moral excellence, though this is presupposed. (See Psalm 1:5), where the word appears to be defined. There is a difficulty in the construction: lŰ (to him) may go either with the verb or the object. By comparison with (Psalm 17:7), we take it with the latter. LXX, "his holy one."


The following two Scriptures say exactly what I want to say about this Scripture above.


1 Peter 2:9 "But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light:"


Revelation 17:14 "These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him [are] called, and chosen, and faithful."


How wonderful to be the called of God, and to have answered that call. We believers in Christ have been given the authority to pray to the Father in Jesus' name. God hears and answers our prayers, when we ask in Jesus' name.


John 14:13 "And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son."


Psalm 4:4 "Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah."


"Stand in awe and sin not": In this context, the admonition means to tremble or shake in the fear of the Lord so as not to sin (compare Isa. 32:10-11; Hab. 3:16). This can be translated "come to your senses" or "be stirred, tremble". Being in this state is not an excuse to surrender to emotions and "sin". Anger and sin do not have to go hand in hand (Eph. 4:26).


To stand in awe is to reverence God. The fear, or reverence of God is the beginning of wisdom. If we truly fear God we will not sin, because we do not want to displease Him. Commune with your own heart means to think in your heart on God. Sometimes, in our bed, is the only quiet time that we can think in our heart about God. Let me give a Scripture that covers "be still".


Psalms 46:10 "Be still, and know that I [am] God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth."


Psalm 4:5 "Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD."


"Trust": This command reflects the primary word group in the Old Testament for faith-commitment.


Sacrifices of righteousness to me, means making a special effort not to sin, because righteousness pleases God. Our true righteousness, as we discussed earlier, is not being good enough but receiving our righteousness from Jesus Christ. He took our sin and we received His righteousness. Trust is beyond faith. It is resting in Jesus, knowing that He saved you. Trust is knowing in your heart that all is well. We cannot trust in man. Our trust must be in the LORD Jesus Christ. Trust the LORD with all your heart, and He will reward you.



Verses 6-8: The taunting skeptics are cut off by the testimony of the psalmist to his rest because of God's personal blessings.


Psalm 4:6 "[There be] many that say, Who will show us [any] good? LORD, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us."


Either,


(1) Of my own followers, who are weary of waiting upon God, and ready to despair. Or rather;


(2) Of mine enemies, and of the body of the people, who were either engaged against him, or at least unconcerned for him, and sought only their own case and advantage.


"Who will show us": Hebrew; make or give us to see? I.e. to enjoy, as this phrase is frequently used, as (Psalm 27:13; 34:12; Eccl. 2:1 3:13).


"Any good": I.e. worldly good, as appears by the opposition of; "Lord, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us": And by the explication of it of corn and wine in the next verse. I.e., who will put an end to our present conflicts and troubles, and give us that tranquility and outward happiness which is the only thing that we desire. Withal, he may seem to intimate the reason and motive which induced so many persons to take part against him. Which was their eager desire of honor or worldly advantage, which they promised to themselves by appearing against David (see 1 Sam. 22:7).


Upon us, i.e. upon me and my friends. Give us assurance of thy love and favor to us, and evidence it to us by thy powerful and gracious assistance.


There are two separate thoughts in the verse above. The first part is speaking of those who have not received the LORD as their Savior. They are living in darkness. They believe in only the things that they can see with their physical eyes. The second half of the statement above, is saying, open my eyes that I might see Thee more clearly. Let your Light shine upon us. Jesus is the Light of the world. Those who have received Jesus as Savior, walk in His Light.


John 8:12 "Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life."


Notice the contrast in the next Scripture.


John 11:10 "But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him."


If we belong to Jesus, we must walk in His Light.


John 12:35 "Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth."


1 John 1:7 "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin."


All of these Scriptures mean the same thing. They are all showing the difference in a man who is not saved, that must see everything with his physical eyes, before he will believe. And the saved man who believes, because he sees through the eyes of the spirit.


Psalm 4:7 "Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time [that] their corn and their wine increased."


Whatsoever thou shalt do with me for the future, as to my outward distresses and concerns, I have, at present, unspeakable pleasure and full satisfaction in the manifestations and testimonies of thy love to and in my soul. Hereby thou hast, many a time, put gladness into my heart. Not only supported and refreshed me, but filled me with joy unspeakable, and therefore this it is which I will still pursue, and which I will seek after, all the days of my life. Observe reader, when God puts grace into the heart, he puts gladness into it. Nor is any joy comparable to that which gracious souls have in the communications of the divine favor. No, not the joy of harvest, even of a plentiful harvest, when the corn and wine greatly increase. This is gladness in the heart, inward, solid, substantial joy. But the mirth of carnal and worldly people is only a flash, a shadow, for even in laughter their hearts are sorrowful (Prov. 14:13).


We see the very same separation in this verse as in the previous verse. The gladness of the unsaved is over physical benefits here on the earth. The gladness of the saved is from within. There may be calamities all around the saved person, and yet they have the joy of the LORD within. There is no greater blessing than having Jesus in our heart. The Bible says we are not like those who have no hope (unsaved). We have hope of the resurrection to eternal life in heaven with Jesus. Life would be miserable, if the only time we could rejoice was when a material blessing came along. Most of the time, we would be down and out. Praise God! I have my joy within, and it does not depend on earthly things.


Psalm 4:8 "I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety."


"Dwell in safety": The word "safety" introduces a play on words by going back to the term "trust" (in verse 5). David evidences a total confidence in God amidst his crisis.


One of the most popular memorized prayers of children begins, "Now I lay me down to sleep". Many adults in our society lay down to sleep, but the cares of this world will not let them sleep. If a person has perfect peace, sleep should come easily. Fear seems to be a way of life today. So many bad crimes occur in the night. We cannot protect ourselves 24 hours a day. We cannot trust society, but we can trust God to watch over us and keep us safe.


Psalms 91:5 "Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; [nor] for the arrow [that] flieth by day;"


When you lie down to sleep, pray that God will watch over you as a Shepherd watches over His sheep. You know we are His sheep. There is a peace that passes understanding. Pray that God will give you that peace that you might sleep.


Philippians 4:7 "And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."


Nothing we do keeps us dwelling in safety, only God makes us dwell safely.


Romans 15:33 "Now the God of peace [be] with you all. Amen."


Psalm 4 Questions


1. Who was chapter 4 of Psalms addressed to?


2. Who penned Psalm chapter 4?


3. What was the role of the chief musician?


4. Who set the chief musician in the sanctuary?


5. Who was to build the house of the LORD in Jerusalem?


6. What does Neginoth mean?


7. What 2 things soothes the troubled soul?


8. Why was David called to live in the house of Saul?


9. Who do some people believe this Psalm was addressed to, besides Neginoth?


10. The prayer is to ______.


11. What is mercy?


12. Where did David's righteousness come from?


13. The Christian's righteousness is in whom?


14. Do you truly believe that God answers prayer?


15. What is the real problem in verse 2?


16. What chapter and verse of the Bible describes our generation?


17. What 2 Scriptures show Christians as sons of God?


18. What special name can God's children call Him?


19. What does leasing mean?


20. What does loving vanity really mean?


21. Who are the chosen of God?


22. What 3 other things are the chosen called?


23. In Revelation 17:14, who are with the Lord?


24. What special authority have the believers in Christ been given?


25. What is meant by stand in awe?


26. What is the beginning of wisdom?


27. Why will we not sin, if we truly love God?


28. In our busy lives, when is sometimes the only time we can commune with God in our heart?


29. What goes beyond faith?


30. What is trust?


31. What are the 2 separate thoughts in Psalm 4:6?


32. Who is the Light of the world?


33. Who walk in the Light of Jesus?


34. What cleanses the Christian from all sin?


35. Describe the eyes of the believer.


36. What is the only thing that makes the unbeliever glad?


37. Why does the Christian's joy not depend on earthly things?


38. Why are so many people afraid at night?





Go to Previous Section | Go to Next Section | Return to Top

Return to Psalms Menu | Return to Bible Menu


Psalms 5



Psalm 5

To the chief Musician with wind instruments (with flutes), A Psalm of David.


In contrast to Psalm 4, Psalm 5 is a morning psalm (verse 3). The titles "my King" and "my God" (verse 2), are rich with meaning: David, though a king himself, is subject to another; and the Creator-God who made him is his personal God. The rest of the psalm describes the divergent dispositions of God toward the righteous and toward the wicked. The vivid description of David's wicked enemies (verses 9-10), is worthy of Paul's application of it to all lost men (Rom. 3:13).


Whereas the instructions to the worship leader (in Psalm 4), pertain to a stringed accompaniment, Psalm 5 is to be celebrated in community worship with flute accompaniment (compare 1 Sam. 10:5; 1 Kings 1:40; Isa. 30:29).


Psalm 5:1 "Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my meditation."


"Give ear to my words" is an earnest plea for God to hear the poet's utterances. This command is built upon the word for "ear". It takes its place alongside of parallel requests that God would pay careful attention to the supplicant and his sufferings (Psalms 17:1; 55:1-2).


We see David crying out to God to listen and hear his words. He also says consider my meditation. We must see in this that, there is more than one way to pray.


1 Thessalonians 5:17 "Pray without ceasing."


In the daily functions of one's life, this would seem impossible, but it isn't. This does not mean to keep your eyes closed all day long and speak words in prayer continuously. This is covered in David's words above which says, "consider my meditation". We must have our heart stayed upon God. When God is listening and answering our prayers, many times He is answering the prayer He sees and hears from our heart. We see from the following Scripture that, God answers many prayers even before we speak them.


Isaiah 65:24 And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear."


This does not, however take the place of the prayer spoken with one's mouth. We are told in the following Scripture, that it is important to speak our prayers.


James 4:2 "Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not."


There is even more ways of praying. Sometimes when we are praying, we do not know the exact words to pray. In this case we stay in a state of prayer and the Spirit prays for us.


Romans 8:26 "Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered."


We see in all of this that, God listens to all of our prayers, whether they are uttered or not. We, like David, want to be assured that God listens and answers our prayers.


Psalm 5:2 "Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray."


"My king, and my God": David may have been the anointed theocratic king on earth, but he fully understood that the ultimate king of all Israel and of the whole earth is God. For God's conditional allowance for mediatorial kingship (see 1 Sam. 8:19).


There is a way to pray. We must pray to the Father in the name of Jesus. When David says, my cry, it is an urgent prayer. God hears the cries of His people. Notice in this verse that, David recognizes Him as his King and also recognizes Him as his personal God. Christianity is an individual thing. We must accept Jesus as our personal Savior. He must be our personal King. We must also pray every prayer to Father God. We are not to pray to any of the saints or angels. God alone should be on the receiving end of our prayers.


Psalm 5:3 "My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct [my prayer] unto thee, and will look up."


The voice of prayer (compare the notes at Psalm 3:5). Probably he refers here to a general habit of praying in the morning, though he makes a particular reference to his circumstances at that time (compare Psalm 55:17). The psalmist felt, doubtless, that while it was a general duty and privilege to call upon God with the return of each morning, there was a special reason for it in the circumstances in which he then was. See the introduction to the psalm. He was then surrounded by enemies, and was in danger, and it was only in God that he could hope for protection even for a single day. The propriety of looking to God in the morning by prayer commends itself to any reflecting mind. Who knows what a day may bring forth? Who knows what temptations may await him? Who can protect himself from the dangers which may encompass him? Who can enable us to discharge the duties which are incumbent on us every day? Feeble, helpless, sinful, prone to err, in a world of temptation, and surrounded by dangers alike when we see them and when we do not. There is an obvious fitness in looking to God each morning for his guidance and protection; and the resolution of the psalmist here should be the firm purpose of every man.


Notice here, the dedication of David. He says, I will pray in the morning. How in the world could David or any of us, expect to do God's will, if we have not prayed for God's instructions for that day, before we begin? Do we really believe He is our LORD? If we do, we will follow His instructions. The morning is the best time of the day to pray. Give God the first of your day. God knows we are sincere, if we pray before we start our hectic day. Notice also, that this prayer is not to be prayed amiss. This prayer is directed toward God. The disciples prayed in the morning and in the evening. We discovered in our study of the tabernacle, that the smoke (symbolic of prayer), went to heaven early in the morning and in the afternoon. Notice the confidence that David displays when he says, shalt thou hear. Why would he look up? The following Scriptures answer that.


Psalms 121:1-2 "(A Song of degrees). I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help." "My help [cometh] from the LORD, which made heaven and earth."


"Not ... neither ...not ... hatest ... destroy ... abhor": These 3 negatively phrased descriptions follow 3 directly stated affirmations. This reveals God's perfect standard of justice both in principle and in practice.


Psalm 5:4 "For thou [art] not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee."


Sin, ungodliness; it is contrary to his nature, who is holy, just, and good. And to his will revealed in his law, which is the same with his nature; and sin is a transgression of it. God is so far from taking pleasure in sin, that it is the abominable thing which his righteous soul hates. Though this hinders not his voluntary permission of sin, or his decree of it. Which he has willed, though he does not delight in it, in order to magnify the riches of his grace and mercy in the salvation of his people. Nor is this contrary to the delight and pleasure which he takes in the persons of his elect in Christ, though they are sinners in themselves. And were so when he so loved them as to give his Son for them, and who died for them while they were yet sinners. And when he sends his Spirit to regenerate and sanctify them, and are after conversion guilty of many sins. For, though he delights in their persons, he has no pleasure in their sin. Nor is it consistent with the holiness of his nature to take pleasure in wickedness, let it be committed by whomsoever.


"Neither shall evil dwell with thee": That is, the evil man, who continues in a course of wickedness, and lives and dies in his sins. One who has no communion with God here, nor shall he dwell with him hereafter. But shall be bid to depart from him, whether he be a profane sinner openly, or secretly a wicked professor of religion. The sense of the psalmist is, that since they were evil and wicked men, that were risen up against him, and gave him trouble, he entertained a strong confidence that God would hear him, for himself and his friends, whose cause was righteous. And appear against his enemies, who were wicked and ungodly men. And this he grounded upon the purity and holiness of God.


God is holy. He cannot look upon sin.


1 Peter 1:16 "Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy."


God separates the evil from the good at judgement. There will be no evil in heaven. The wages of sin is death. All have sinned, but Jesus paid the penalty of death for our sin, when he took the sin of the world upon His body on the cross. We deserved to die for our sin, but Jesus became our substitute. There had to be blood shed for sin.


Hebrews 9:22 "And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission."


Jesus shed His blood to make us acceptable to the Father.


Psalm 5:5 "The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity."


"Workers of iniquity" are those who make a practice of evil (14:4). This is not a reference to occasional sin but to a habitual, unrepentant life of sin.


In Proverbs, we read over and over about the foolish. They are those who do not regard the laws of God highly. We see the statement above ("thou hatest all workers of iniquity"). We know that the angels, who followed Lucifer instead of God, were thrown out of heaven with Lucifer. They made a choice. We also read about the fire and brimstone that fell on Sodom and Gomorrah. Satan did not send the fire, God did. The reason God did this is because they did not like God's plan for families and went to the unnatural use, spoken of in Romans.


Romans 1:26-27 "For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:" "And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet."


People who do not follow God's ways, have been spoken of as belonging to the evil one.


John 8:44 "Ye are of [your] father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it."


We, who are the family of God, have submitted our will to His will. Total rebellion against God brings His anger. If it continues, you will wind up in hell. Jesus is not just loving and forgiving, but is the Judge of the whole world. You either live for Him, or will hear Him say, Depart from me, I never knew you (Matt. 7:23).


Psalm 5:6 "Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the LORD will abhor the bloody and deceitful man."


"Leasing": Or, lies; that make it their business to raise and scatter false and defamatory statements and reproaches concerning me; as many did.


"The bloody and deceitful man": David's enemies being such sort of persons, foolish wicked men, proud and haughty, workers of iniquity, liars, bloody and deceitful men. Men that God had an abhorrence of. He therefore hoped and was confident that God would hear his prayers against them, and for himself.


Leasing means falsehood or lying. Abhor means detest. A bloody man would be someone who sheds another's blood. He would be a murderer. A deceitful man lies to benefit himself. God, not Satan, will destroy the wicked. We can see from the following Scripture what the LORD does to these evil people at the end.


Revelation 21:8 "But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death."


Psalm 5:7 "But as for me, I will come [into] thy house in the multitude of thy mercy: [and] in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple."


"But as for me": The psalmist starkly contrasts himself with his enemies. They are haughty; he is humble.


We notice in this, a deliberate decision by David to worship God. Throughout the Bible, we have seen men decide of their own free will to follow God.


Joshua 24:15 "And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that [were] on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."


Salvation is an individual thing. Just as David and Joshua decided of their own free will to serve God, we must decide, as well. We cannot have 2 masters. We must either serve God, or serve the devil. Fear (reverence), of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom. Notice that David entered the house of God, by the mercy of God. We enter into fellowship with God through the name and blood of Jesus Christ. The temple curtain (separating God from man), was torn from the top down and opened the way for each of us to fellowship with God. The mercy of God provided our entrance. We, like David, must deliberately seek the house of God and worship there.



Verses 8-9: To man's "hoof" problem, David exposes man's "mouth" problem, with special application to his slick-talking enemies. Proverbs is especially given to exposing the deadliness of mankind's spiritual "hoof" and "mouth" disease, i.e., one's walk and talk. Paul includes these assessments (from Psalm 5:9), in his list of 14 terrible indictments of all mankind (in Rom. 3:13).


Psalm 5:8 "Lead me, O LORD, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight before my face."


"Lead me ... make thy way straight": Disciples are to walk in God's way(s), being obedient to His direction(s) for their lives, yet they are fully dependent upon His grace for responsible progress (compare Psalm 119:1-5, 26-27, 30, 32-33).


Guidance is the main petition of this prayer. The right way, never easy to discern, is even more difficult for the psalmist "because of mine enemies". They lie in wait, to lead astray or do harm. Conflict is constant between those who try to follow God's way and those who prefer to ignore it. "Make thy way straight" asks God to make His will discernible (25:4-5; 27:11; 31:3).


The Shepherd leads His sheep (Christians). The Shepherd is also, the Light. If we are to walk and not stumble, we must walk in the Light that He provides for us.


John 8:12 "Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life."


We see a very similar Scripture here.


1 John 1:7 "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin."


Let Jesus lead you to all truth. If He is to lead, we must follow.


Psalm 5:9 "For [there is] no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part [is] very wickedness; their throat [is] an open sepulcher; they flatter with their tongue."


"Open sepulcher" depicts the murderous efficiency and deadly results of the words of the psalmist's enemies (Jer. 5:16; Rom. 3:13).


The devil and all his followers are liars. They seek to please their own flesh and not the will of God. The sepulcher is a grave. We see that the sinful are speaking death from their mouths. The sad thing is that, they are not satisfied to be lost themselves, but they try (with flattering words), to draw others into their sin and death.



Verses 10-12: He prays for the just ends of the wicked according to God's revealed standard of Justice (Deut. 25:1), and contrastingly urges those who are regarded as righteous by the Lord's grace to joyfully celebrate His blessings.


Psalm 5:10 "Destroy thou them, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions; for they have rebelled against thee."


Hebrew: Hold them guilty, or condemn and punish them. Or, make them to offend, to wit, in their counsels, as it follows. So as they may either be given up to bad and foolish counsels, or fail in the execution of their wise or crafty counsels. Or make them desolate, as the word is used (Ezek. 6:6 Joel 1:18).


"Let them fall by their own counsels": I.e. make their counsels not only unsuccessful against me, but also destructive to themselves. Or let them fall short of their aims and designs. Or, because of their counsels, which are ungodly and unjust, and so deserve destruction.


"Cast them out": Out of thy land, and from among thy people, whom they either infect or molest by their wicked courses.


"Against thee": Against thy authority and declared will concerning my advancement to the throne; which different Israelites opposed against their own consciences (see 2 Sam. 3:8-10).


The evil ones despising the followers of God are not just in David's time, but even unto the end of the age. Look with me in the following Scriptures describing the end times, and see it is the same.


2 Timothy 3:3 "Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,"


To get the whole picture, read all of chapter 3 of 2nd Timothy. David is saying, vengeance is thine O LORD. We know that Jesus instructed the apostles to shake the dust from their feet, when those of the house would not receive the truth. We also know from the next Scripture; just how severe their punishment will be.


Mark 6:11 "And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than for that city."


To rebel against authority on this earth is bad enough, but to rebel against God brings terrible punishment. Israel was said to rebel against God, because they did not receive Jesus Christ as their Messiah. Not only for them, but to rebel and not receive Jesus as Savior would send any person to hell.


Psalm 5:11 "But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee."


Those that dare rely upon thy word and promise when all human hopes and refuges fail. Which was often the case of David and his followers.


"Rejoice": Let them have cause of great joy from thy love and care of them, and "because thou defendest them", as it follows.


"Thy name": I.e. thy majesty, thy word, and worship, and glory. All which is called God's name in Scripture. David doth not confine his prayer to his party, but prays for all good men, though by their own mistakes. Or other men's cunning devices, some of them might now be in a state of opposition against him.


The joy of the Lord is our strength. We believers in Christ have a lot to rejoice about. We have hope of the resurrection from the dead. Our joy is not in our own might, but is in the Lord Jesus.


Abraham had faith in God and it was counted unto him for righteousness. We are like Abraham. Our faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ will save us (Romans 10:9 says it all).


Romans 10:9 "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."


Habakkuk 3:18 "Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation."


Psalm 5:12 "For thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favor wilt thou compass him as [with] a shield."


It is one of the characteristics of God that, while he will punish the wicked, he will show favor to the righteous. While he brings deserved punishment upon the one, he will show his favor to the other.


"With favor wilt thou compass him as with a shield": That is, as a shield is thrown around or before one in the day of battle to protect him, so will you throw your protection around the righteous. For a description of a "shield" (see notes at Eph. 6:16; compare the notes at Psalm 3:3). On these accounts, David felt that he might trust in God in the day of trouble and danger. And on the same account, all who are righteous may put their trust in him now.


The Lord will clothe us in His righteousness, when we are washed in the blood of the Lamb.


Revelation 7:13-14 "And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?" "And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb."


This shield that compasses the Christians is the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus' blood not only protects us here on the earth, but clothes us in the garment of His righteousness in heaven (white linen).


One important message we must receive from this lesson is the provision God has made for the righteous and the punishment in store for the wicked.


Psalm 5 Questions


1. Who was this Psalm addressed to?


2. What is David crying out for God to do in verse 1?


3. How could we fulfill the above Scripture in our busy lives?


4. What can we learn from Isaiah 65:24?


5. Ye have not, because ____ ______ _____.


6. Where do we find the Scripture that says, the Spirit prays for us?


7. What 2 things do we Christians want to be assured of that David wanted to be assured of, also?


8. What 2 names does David cry to that he wants to hearken to his voice in verse 2?


9. Who should we pray to?


10. In whose name must we pray?


11. Christianity is an ______________ thing.


12. What time of day does David say he will pray in verse 3?


13. How can we do God's will?


14. Who is David's prayer directed to?


15. The smoke in the tabernacle was symbolic of what?


16. How many times a day did the smoke rise to heaven?


17. Why are believers to be holy?


18. The wages of sin is _________.


19. Jesus became our _____________.


20. All things are by the law purged with what?


21. Who does God hate in verse 5?


22. Who sent the fire on Sodom?


23. What happened to the angels who followed Lucifer?


24. Who are those, God speaks of as, of your father the devil?


25. Where do those who totally rebel against God wind up?


26. What does leasing mean?


27. What does abhor mean?


28. Who is a bloody man?


29. Who, does Revelation 21:8 say, has their part in the lake which burneth with fire?


30. Verse 7 says, David comes into thy house, how?


31. Name several in the Bible who have deliberately decided to worship God?


32. What is the beginning of wisdom?


33. When did Jesus open the way for us to the Father?


34. Who is the Shepherd?


35. Who are His sheep?


36. How does 1 John 1:7 say we are to walk?


37. What is the sepulcher?


38. Destroy thou them, let them fall by their own ____________.


39. Where do we find the Scripture that says, despisers of those that are good?


40. What is worse than rebelling against earthly authority?


41. Let all those that put their trust in thee __________.


42. What are the Christians around the throne in heaven dressed in?





Go to Previous Section | Go to Next Section | Return to Top

Return to Psalms Menu | Return to Bible Menu


Psalms 6



Psalm 6

To the chief Musician with stringed instruments upon Sheminith, A Psalm of David.


"Psalm 6": "Rebuke me not in thine anger" (verse 1), indicates that David is conscious of deserving rebuke. However, he prays, as always, "Have mercy upon me, O Lord" (verse 2). The miseries of the depressed are both physical and psychological, and often the description of the two conditions is interwoven (verse 2-3). "In the grave who shall give thee thanks" (verse 5), does not express doubt of the reality of the afterlife; rather, it serves to remind the Lord that David's continued praise and witness depend on his preservation.


Verses 1-10: This lament seems to be quite intensive, for apparently David is sleepless. His circumstances seem hopeless and helpless. The early Christian church regarded this psalm as the first among the "penitential psalms" (compare Psalms 32, 38, 51, 102, 130 and 143). David's cries, coming up from the depths of his personal pit of persecution, indicate a radical change in his frame of mind as he addresses two different audiences.


(1) Pouring out His Soul before God: A defeatist Frame of Mind (6:1-7).


  1. A tone of Helplessness (6:1-4);
  2. A tone of Hopelessness (6:5-7).

(2) Turning His Attention to His Enemies: A Defiant Frame of Mind (6:8-10).


  1. His Boldness about it (6:8a);
  2. His Basis for it (6:8b-10).

A new musical direction appears, literally "upon an eight", indicating either "upon an eight-stringed lyre" or "upon the octave" (i.e., a lower bass melody to accompany these lyrics of intense lament).


Verses 1-3: Psalm 6 is the first of the penitential psalms (6; 32; 38; 51; 102; 130; 143). David prays the words of this psalm when he is deeply troubled by something, possibly an illness that his own sin may have caused (41:4; Hosea 6:1). "Mercy" in this situation is not deserved but urgently needed. "My bones" and "my soul" represent the whole person.


Psalm 6:1 "O LORD, rebuke me not in thine anger, neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure."


"In thine anger ... in thy hot displeasure": He does not ask for immunity from judgment, but for the tempering of God's discipline with mercy.


We see David asking God not to turn away from him. David, like many of us, is very aware that he has sinned. He knows as we do, that he deserves to feel the rebuke of God. He is asking for mercy. Except for the mercy of Almighty God, we would feel the displeasure of God. The grace of God is what David is asking for. I do not believe that David wants to avoid the chastening that makes him grow in the Lord, He just asks that the chastening be done in love and not anger.



Verses 2 and 7: "Bones ... eye": Many assume that because the psalmist mentions bodily "parts" his affliction was a grave physical illness. Obviously, his circumstances would have had an effect on his physical dimension. However, in Old Testament anthropology such references are picturesque metaphors for an affliction of his total being (compare all the parallel, personal references, e.g., "me", "my soul", i.e., by being or person, "I", etc.).


Psalm 6:2 "Have mercy upon me, O LORD; for I [am] weak: O LORD, heal me; for my bones are vexed."


I plead not my merit, but thy free mercy.


"I am weak": Or, I languish; my body pines away and my spirit fails through my excessive pains or troubles.


"Heal me": I.e. the distempers of my soul and body, of both which this word is used (Psalms 41:4, 107:18, 20).


"My bones are vexed": My torment is so deep and so general, that it reaches and is very grievous even to my bones. Though they are inward, and might seem to be out of the reach of it, and also strong and senseless, and therefore can best bear it. See the like expressions at (Job 4:14; 33:19; Psalms 38:3; 51:8).


We are all weak and heavy laden, burdened with a load of care. We are told to cast our cares upon Him for He careth for us. We all cry for mercy and not justice. In our weakness, He is strong. God heals not only the body, but the soul as well. The bones being vexed means that he is sick to the bone.


Psalm 6:3 "My soul is also sore vexed: but thou, O LORD, how long?"


"How long": This is a common exclamation of intense lament (compare Psalm 90:13; Hab. 2:6; Rev. 6:10).


We see in this that sin brings terrible guilt. Physical hurt cannot compare to the sorrow that comes with knowing you have sinned against God. This sorrow is so great, that you could not endure it very long. The only thing to do is repent and accept forgiveness, before it destroys you. This cry (how long), is heard under the altar in heaven.


Revelation 6:10 "And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?"


I think that in the verse here in Psalms, it is saying, how long before the Savior comes who forgives?


Psalm 6:4 "Return, O LORD, deliver my soul: oh save me for thy mercies' sake."


"Deliver my soul ... thy mercies' sake": This introduces a new synonym for salvation, connoting an action of drawing off or out. He desires the Lord to graciously extricate him (compare Job 36:15; Psalms 18:19; 116:8).


The word translated "mercies" describes the deeply significant, loyal love of God (Gen. 39:21; Exodus 20:6; 34:6-7). Without God, humanity is in a terrible place, miserable and without hope. Yet God cares intensely and reaches out to rescue every single person who asks. Many psalms use this word to describe why God is worthy of praise (e.g. 40:10-11; 57:3, 10).


Notice David is admitting that he does not deserve God's forgiveness. He pleads for God's mercy. It is only by the mercy of God that any of us are forgiven. This is not only David's pleading for a Savior, but all of mankind's pleading for a Savior. We cannot save ourselves. God sent His Son to save us from our sinful way of life.


Titus 2:13 "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ;"


The only hope for David, or any of us, is that God would send a Savior. He sent Him, not because we deserved it, but because He loved us. He had mercy upon us the sinners.


1 John 4:9-10 "In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him." "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son [to be] the propitiation for our sins."


Psalm 6:5 "For in death [there is] no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks?"


"No remembrance of thee": There is much about "death" and "the grave", i.e., Sheol, in Psalms. Such language as that (of verse 5), does not imply annihilation, but inability to participate temporally in public praise offerings (compare Hezekiah's reasoning in Isa. 38:18).


Luke 20:38 "For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him."


It is in this life, that we are grateful to God for His blessings. It is too late to give Him thanks after we are dead. There is nothing as silent as the grave.



"Verses 6-7": "Weary" pictures the psalmist's anguish over immediate danger and the prospect of an untimely death. It may also imply a long period of suffering. "Is consumed" describes the psalmist at the end of his resources. He is spent beyond recovery with no earthly means of help left (31:9; Job 17:7).


Sleep has eluded him because of his severe sorrow.


Psalm 6:6 "I am weary with my groaning; all the night make I my bed to swim; I water my couch with my tears."


"All the night": He mentions this time, by way of aggravation of his misery. Because that season, which is to others by God's appointment a time of rest, was to him very sad and doleful.


"Make I my bed to swim": To wit, with tears. See the like hyperbole at (Jer. 9:1; Lam. 3:48-49).


"I water my couch with my tears": It may be applicable to David's antitype (Jesus), to the doleful night in which he was betrayed, when it was the hour and power of darkness. And when he had no other couch or bed but the ground itself. Which was watered, not only with his tears, but with his sweat and blood.


This groaning shows the intensity of the praying David is doing. When prayer becomes so intense that you run out of words to say, you groan things that cannot be uttered in words. This prayer brings tears, as well. In fact, there are so many tears, the bed is wet. This is a prayer of great agony of spirit. This is the type of prayer that gets God's attention.


Psalm 6:7 "Mine eye is consumed because of grief; it waxeth old because of all mine enemies."


The word here rendered "consumed" means properly to fall in, to fall away, and is applied here to the "eye" as pining or wasting away from care, anxiety, and sorrow. Tears were poured forth from the eye, and it seemed to be exhausting itself in this manner. The meaning is, that it had grown "dim," or that its sight began to fail, like that of an old man, on account of his troubles.


"It waxeth old": It seems to grow old. It experiences the effects commonly produced by age in blunting the power of vision. This is not an uncommon effect of grief and sadness.


"Because of all mine enemies": From the trouble which they have brought upon me. The reference here, according to the interpretation proposed of the psalm, is to Absalom and those who were associated with him. Their conduct had been such as to bring upon David this overwhelming tide of sorrows.


When a person experiences such grief as this, there are physical signs around the eyes and in the eyes. The eyelids will become very swollen from much crying. We would also see dark circles form around the bottom of the eye on the cheek. The eyeballs themselves would become red and have little lines in them. My own opinion about eyes, is that they are the window to man's soul. We can look deep into the eyes and see what is going on inside of man. Great sorrow of spirit shows up first in the eyes.



Verses 8-10: Out of his dire straits, boldness surprisingly breaks through as he addresses his enemies. This boldness also has only one basis, that the psalmist's confidence is wholly grounded upon his Lord's attention and ultimate intervention.


Psalm 6:8 "Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity; for the LORD hath heard the voice of my weeping."


With whom I am resolved not to associate or have any fellowship. And cease from opposing or molesting, or insulting, over me. Or approaching me with designs of deceiving and betraying me, all ye my wicked enemies. Desist from all your wicked contrivances against me, and be not so vain as to hope to triumph over me.


"For the Lord hath heard the voice of my weeping": And will grant me that which I have sought with so many tears. By the workings of God's grace upon his heart, he knew his prayer was accepted. His tears had a voice in the ears of the God of mercy. Silent tears are not speechless ones. Our tears are cries to God.


Suddenly there is a change here. David's sorrow has been turned into joy. David has gotten an answer to his prayer. What joy, at the end of such agonizing prayer to suddenly be aware that the Lord has heard and answered your prayer. The first thing David did is to get rid of those evil people around him. Do not fellowship with evil people. People who do not put their trust in God will bring you down, if you are around them. There is a time of weeping, but praise God! It is followed by joy. The enemy may come as a storm against us, but if we stand, he will flee. Do not stay in this depressed state. You may weep and cry for help from God, but then begin to thank Him and rejoice for your deliverance. The best policy of all is; fellowship with the household of faith. You can build each other up in His most holy faith.


Psalm 6:9 "The LORD hath heard my supplication; the LORD will receive my prayer."


What a sudden change is here! Having made his request known to God, the psalmist is confident that his sorrow will be turned into joy. By the workings of God's grace upon his heart, he knew his prayer was accepted, and did not doubt but it would, in due time, be answered.


His prayers will be accepted, coming up out of the hands of Christ the Mediator. The word signifies prayer made to God, the righteous Judge, as the God of his righteousness, who would plead his cause, and right his wrongs. A believer, through the blood and righteousness of Christ, can go to God as a righteous God, and plead with him for pardon and cleansing, who is just and faithful to grant both. He prays for the conversion of his enemies, or foretells their ruin.


In this particular instance, supplication means graciousness, or favor, or grace. What this is saying then is; The Lord has been gracious to me a sinner and has forgiven me by that grace. We see the confidence of David that all is well with him and God. We call this praying through. Have you prayed until you knew beyond a shadow of doubt that God heard your prayer? He knelt down feeling guilt and shame, and arose feeling forgiven of God. Notice the word ("will"). David is saying, I am not doubtful that God heard my prayer and answered it. No one can take this assurance away from you. This is called trusting God.


Psalm 6:10 "Let all mine enemies be ashamed and sore vexed: let them return [and] be ashamed suddenly."


Be so brought to see their folly that they shall be ashamed of their conduct. The wish is that they might be brought to see their own guilt. A wish certainly which it is right to cherish in regard to all evil-doers.


"And sore vexed" (compare the notes at Psalm 5:10). The same Hebrew word is used here which occurs (in Psalm 6:2-3), and rendered "vexed." It is a word which denotes trouble, trembling, and consternation. And the meaning here is, that the psalmist prayed that they might be confounded or disconcerted in their plans. A prayer which is certainly proper in regard to all the purposes of the wicked. No one should desire that the purposes of the wicked should prosper. And not to desire this is to desire that they may be foiled and overcome in their schemes. This must be the wish of every good man.


"Let them return": Turn back, or be turned back. That is, let them be repulsed, and compelled to turn back from their present objective.


And be ashamed suddenly, Hebrew, "In a moment;" instantaneously. He desired that there might be no delay, but that their defeat might be accomplished at once. As it was right to pray that this might occur, so it was right to pray that it might occur without delay, or as speedily as possible. The sooner the plans of sinners are confounded, the better.


We saw in the story of Job, where even his friends (so called), had believed that the terrible thing that came on Job was because of sin in his life. How sweet it was when these very same friends had to come to Job for prayer, before God would forgive them for their false accusations. David says to God here, Lord open their eyes and let them see that I am a servant of God. Many ministers feel the terrible rejection of those around them that David felt here. They too sometimes want to pray; Lord open their eyes and let them see that I am a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ, doing the job He has given me to do. We know that Jesus said in John;


John 4:44 "For Jesus himself testified, that a prophet hath no honor in his own country."


Usually the very ones whose moral support you need so badly, are the very ones who will not support you. David, as well as workers for Jesus today, can take comfort in the fact that Jesus' half brothers and sisters did not believe He was Messiah until He arose from the grave. What lesson can we glean for today out of this Psalm? This is actually telling us how to cope with seemingly impossible problems around us. Pray with your heart and soul. God will hear. God has already won the war. This too will pass. Do not expect the people you live with, or those around you to realize that you are really called of God. Stay humble, dependent on God to be your support. Grow from every trial that comes along. Search the Scriptures; for in them is life.


Psalm 6 Questions


1. What type of rebuke was David asking God not to have?


2. What is David really asking God for in verse 1?


3. What type of chastening is David not trying to avoid?


4. We are all weak and _________ _________.


5. Why are we to cast our cares upon Him?


6. We cry for mercy and not __________.


7. What does the bones being vexed mean?


8. What does sin bring to the sinner?


9. What is worse than physical hurt?


10. Where is the cry "how long" heard in heaven?


11. What does the author believe is meant by "how long" here in Psalms?


12. David and all mankind were actually pleading for a _________.


13. Who is the blessed hope?


14. 1 John chapter 4:9-10 describe whose love?


15. In _______ there is no remembrance of thee.


16. God is God of the _______.


17. There is nothing so silent as the ________.


18. What does David's groaning show us?


19. How much had David cried in this prayer?


20. What are some of the physical signs around, and in, the eyes that shows grief?


21. What does the author believe about the eyes?


22. In verse 8, David's sorrow has been turned into what?


23. What was the first thing David did when he realized God had answered his prayer?


24. The enemy may come as a storm, but if we stand, what happens?


25. Why is it good to fellowship with the household of faith?


26. What does supplication in verse 9 mean?


27. He knelt down feeling guilt and shame and arose feeling what?


28. What did Job have to pray for his friends?


29. A prophet hath no honor in his own ___________.


30. What can workers for Jesus today, who are rejected by those around them, take comfort in?


31. Name some of the lessons we can glean from this chapter of Psalms.





Go to Previous Section | Go to Next Section | Return to Top

Return to Psalms Menu | Return to Bible Menu


Psalms 7



Psalm 7

A Shiggaion of David, which he sang unto the LORD, concerning the words of Cush the Benjamite.


"Psalm 7": The superscription indicates that the psalm was written while David was being ruthlessly assailed by "Cush the Benjamite", who was evidently one of Saul's radical kinsmen. David is confident in both his own innocence (verses 3-5), and the certainty of divine retribution on the much-deserving Cush (verses 6-17).


Verses 1-17: This psalm is basically a plea for divine vindication in the light of the oppressor's allegations and actions. David's confidence in the Divine Judge is the backbone of Psalm 7 (compare Abraham in Gen. 18:25). As this truth grips him more and more, he will move from a tense anxiety to a transcendent assurance. This psalm follows David through 3 progressively calming stages of expression in response to the painfully false accusations that were being hurled against him


  1. Stage One: David's Concern as He Passionately Begs the Attention of the Divine Judge (7:1-5).
  2. Stage Two: David's Court Appearance as He Painstakingly Argues His Case before the Divine Judge (7:6-16).
  3. Stage Three: David's Composure as He Patiently Waits for the Verdict of the Divine Judge (7:17).

Psalm 7 introduces one of the more enigmatic terms found in superscriptions of the psalms, "a Shiggaion (Hebrew), of David". It is probably related to the idea of wondering, reeling, veering, or weaving. Consequently, the term may also indicate the song's irregularity in rhythm (compare Hab. 3:1). "He sang" also indicates that this was a vocal solo. The occasion, "concerning Cush, a Benjamite", cannot be readily identified from the historical books. However, whoever this was or whatever the name represented, some enemy had obviously been falsely charging David (compare Shimei, 2 Sam. 16:5; 19:16).


Psalm 7:1 "O LORD my God, in thee do I put my trust: save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me:"


All my hope and confidence are in thy favor, and faithfulness to fulfil thy promise made to me.


"Save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me": Persecution is no new thing to the people of God. David had his persecutors, and many of them. The Church in Jeremiah's time, had theirs; the saints, in the times of the apostles, and in all ages since, have had theirs. Every one that will live godly in Christ Jesus must expect persecution in one shape or another. And there is none can save and deliver them from it but God. And he can and will in his own time (2 Cor. 1:10). David was sensible of this, and therefore applies to him, and him only. And not to an arm of flesh, to his friends, or to neighboring princes and powers.


Strong's Concordance says the word Shiggaion (The word denotes a lyrical poem composed under strong mental emotion; a song of impassioned imagination accompanied with suitable music). Some noted scholars call this Psalm the Song of the Slandered Saint. Cush, the Benjamite, does accuse David before Saul.


Saul would have been quick to receive this accusation, even though it was not true. The cry of all who know God, is O LORD God. This not only recognizes God, but declares that He is LORD of our lives. I have said it over and over, many know Jesus as their Savior, but few recognize Him as LORD. Notice also the word "my". When we say that Jesus is our Savior and LORD, we are recognizing the blood covenant relation we have with Him. He shed His blood and became our Savior and LORD in the process. We spoke in an earlier lesson, how this is a personal relationship of one person and Jesus. Without faith, it is impossible to please God. David declares immediately that he trusts God. David is like Christians down through the ages. The only one we can trust is God. We read that Jesus would build a hedge around His own that no harm would come to them. This is what David wants here. He wants the supernatural protection of God. Just as Moses delivered the children of Israel from Egypt (the world). David knows God can and will deliver him. Realize who the enemy is and pray for God to deliver you. My LORD will send a Moses to lead you out.


Psalm 7:2 "Lest he tear my soul like a lion, rending [it] in pieces, while [there is] none to deliver."


"Tear my soul like a lion": Often the psalmist's enemies are symbolized by vicious, attacking animals, with "the king of beasts" occurring frequently (Psalms 10:9; 17:12; 22:13, 16, 21).


With no shepherd near to protect or rescue, a "lion" can pounce on a defenseless lamb, tear it into pieces, break all its bones, and devour it completely. David uses this graphic image to portray a person who feels the destructive powers of the enemy (57:4).


If God is not David's help, there is no hope. Saul would have destroyed David, if it had not been for God protecting David.



Verses 3-5: Such self-pronounced curses are powerful protestations of innocence (not sinlessness), in the context of being falsely charged (compare the boldness of Job in 31:5).


Psalm 7:3 "O LORD my God, if I have done this; if there be iniquity in my hands;"


The crime which Saul and his courtiers charged him with, and which was made so public that everybody knew it. And therefore, it was needless particularly to mention it. Namely, that he lay in wait for Saul, and sought his life to take it away (1 Sam. 24:9).


"If there be iniquity in my hands": Not that he was without sin, he had it in his heart. Nor that he lived without the actual commission of sin. But his sense is, that there was no iniquity, as not in his heart, purpose, and design, so not in his hand, nor attempted by him, of the kind he was accused of (1 Sam. 24:11). Otherwise, we often hear him complaining of the depravity of his nature, and acknowledging his sins and transgressions (Psalm 32:5).


Psalm 7:4 "If I have rewarded evil unto him that was at peace with me; (yea, I have delivered him that without cause is mine enemy:)"


I.e. to Saul, when he was peaceable and friendly towards me. For David was charged with evil designs against Saul before Saul broke out into open enmity against him.


"Yea": This is here used by way of correction or opposition, as it is also (Psalm 2:6; Prov. 6:16). So far have I been from doing this, that I have done the contrary.


"I have delivered him": When it was in my power to destroy him (as 1 Sam. Chapters 24 and 26.


"Without cause": Without any provocation on my part.


Psalm 7:5 "Let the enemy persecute my soul, and take [it]; yea, let him tread down my life upon the earth, and lay mine honor in the dust. Selah."


David is saying here, try me Lord and see if I have done wrong. He also says, if I have done wrong, I deserve to be destroyed. David knows that he has done no wrong, that these are false accusations against him.


Psalm 7:6 "Arise, O LORD, in thine anger, lift up thyself because of the rage of mine enemies: and awake for me [to] the judgment [that] thou hast commanded."


"Arise": The battle cry relating back to (Numbers 10:35 recurs; compare Psalms 9:19; 10:12; 17:13; 44:26; 102:13).


David feels safe in the judgement God makes, because he knows it is just. God never sleeps, so the awake here is just symbolic. Sometimes when a believer is being persecuted, it seems that God is asleep and letting this happen to us. We should rejoice in the fact that God is longsuffering. If He is longsuffering with us, we should be happy that He is longsuffering with others, in the outside chance that they should repent and come to God. Jesus is the Judge of the whole earth. We may not see the sinner judged on the earth for his or her wrong doing, but they will be judged by Jesus on judgement day.


Psalm 7:7 "So shall the congregation of the people compass thee about: for their sakes therefore return thou on high."


By "the congregation of the people" are meant the nation of the Jews, the twelve tribes of Israel, called an assembly of people, and a company of nations (Gen. 28:3). And this is to be understood not of their gathering together in a hostile manner about David to take him. Which might be interpreted compassing God himself about, David being as dear to him as the apple of his eye. Which is the sense of several Jewish commentators. But rather of their encompassing and surrounding the altar of God with songs of deliverance, upon David's being rid of his enemies and advanced to the throne of the kingdom (see Psalm 26:6). Unless it should have regard to the pure worship of God by David, which was greatly neglected in Saul's time. And then the sense is, that the psalmist prays that he might be established in his kingdom, as God had appointed and commanded. When he would fetch up the Ark of God, and encourage the worship of God, and rectify all disorders in it. That so the several tribes might come up to Jerusalem and encompass the Ark, the symbol of the divine Presence, and worship in his holy mountain.


"For their sakes therefore return thou on high": Take, the throne of justice, high and lifted up, and vindicate the cause of the oppressed. Deliver me from all my troubles, put me into the peaceable possession of my kingdom. If not for my sake, yet for the sake of thy church and people, and for the sake of thy worship and thy glory. The Targum paraphrases it, "return thou to the house of thy Shekinah".


David brings those believers who have sided with him, to the attention of the Lord. He is saying in essence, Lord, I am not the only one who is waiting to hear your judgement. We see a pleading that the entire congregation will suffer until the Lord intervenes.


Psalm 7:8 "The LORD shall judge the people: judge me, O LORD, according to my righteousness, and according to mine integrity [that is] in me."


"My righteousness ... mine integrity": These are not declarations of sinlessness but of innocence in this "court case".


David shows in this, that to the best of his ability he has followed the ways of God. David feels that he is not afraid to be judged by a righteous Judge. David feels that he has nothing to worry about from God. We Christians could look at this and know that we could not stand before the righteous Judge in our own right, but we have an agreement with God that the righteousness of Christ will save us from judgement. We need not run away from the righteous Judge, any more than David did here. When God the Father looks at the Christian, He sees the blood of His righteous Son, Jesus Christ.


Psalm 7:9 "Oh let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end; but establish the just: for the righteous God trieth the hearts and reins."


"The righteous God trieth the hearts and reins": The just judge has perfect insight (compare God examining the heart and mind in Jer. 17:10; also compare Acts 1:24; 15:8).


"Hearts and reins" would literally be translated "hearts and kidneys", which is a word picture to describe all of the immaterial feelings that reside within mankind. God knows all of our emotions, desires, thought, and motivations (1 Sam. 16:7).


Psalm 7:10 "My defense [is] of God, which saveth the upright in heart."


The meaning here is, that God was his protector, and that in his troubles he confided in him. The original word here, as in (Psalm 3:3 and 5:12 notes), is "shield."


"Which saveth the upright in heart": Whom he that searches the heart (Psalm 7:9), seems to be upright; or sincere, truthful, and just. The writer says that it is a characteristic of God that he saves or protects all such ones. And conscious of his innocence of the charges against himself, he appeals to him on that ground, and confides in his protection because he sees that in this respect he was blameless.


Christians are looking forward to the time when they can stand before the righteous Judge and hear the Lord say, well done thy good and faithful servant. They are also thinking, Lord how long will it be until the righteous Judge brings to an end the works of the evil ones? God does not judge by what we say, or from the appearances from the outside. God judges the heart of man. Many who profess to be Christians will be turned away, and Jesus will say, I never knew you. Jesus looks into the heart of man and judges by what He sees. Jesus is the advocate of the true believer.


1 John 2:1 "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:"


Our defense is belief in Jesus Christ.



Verses 11-13: This shows yet another blending of the Divine Warrior and Divine Judge themes.


Psalm 7:11 "God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry [with the wicked] every day."


Not all that are thought to be righteous, or think themselves to be so, are such. Nor is any man naturally righteous, or of himself, nor by virtue of his obedience to the law of works. But such only are righteous who are made so by the obedience of Christ. These God governs and protects, and avenges their injuries and defends their persons. Some render the words, "God is a righteous Judge"; he is so now in the administrations of his government of the universe, and he will be so hereafter in the general judgment of the world.


"And God is angry with the wicked every day": Wicked men are daily sinning, and God is always the same in his nature, and has the same aversion to sin continually. And though he is not always making men examples of his wrath, yet his wrath is revealed from heaven against all unrighteousness of men. And there are frequent instances of it. And when he is silent he is still angry, and in his own time will stir up all his wrath, and rebuke in his hot displeasure.


Psalm 7:12 "If he turn not, he will whet his sword; he hath bent his bow, and made it ready."


Not God, but the enemy, or the wicked man, spoken of (Psalm 7:5). If he turns not from his wicked course of life, to the Lord to live for him, and according to his will. Unless he is converted and repents of his sin, and there is a change wrought in him, in his heart and life. The Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions read, "If ye turn not", or "are not converted", an apostrophe to the wicked.


"He will whet his sword": God is a man of war, and he is sometimes represented as equipped with military weapons (see Isa. 59:17). And among the rest with the sword of judgment, which he may be said to whet, when he prepares sharp and sore judgments for his enemies (Isa. 27:1).


"He hath bent his bow, and made it ready": Drawn his bow of vengeance, and put it on the full stretch, and made it ready with the arrows of his wrath. Levelled against the wicked, with whom he is angry. Which is expressive of their speedy and inevitable ruin, in case of impenitence (see Lam. 2:4). Or "trod his bow", as is the usual phrase elsewhere (see Psalm 11:2); which was done by the feet, and was necessary when the bow was a strong one (as Jarchi on Psalm 11:2 observes).


2 Peter 3:9 "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."


God wants all to be saved. As we have said so many times, the righteous are those who have accepted Jesus as their Savior and have been washed in His blood. We have taken on His righteousness. Jesus is the Judge of all the world. Sin is anything that displeases God. God not only hates sin, but is angry with those who continue in sin. There is a day of judgement coming. Then it will be too late to repent.


Psalm 7:13 "He hath also prepared for him the instruments of death; he ordaineth his arrows against the persecutors."


The weapons of his indignation (Isa. 13:5); which, will issue both in the first and second death, corporeal and eternal. The instruments of the former are diseases of various kinds, and judgments, as famine, pestilence, etc. And of the latter not only the law is an instrument of it, that being the letter which kills, and is the ministration of condemnation and death. But even the Gospel itself to wicked men is the savor of death unto death. And devils will be the executioners of it.


"He ordaineth his arrows against the persecutors": The word for persecutors signifies "hot" or "burning", and designs such persons who burn in malice and wrath. In rage and fury, against the saints, and hotly pursue after them, as Laban did after Jacob (Gen. 31:36). For these more especially God has determined in his eternal purposes and decrees, and for these he has provided in his quiver, arrows of wrath and vengeance, fiery ones. And against these will he bring them forth, direct them, and shoot the arrows at them (Psalm 64:7).


Matthew 25:32-34 "And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth [his] sheep from the goats:" "And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left." "Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:"


Matthew 25:41 "Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:"


There is a day of reckoning coming and Jesus Christ the righteous is the Judge. You can see from the verses here, the terrible fate of those who neglect so great a salvation.



Verses 14-16: Often the principle of exact retribution surfaces in the psalms (compare the maxim of Prov. 26:27 and the judgment of Hab. 2:15-18).


Psalm 7:14 "Behold, he travaileth with iniquity, and hath conceived mischief, and brought forth falsehood."


The poet's thought recurs to the calumniator, whose sin has deserved all this Divine wrath, and he sees the truth that God's judgments are not arbitrary. But follow naturally on sin as its consequence.


"Travaileth": Gives the general figure, which is elaborated in the two clauses which describe the stages of conception and pregnancy (for the image, compare Job 15:35).


"Conceived mischief, and brought forth falsehood": This metaphor notes his deep design, and continued course, and vigorous endeavors for the doing of mischief, and his restlessness and pain till he has accomplished it.


Psalm 7:15 "He made a pit, and digged it, and is fallen into the ditch [which] he made."


That is, he digged a pit, and made it very large and capacious, to answer his purposes.


"And is fallen into the ditch which he made": So it is said of the Heathen (Psalm 9:15); and is exemplified in the case of Haman, who was hanged upon the gallows he had built for Mordecai. Kimchi explains this of Saul's falling upon his own sword, and dying by it, which he drew against David. This phrase is proverbial (Prov. 26:27). The sense of this and the above figurative expressions is literally and properly given in (Psalm 7:16).


Psalm 7:16 "His mischief shall return upon his own head, and his violent dealing shall come down upon his own pate."


The mischief which he had designed for others.


"Shall return upon his own head": Shall come upon himself. The blow which he aimed at others shall recoil on himself. This is but stating in another form the sentiment which had been expressed in the two previous verses.


"And his violent dealing": Which he shows to others. The word rendered violent dealing means violence, injustice, oppression, wrong.


"Shall all come down upon his own pate": The word here rendered "pate" means properly vertex, top, or crown; as of the head. The idea is that it would come upon himself. He would be treated as he had designed to treat others. The sentiment here expressed is found also in (Psalms 9:15; 35:8; 37:15).


We see from these Scriptures that, the sinner mentioned here has no one to blame but himself. God gave him a chance, and he refused it. This person mentioned above is not just a sinner, but is in fact, full of sin. The fate he planned for others has come unto him. Jesus really does not have to judge him, his own choices here on this earth judge him guilty as charged. We must remember that God is not only a loving God and a forgiving God, but He is also, the Judge of the world. This man has been weighed in the balance and been found guilty as charged.


Psalm 7:17 "I will praise the LORD according to his righteousness: and will sing praise to the name of the LORD most high."


"The Lord most high" is a title seldom found outside the Psalms. It is first encountered in the story of Melchizedek and Abram (Gen. 14:18-22). David uses this title to announce God's power and rule over all nations (47:2; 78:35).


We find that David, as well as all those who have received the righteousness of Christ, have much to rejoice about.


Philippians 2:10-11 "That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth;" "And [that] every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ [is] Lord, to the glory of God the Father."


Not only will all praise the name of Jesus which is above all names, but all will bow to that name as well.


Psalm 7 Questions


  1. What is the song concerning that David sang unto the LORD in chapter 7?
  2. Of what tribe was Cush?
  3. What personal name does David call God in verse 1?
  4. What request did David make to God in verse 1?
  5. The Strong's Concordance says Shiggaion means what?
  6. What name do many noted scholars call this Psalm?
  7. Who accused David before Saul?
  8. When we say Jesus is our Savior and Lord, what are we recognizing?
  9. Who delivered the Israelites from Egypt?
  10. What does Egypt symbolize?
  11. What would Saul have done to David, if God had not protected him?
  12. David says, if he has done wrong, what does he deserve?
  13. Why does David feel safe in the judgement of God?
  14. God is not neglecting punishing the evil ones, but is _______________.
  15. When will the sinner be judged and by whom?
  16. In verse 8, David says to judge him, how?
  17. When God the Father looks at the Christian, what does He see?
  18. What 2 things does the righteous God try from verse 9?
  19. What are the Christians looking forward to hearing Jesus say on Judgement day to them?
  20. Who is our Advocate with the Father?
  21. How often is God angry with the wicked?
  22. What is sin?
  23. What does the 25th chapter of Matthew tell us about the separation of the saved and lost?
  24. Who has the sinner to blame for his fate?
  25. Who will bow to the name of Jesus?



Go to Previous Section | Go to Next Section | Return to Top

Return to Psalms Menu | Return to Bible Menu


Psalms 8



Psalm 8

To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm of David.


"Psalm 8": Though the bulk of the psalm describes man and his dominion over the universe, the first and last verses make clear to the reader that the psalm was written primarily to exalt the Creator. "A little lower than the angels" (verse 5), is literally "a little lower than God" (Hebrew [Elohim], the normal generic word for God). The Septuagint translated the word as "angels", however, and this translation is quoted (in Hebrews 2:6-8). The word may be taken in loose sense," divine beings", in which case it could refer to both God and the angels. Three interpretations of man's position are described (in verses 5-8):


(1) It refers only to man's original condition (Gen. 1:26-28);


(2) It refers to man's present, actual position, though ruined somewhat by the Fall;


(3) It points to man redeemed and restored in the future to his exalted position.


The second view is preferred since the psalmist seems to be observing life as it is in the present: "When I consider" (verse 3).


"Verses 1-9: The theme of Psalm 8 ("how excellent"), blazes across this Psalm from start to finish (8:1, 9). The psalmist wants to understand that their meaning starts and ends with the glory of God and who He is.


The beginning and ending of the psalm suggest that it is essentially a hymn of praise. Yet, a major portion qualifies it as a so-called nature psalm, i.e., a psalm of creation. Furthermore, there is a significant focus on the created dignity of man. Through this vehicle, the important subject of Adamic theology comes to the forefront, making this psalm ultimately suitable to the important association of the "One", the Last Adam, i.e., Christ and the "many" (compare Heb. 2:6-8). Structurally, Psalm 8's beginning and concluding bursts of praise are driven by David's contemplation of two pairs of radical contrasts.


(1) Introductory Praise (8:1);


(2) Two Pairs of Radical Contrasts (8:2-8);


  1. Between the Nature of "infants" and infidels (8:2);
  2. Between Unaided General Revelation and Unveiled Special Revelation (8:3-8);

(3) Concluding Praise (8:9).


Psalm 8: Another instrument is referenced in this title, most probably a guitar-like harp associated with Gath in Philistia.


Psalm 8:1 "O LORD our Lord, how excellent [is] thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens."


"Lord ... Lord": Of these twin nouns of direct address to God, the first is His specially revealed name Yahweh (Exodus 3:14), and the second puts an emphasis on His sovereignty.


"Thy name": The name of God refers to the revealed Person of God, encompassing all of His attributes.


Is it not wonderful to be able to say my God? Sometimes I feel a warmness that is unexplainable in the human realm when I say, my God. It is as if He is ours alone. And He is to each individual, that He is our personal God. Christianity is personal. The fact that I am a Christian is personal between Jesus and myself. My Christianity does not depend on what others think or expect of me. Jesus Christ did not take a vote to see if I was good enough to become a Christian or not. He just said, if you believe in your heart and confess with your mouth, you shall be saved. It does not matter what I was before, He will save me. It really does not matter what my mother and daddy before me believed. He cares that I believe He is my Savior and that He rose from the grave, and that He is coming back for me. Jesus wants to be Lord of everyone, and is in fact, the Lord of all. He is the Savior of those who believe.


The name of Jesus is above all names in the earth. Jesus' name is in all the world. It matters not whether you are Asiatic, Caucasian or Negroid. All have heard his name. The name in verse one above, is Jehovah. The name (in Philippians 2:9-10), is Jesus. They are one and the same. He is called Mighty God, Prince of Peace, The Branch, The Bread, The Life, The Light, and many more. He was the Word of God in heaven, before He came to the earth as our Savior. He was called Emmanuel (God with us). All of these names refer to the One, the I Am that you and I refer to as Jesus Christ. All things that you could think of that are beautiful and good on this earth are a description of Him. There is no other name that stirs your soul.


A few years ago, while traveling through the Canadian Rockies with my family, I stopped at an exceptionally beautiful spot. We all got out of our vehicles and began to view the overwhelming beauty around us. I began to cry. There was such an awareness of God and His majesty that all of us were touched. We stood on the side of the road and prayed a prayer of thanksgiving to God who was so far above anyone or anything on this earth. My brother commented that only a fool could look at this magnificent beauty surrounding us and say, there is no God. We were all deeply moved by what we had seen. The interesting thing is; the glory we had seen, paled by comparison to what we will see in heaven.


Psalm 8:2 "Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger."


The introductory irony about infants sets the stage for a contrast between the dependent and the foolishly self-sufficient.


The one thing that really stands out to me in this, is who stills the enemy.


Zechariah 4:6 "Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This [is] the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts."


It is not how strong we are, or how many there are of us, that wins the war. It is how strong Jesus is in me. In the 11th chapter of Isaiah we read that a little child shall lead them.


Matthew 19:14 "But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven."


This could even be speaking of little children in understanding also. Christians are called little children. Whichever it means, it is not in our power that we do anything but rather that we are ordained of God to do the job. In the following Scripture we can easily see that, it is in His power, and not ours, that we do the will of God.


1 John 4:4 "Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world."


Psalm 8:3 "When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;"


"Thy heavens, the work of thy fingers": The heavens are created by God (Psalms 33:6, 9; 102:25; 136:5). The anthropomorphism "thy fingers" miniaturizes the magnitude of the universe in the presence of the Creator.


God's "fingers" set the stars in place. There is far less power in the hand than the arm and far less power in the finger than the hand. To create stars, planets, and galaxies, God needed only His fingers.


Not only mankind is the creation of God, but all the heavenlies as well. Look into the heavens at night and see the works of God. Astronomers are even now, still finding moons and stars they never knew existed. How could mere man ever try to compare himself with so great a God?



Verses 4-5: The greatness of God extends beyond a hundred million universes that are tossed into space as mere handfuls of stardust; it extends to each member of the human race. God thinks of His people and cares for them, small though they are in a vast universe (Heb. 2:6-8).


Psalm 8:4 "What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?"


"What is man": If the whole universe is diminutive in the sight of the Divine Creator, how much less is the significance of mankind! Even the word for "man" used in verse 4 alludes to his weakness (compare Psalms 9:19-20; 90:3a; 103:15).


"And the son of man": This phrase also looks upon man as insignificant and transitory (e.g. Psalm 90:3b). Yet, the Aramaic counterpart of this phrase is found in (Dan. 7:13), which has profound messianic overtones (compare also Jesus' favorite self-designation in the New Testament, Son of Man).


If you have ever flown in an airplane and looked down to the earth, you have seen just how insignificant one person looks. The idea that God would look to this earth and love us as an individual is almost beyond our comprehension. Why does God love us so much that He sent His Son to save us? We could give a thousand answers, such as we are His creation, we are made in His image, or any other reason, but it does not seem to be enough reason. One of my favorite songs is (Who Am I). I would like to share a few statements from that song here. Who am I that a King would bleed and die for? Who am I that He would say, not my will thine for? The answer I may never know; why He ever loved me so; that to an old rugged cross He'd go for who am I? This is a very big question isn't it? I can truthfully say I do not know. The love that God had for man will always be a mystery.


John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."


There is no way to understand it, just accept His love.



Verses 5-8: These verses consistently emphasize the significance of man, who was created in the image and likeness of God to exercise dominion over the rest of creation (Gen. 1:26-28).


Psalm 8:5 For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honor.


Than Elohim, "than God", as this word usually signifies. And could it be interpreted of man, as made by God. It might be thought to refer to the creation of him in the image and likeness of God. But as it must be understood of the human nature of Christ, it may regard the wonderful union of it to the Son of God, on account of which it is called by the same name (Luke 1:35). And so made but a little lower than God, being next unto him, and in so near a union with a divine Person. And which union is hypostatical or personal, the human nature being taken into a personal union with the Son of God. And so, these words give an instance of God's marvelous regard to it. And contain a reason, proving that he has been mindful of it, and visited it.


"And hast crowned him with glory and honor": By raising him from the dead, and setting him at his own right hand, committing all judgment to him. And requiring all creatures, angels and men, to give worship and adoration to him. And this being in consequence of his sufferings, after he had run the race, and endured a fight of afflictions. And because of the greatness of his glory and honor, with which he was, as it were, on all sides surrounded. He is said to be "crowned" with it. Who a little before was crowned with thorns, and encompassed with the terrors of death and hell. This respects his mediatorial glory.


My own opinion of this is that man is lower than the angels, while he is housed in flesh. We do know that the Scripture says that Jesus was made a little lower than the angels for suffering on the cross.


Hebrews 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. You see, Jesus was far above the angels, but took on the form of flesh to suffer for your sins and my sins. God thought so much of man, that He created the earth and the heavens, and everything in it for the use of man. God had everything prepared for man before He created man. The spirit of man was breathed into him by God, and man became a living soul. It was the flesh of man that was made from the dirt of the earth. This Scripture above is twofold. Mankind was the climax of God's creation. Man was given dominion over the earth and everything in it. The part of man that was less than the angels was the flesh of man. It was the flesh of man that caused him to fall and be driven from the Garden of Eden. Man was to rule over the animals. God even let Adam name all the animals, showing his authority over them.


The fall of man was brought about by man following his flesh, instead of his spirit. We see that Jesus was above the angels in heaven, being the very Son of God. Jesus took on the flesh of man and its weakness (flesh of Jesus became less than the angels), to restore mankind to his original state with God. In fact, the blood of Jesus was shed to pay the price for our sin. Jesus took our sin on His body, and we took on His righteousness. We are now sons of God. Adopted into the family of God. Jesus bought us for the Father with His precious blood. We are no longer lower than the angels, but in fact, we are brothers of Jesus. We will reign with Him when He returns to the earth as King of kings and Lord of lords. When we are raised in our spiritual body, we shall reign with Jesus as His subordinates. I will repeat Hebrews;


Hebrews 2:9 "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man."


Psalm 8:6 "Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all [things] under his feet:"


All power in heaven and in earth being given to him. When he was raised from the dead, and when he ascended on high, and was set down at the right hand of God, he was made or declared Lord and Christ. Lord of the hosts of heaven, of all the angels there. King of saints, King of kings, and Lord of lords. All things in heaven and earth, which God has made, are put into his hands, to promote his cause and glory, and for the good of his people. For he is head over all things to the church. The Ethiopic version reads, "All the works of thy hands"; among whom are angels. This is a greater dominion than was given to the first man, Adam (Gen. 1:25).


"Thou hast put all things under his feet": Or put them in subjection to him, as the phrase signifies, and as it is interpreted (Heb. 2:8). Good angels are subject to him, as appears by their ministration to him, their dependence on him, and adoration of him (1 Peter 3:22). Devils are subject to him, whether they will or not. And so are wicked men, whose power and wrath he is able to restrain, and does. And the church is subject to Christ, as her head. And so all good men, willingly and heartily, and from a principle of love, obey his commands. Yea, all creatures in the earth, air, and sea, are in subjection to him; an enumeration of which is given in the following verses.


Psalm 8:7 "All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field;"


The tame creatures, which are useful for food and clothing.


"Yea, and the beasts of the field": The wild beasts, which he can make use of to destroy and devour his enemies. And whom he can restrain from harming his own people (Jer. 15:8).


Psalm 8:8 "The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, [and whatsoever] passeth through the paths of the seas."


These he rained about the tents of the Israelites for their relief (Psalm 78:27). And can command them to feed his people, as the ravens did Elijah (1 Kings 17:4). Or to destroy his enemies (Jer. 15:3; see Psalm 50:10).


"And the fish of the sea": Instances of Christ's power over them, and of their being at his command, and for his service, may be seen in (Matt. 17:27).


We will see from the following Scripture that, God has always wanted man to have dominion over all the things in the earth.


Genesis 1:26 "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth."


It was the lust of the flesh of mankind that caused him to fall. Jesus paid in full the account of all mankind on the cross. Jesus restored man to his original state with God on the cross of Calvary. God has always wanted man to live in the Garden of Eden. Heaven is actually a restoration of the Garden of Eden to mankind. Since the Garden of Eden was just a shadow of the garden in heaven, it was not as beautiful, or as great. It has not entered the heart of man the wonderful things in store for the Christians in heaven.


1 Corinthians 2:9 "But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him."


Psalm 8:9 "O LORD our Lord, how excellent [is] thy name in all the earth!"


Repeating the sentiment with which the psalm opens, as now fully illustrated, or as its propriety is now seen. The intermediate thoughts are simply an illustration of this. And now we see what occupied the attention of the psalmist when (in Psalm 8:1), he gave utterance to what seems there to be a somewhat abrupt sentiment. We now, at the close of the psalm, see clearly its beauty and truthfulness.


Here again, we see David expressing our own feelings about God. Not only is the name of Jesus Christ above all others, but we Christians are allowed to share in part of that name. How can we live as to glorify the name of the Lord in all we do? With everything that is within me, I glorify His name.


Psalm 8 Questions


  1. What are we saying, when we say, my God?
  2. Does my Christianity depend on what others think?
  3. What must we believe to be saved?
  4. Who is Jesus Lord of?
  5. Who can call Jesus Savior and it be true?
  6. In verse 1, what is the word LORD?
  7. What name, in Philippians 2:10, is the same person as in verse 1 here?
  8. Give at least 5 names for this same person as in verse 1.
  9. What does Emmanuel mean?
  10. Out of the mouths of ________ and ____________ hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies.
  11. It is not how strong I am that wins the war, but by what?
  12. In 1 John 4:4, the Christians are called what?
  13. Why do so many astronomers believe in God?
  14. What is man that thou art mindful ____ ______.
  15. Why does God love us so much?
  16. What are some of the unbelievable things that God has done for us?
  17. Thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and crowned him with _______ and _________
  18. In what is man a little lower than the angels?
  19. Why was Jesus made a little lower than the angels?
  20. Who did God create the earth for?
  21. How did man become a living soul?
  22. What brought the fall of man?
  23. Why did Jesus take on the flesh of man?
  24. What paid the price in full for our sin?
  25. What is the elevated state of the Christian now?
  26. What were some of the things man was made to have dominion over?
  27. What is heaven really?
  28. How can we glorify the name of the LORD?



Go to Previous Section | Go to Next Section | Return to Top

Return to Psalms Menu | Return to Bible Menu


Psalms 9



Psalm 9

To the chief Musician according to Muthlabben, A Psalm of David.


"Psalm 9": Psalms 9 and 10 taken together, form the first of the acrostic psalms, though the 38 verses are a very irregular representation of the Hebrew alphabet of 22 letters. "Marvelous" (verse 1), is an adjective used in the Old Testament to describe the supernatural. David thus looks on God's deliverance and praises Him for it (verses 1-10). After inviting the believing community to join in his praise (verses 11-18), David prays for God's ethical rule to be established over wicked men (verses 19-20).


Verses 1-20: Psalms 9 and 10 go together, so much so that early Greek and Latin verses treat and number them as one. However, Psalms 9 and 10 evidences two different forms: the first is an individual hymn while the second is an individual lament.


In the first part (verses 1-12), praise is prominent, and in the second part (verses 13-20), prayer is prominent. Many subtle patterns weave the thoughts of its verses and lines together. Shifting back and forth between the individual and corporate perspectives is characteristic, as are introverted (i.e., style), structures. Basically, David's hymn in Psalm 9 ebbs and flows through two respective tides of prayer and praise.


(1) First Tide: Divine Justice and Praise (9:1-12).


  1. Individual Praise and Divine Justice (9:1-4);
  2. Divine Justice and Corporate Praise 9:5-12).

(2) Second Tide: Divine Justice and Prayer (9:13-20).


  1. Individual Prayer and Divine Justice (9:13-16);
  2. Divine Justice and Corporate Prayer (9:17-20).

"Psalm 9: The new element of this title literally reads "Death to the Son". Many conjectures have arisen about this puzzling phrase, but it is safest to regard these words as designating a particular tune.


Verses 1-2: "I will ... I will ... I will ... I will": These 4 "I wills" launch Psalm 9 with David's dedication to exuberant worship of the Lord.


Psalm 9:1 "I will praise [thee], O LORD, with my whole heart; I will show forth all thy marvelous works."


"Marvelous works": This especially references God's extraordinary interventions into history on behalf of His people (compare the Exodus events).


We see a determined David here. I will praise thee. He is determined to praise the Lord. We, like David, must determine in our heart to praise the Lord. Sometimes it has to be determination that causes us to praise. Circumstances make us want to mourn, when we should be praising. We must remind ourselves of all of the marvelous works of God. The following Scripture should be our attitude toward God.


Hebrews 13:15 "By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of [our] lips giving thanks to his name."


Psalm 9:2 "I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High."


I will rejoice, and will express my joy.


"And rejoice in thee": I will exult; I will triumph. That is, he would express his joy in God, in knowing that there was such a Being. In all that he had done for him; in all the evidences of his favor and friendship.


"I Will sing praise to thy name": To thee; the name often being put for the person.


"O thou Most High": Thou who art supreme, the God over all (see Psalm 7:17).


Songs lift the spirit of man. We should all practice praising God in song. Praise Him from whom all blessings flow.


Isaiah 51:11 "Therefore the redeemed of the LORD shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy [shall be] upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; [and] sorrow and mourning shall flee away."


The joy of the Lord is our strength. We must recognize the fact that there is none greater than God. He is the Most High.


Psalm 9:3 "When mine enemies are turned back, they shall fall and perish at thy presence."


Are turned back": It is the result of God's power alone. He, as a righteous Judge (Psalm 7:11), vindicates His people. He rebukes by acts as well as words (Psalms 6:1; 18:15), and so effectually as to destroy the names of nations as well as persons.


When David came against Goliath, he came in the name of the Most High God. We do not have to avenge our enemies.


Romans 12:20 " Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head."


God fights the battles for us, if we are believers.


Psalm 9:4 "For thou hast maintained my right and my cause; thou satest in the throne judging right."


"Thou hast maintained my right and my cause": This is exactly what God is known to do (compare Deut. 10:18; 1 Kings 8:45, 49).


Just as David gave all the praise to God for the battles he won, we must praise God in all things. God is on the side of the righteous. His judgement is holy and right.


Revelation 16:7 "And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous [are] thy judgments."



Verses 5-10: Verses 5 and 6 reveal the just Judge's dealings with the godless. (Verses 7 and 8), His dealings with all men in general, and (verses 9 and 10), His gracious dealing with dependent disciples.


Psalm 9:5 "Thou hast rebuked the heathen, thou hast destroyed the wicked, thou hast put out their name for ever and ever."


The people of the Philistines, as the Targum and Kimchi explain it, though some Jewish writers understand it of Amalek the chief of the Heathen nations. But it rather refers to Gospel times, and to the rebukes of the Heathen, by the preaching of the Gospel, for their idolatry and superstition. And especially to the latter day, and to the rebukes of the antichristian states, the Papists (Catholics), who are called Gentiles; which will be with flames of fire, and will issue in their utter removal and total destruction. Upon which a profound peace and prosperity will succeed in the Christian churches, according to (Isa. 2:4); which is a prophecy of those times.


"Thou hast destroyed the wicked": The wicked man; for it is in the singular number, "labben", as Aben Ezra observes, or who is meant by him. Goliath, according to the Targum and Kimchi; or Esau, as other Jewish writers, that is, his posterity the Edomites. And each of these were figures of antichrist, the man of sin, the wicked one, whom Christ will slay with the breath of his lips (Isa. 11:4).


"Thou hast put out their name for ever and ever": That is, the glory and reputation of their name, a good and honorable one, which they sought to transmit to the latest posterity. For though the names of wicked men may continue, as Pharaoh, Judas, and others. Yet they continue with a scandal and reproach upon them that shall never be wiped off, their names rot and stink (see Prov. 10:7). The whole of this denotes the utter ruin and shameful end of the enemies of Christ and his church, and which is matter of joy to the saints.


God is patient and forgiving. God gives plenty of time to repent, but and if they will not repent, His judgement falls hard upon them. This reminds me so much of the flood in Noah's time. Noah preached and warned of the impending doom, but no one listened. God said, "It is enough", and wiped them off the face of the earth. There is a time when God says, enough. Do not wait that long to repent!


Psalm 9:6 "O thou enemy, destructions are come to a perpetual end: and thou hast destroyed cities; their memorial is perished with them."


Literally, "As to the enemy finished are his ruins for ever. Thou [God] hast destroyed," etc. (1 Sam. 15:3, 7; 27:8-9). The wicked are utterly undone. Their ruins shall never be repaired.


Abraham pleaded for Sodom and Gomorrah, but there were not even ten righteous in the city. God rained down fire and brimstone to destroy the city and all who dwelled there, after the angels had dragged Lot, his wife, and their two daughters out. Wicked cities take heed.


Psalm 9:7 "But the LORD shall endure for ever: he hath prepared his throne for judgment."


Though cities and people may perish, yet the Lord abides for ever. Which is sufficient for the terror of his enemies, and the comfort of his church.


"He hath prepared his throne": Or, established it by his immutable purpose and his irrevocable promise. For the administration of judgment in this world, for the particular judgment after death, and for the general judgment after the resurrection of the dead.


God is established forever. He is Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. There was no one before Him, and there will be no one after Him. He is forever. He is the Eternal One. He is the great I Am.


Psalm 9:8 "And he shall judge the world in righteousness, he shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness."


The word rendered "world", a general name for all the countries of the world. And so shows that it is the universal judgment that is here spoken of; and which will be carried on and finished with the utmost righteousness, and according to the strictest rules of justice and equity. And is therefore called the righteous judgment of God (Rom. 2:5; see Psalm 96:13).


"He shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness": Which signifies the same with the former clause, unless by the "world" there, should be meant the wicked of the world. And by the "people" here, the people of God; to whom the righteous Judge will give the crown of righteousness.


1 Kings 8:32 "Then hear thou in heaven, and do, and judge thy servants, condemning the wicked, to bring his way upon his head; and justifying the righteous, to give him according to his righteousness."


Jesus Christ is the Righteous Judge. We have discussed over and over in these lessons that, He is the only One worthy to judge. He separates the righteous for heaven and eternal life with Him from the ones who have rejected Him. Those who do not repent and accept Jesus as their Savior are condemned to hell.


2 Timothy 4:8 "Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing."



Verses 9-10: God as a "refuge" is a recurring theme in Psalms (46:1-2; 91:1-2). A refuge or stronghold, sometimes translated "fortress", is a high place of security and protection (1 Sam. 23:14, 19, 29). The Lord Himself is as secure as the best of these (Matt. 28:20; Heb. 13:5).


Psalm 9:9 "The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble."


God will not only judge the world at the last day, and then give sentence for his people against their enemies, but even at present he will give them his protection.


Psalms 46:1 "God [is] our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."


The word translated refuge (in verse 9 above), means hill front. David found safety from Saul in just such a place. Our safety is in the Lord. He builds a hedge of safety around the true believer. The blood of Jesus is our covering. The entire "Sermon on the Mount", was for those who are oppressed. In this life there are troubles and trials, but remember, Jesus is our very present help.


Psalm 9:10 "And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee."


"They that know": That is, that thoroughly understand and duly consider thy name. Thy infinite power and wisdom, and faithfulness and goodness.


"Will put their trust in thee": The experience of thy faithfulness to thy people in all ages is a just ground for their confidence.


"Hast not forsaken them that seek thee": That seek help and relief from thee by fervent prayer, mixed with faith or trust in thee, as is expressed in the former clause.


Psalms 37:25 "I have been young, and [now] am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread."


We find in the next Scripture that, one of the promises of God is that He will not forsake those who follow Him.


Hebrews 13:5 "[Let your] conversation [be] without covetousness; [and be] content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."


We find that just to call on the name of the Lord will save you.


Acts 2:21 "And it shall come to pass, [that] whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved."


To read of the power of authority given those who believe in that name, read the 14th chapter of John beginning with the 12th verse.


Psalm 9:11 "Sing praises to the LORD, which dwelleth in Zion: declare among the people his doings."


"The Lord, which dwelleth in Zion": There is a both some confusion and tension running throughout the Old Testament. I.e., God is enthroned in and above the heavens, and also, He symbolically dwells locally in His tabernacle (compare 1 Kings Chapter 8; Psalm 11:4).


As the result of these views of his character, and at the remembrance of his doings. The heart of the psalmist is full of exultation and joy at the remembrance of the divine interposition, and he naturally breaks out into these strong expressions, calling on others to rejoice also.


"Which dwelleth in Zion": On the word Zion (see the notes at Psalm 2:6; compare Psalm 3:4; 5:7). As Zion was the place where at this time the tabernacle was set up, and the worship of God was celebrated, it is spoken of as his dwelling place.


"Declare among the people his doings": Make general and wide proclamation of what he has done. That is, make him known abroad, in his true character that others may be brought also to put their trust in him, and to Praise him.


We find in most churches, then and now, the praise is usually accompanied by song. Zion, throughout the Bible, symbolizes the church. The best way to begin and end a service in the church is to sing praises to God. Most all songs tell a story of happenings in the Bible. One of the most beautiful songs of praise today, in my opinion, is Adoration. This is a song of praise to God which exalts Him above all others. Nearly all the songs in the song book are songs of praise to God, written by people who were moved upon by the Spirit of God.



Verses 9 and 18: "The humble" and the needy are people who suffer oppression for the Lord's sake, bearing their affliction with a godly spirit. These are ones God has not "forgotten" (12:5; 140:12).


"The humble ... the needy ... the poor": These designations often stand for the individual psalmist and/or the corporate community of disciples he represents. The terms all point to those who are afflicted, vulnerable and therefore totally dependent upon the Lord.


Psalm 9:12 "When he maketh inquisition for blood, he remembereth them: he forgetteth not the cry of the humble."


For blood, Hebrew; bloods: The bloodshed or murder of his innocent and holy ones. Which though he may connive at for a season, yet he will certainly call the authors of it to a very severe account, and avenge it upon them.


(He remembereth them": Either the humble, as it follows, or the oppressed (Psalm 9:9), that trust in him, and seek to him (Psalm 9:10), whom he seemed to have forgotten. Or, the bloods last mentioned, for that noun and this pronoun are both of the masculine gender. And then remembering is put for revenging or punishing, as it is (in Deut. 25:17, 19; Neh. 6:14; Jer. 14:10; 44:21), and often elsewhere.


"The humble": Or meek, as this word, which is used also in (Zech. 9:9), is translated (Matt. 21:5). Who do not, and cannot, and will not avenge themselves, but commit their cause to me, as the God to whom vengeance belongeth. Or, afflicted or oppressed ones.


Those who shed their blood in the name of the Lord will not be forgotten. Stephen is a very good example of one who shed his blood for the gospel's sake. In death, he saw heaven open and Jesus standing to receive him.


1 Peter 5:6 "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:"


Psalm 9:13 "Have mercy upon me, O LORD; consider my trouble [which I suffer] of them that hate me, thou that liftest me up from the gates of death:"


"Death" is depicted like an earthly city, surrounded by a wall, where people are held captive - hence the reference to the "gates of death".


"Consider my trouble": To wit, compassionately and effectually, so as to bring me out of it.


"From the gates of death": From the brink or mouth of the grave, into which I was dropping, being as near death as a man is to the city that is come to the very gates of it. And so the phrase is used (Psalm 107:18; Isa. 38:10).


Psalm 9:14 "That I may show forth all thy praise in the gates of the daughter of Zion: I will rejoice in thy salvation."


That I may praise you in the land of the living. That I may finish the work of praise by rendering to thee all that is due. The idea is, that the dead could not praise God, that his praise could be uttered only by the living. And he calls on God, therefore, to interpose and save him that he might yet worship and praise him on the earth. In this sentiment, the psalmist utters only what man naturally feels when he looks upon the grave. That it is an end of human plans and pursuits.


"In the gates": I.e. with the utmost publicity (Psalm 116:14). For the city gates were the common place of concourse and business, corresponding to the agora or forum of Greece and Rome (compare Job 29:7; Prov. 8:3; Jer. 17:19-20). The implied contrast between "the cheerful ways of men" and the gloomy entrance to the nether world is obvious.


"I will rejoice": To wit, with spiritual joy and thanksgiving.


The cry of all mankind is, "Have mercy upon me O Lord". God hears and answers prayers of those who believe. God sees our problems, even before we pray and ask for help. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Jesus is salvation to all who will accept Him. We cannot save ourselves. The praise must all go to Jesus.



Verses 15-16: The "boomerang" principle of exact retribution returns.


Psalm 9:15 "The heathen are sunk down in the pit [that] they made: in the net which they hid is their own foot taken."


Fallen into that destruction which they designed to bring upon others. "Faith beholds, as already executed, that righteous judgment whereby wicked men will fall into the perdition which they had prepared for others. Either openly by persecution, or more covertly by temptation (see Psalm 7:15-16)."


"In the pit that they made": In which they designed that others should fall.


"In the net which they hid": Which they laid for others. The allusion here is to a spring-net made to capture birds or wild beasts.


"Is their own foot taken": The net here referred seems to have been particularly a net to take wild beasts by securing one of their feet, like a modern trap. The idea is, that they had been brought into the destruction which they had designed for others (see notes at (Psalm 7:15-16).


Psalm 9:16 "The LORD is known [by] the judgment [which] he executeth: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. Higgaion. Selah."


"The LORD": Better, Jehovah hath made himself known. He hath executed judgment, snaring the wicked in the work of his own hands.


"The wicked is snared in the work of his own hands": Not Goliath, as Kimchi thinks, who was slain by David with his own sword. Though this was true of him in the letter and type. But the wicked one, the man of sin and son of perdition, the antichrist. Whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all craftiness and wily stratagems, called the depths of Satan (Rev. 2:24). But his own sins shall take him, and he shall be holden with the cords of his iniquities, and be rewarded double for all his sins. What is before figuratively expressed is here literally declared. Or, "he hath snared the wicked in or by the work of his hands", that is, God.


"Higgaion. Selah": Higgaion occurs three times in the Psalms (Psalm 9:16; 19:14; 92:4). In the two latter places, it is translated (in Psalm 19:14, "meditation;" in Psalm 92:4, "solemn sound)". Both meanings are etymologically possible, but the word apparently, indicates some change in the music, or possibly, as joined with Selah, a direction to some particular part of the orchestra.


The wicked is without excuse. He is guilty as charged, because he has not accepted the forgiveness offered to him in Jesus Christ. The heathen (those who have totally rejected Jesus), made his own choice. He activated his own free will and rejected the Mercy of God. He stands before the Judge of all the earth with nothing but his own life. He is judged guilty of sin and worthy of death, because he did not accept Jesus Christ as the full payment for his sin. His righteousness is as filthy rags. The Lord is Just and must judge him lost.



Verses 17-20: Prominent theological themes (from Psalms 1 and 2), also return as the psalmist draws this great hymn to a climax.


Psalm 9:17 "The wicked shall be turned into hell, [and] all the nations that forget God."


Some render it, "shall return to the grave", to the earth, the original dust from whence they came. But this is common to all men, to the righteous as well as the wicked. Rather here signifies the place of torment, commonly called hell, where devils and damned spirits are. Here the souls of the wicked go immediately upon their departure from their bodies (Luke 16:23). And after the judgment is over, they will be remanded there in soul and body; and their damnation is called the destruction of soul and body in hell. Which will consist in an everlasting separation from God, and in a sense of his wrath and fiery indignation. And though this is true of all the wicked, yet here that wicked one, antichrist, and his wicked followers, are chiefly designed. Even the beast and false prophet, who shall be cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone (Rev. 19:20.


"And all the nations that forget God": Which is not to be understood of the Pagan nations, though they may be said to forget God, since he is to be known by the light of nature, and yet they worship idols, the works of their hands. But the Papal nations, who adore the pope of Rome as God on earth, worship angels and saints departed, and images of gold and silver, and wood and stone. It may be applied to every wicked man who forgets there is a God who sees and knows all things, and to whom men are accountable (see Psalm 50:22).


Now, we see the terrible fate of all who reject Jesus as their Savior. The individual, or the nation, that turns their back on God, wind up in hell.


Psalm 9:18 "For the needy shall not always be forgotten: the expectation of the poor shall [not] perish for ever."


Though God, for a time, may seem to forget or neglect them, and suffer their enemies to triumph over them.


"The expectation of the poor": Namely, of their receiving help from God.


"Shall not perish for ever": Though they may be tempted to think it shall. The vision is for an appointed time, and at the end it shall speak.


Some believers in the Lord Jesus Christ have no earthly wealth. The first few verses of John chapter 14 promise that Jesus is even now in heaven building a mansion for you and me. We may be poor in this world, but we have the greatest wealth known to man, when we have the gift of eternal life. Many very wealthy people would trade all of their wealth just to know their eternal life in heaven with Jesus was assured. We must be like Paul. He said, whatever state he found himself in, he was content.


Psalm 9:19 "Arise, O LORD; let not man prevail: let the heathen be judged in thy sight."


To the destruction of thine enemies, and the salvation of thy people (see Psalm 7:6).


"Let not man prevail": The man of sin, antichrist, that is, let him not always prevail. He is the little horn that was to prevail against the saints, and has prevailed (Dan. 7:21). But he shall not always prevail. This petition will be heard and answered; for though he shall cast down many thousands, he shall not be "strengthened" by it (Dan. 11:12). Where the same word is used as here. The Lamb at last shall overcome him and his ten kings, his supporters, and all that shall aid and assist him (Rev. 17:14).


"Let the Heathen be judged in thy sight. That is, the antichristian nations that adhere to the man of sin. Let them be judged and punished in the sight of God, the Judge of all the earth, whose eyes are as a flame of fire (compare with Joel 3:12).


Psalm 9:20 "Put them in fear, O LORD: [that] the nations may know themselves [to be but] men. Selah."


The dread of a nation's god was believed to precede successful armies into battle. For Israel, the splendor of God would overwhelm and defeat the enemy.


Not only will man not prevail over God, but neither did Lucifer. Men are not God. We are God's creation. He can do with us as He will. Man must realize that we are God's servants. We will never be God. We are what God allows us to be. Even kings and presidents are just men, subject to the will of God. Fear God and reverence Him. Repent, and accept Jesus as full payment for your sins and then receive the gift of eternal life.


Psalm 9 Questions


  1. How does David express the way he will praise the Lord?
  2. Circumstances sometimes make us want to ________, when we should be ___________.
  3. What is praise called in Hebrews 13:15?
  4. What does Isaiah 51:11 say about the redeemed of the Lord?
  5. The joy of the Lord is our ____________.
  6. David came against Goliath in whose name?
  7. How does the 12th chapter of Romans tell us to treat our enemies?
  8. Who fights the battles for the believer?
  9. What 2 words describe the judgements of the Lord God Almighty?
  10. How were the people warned in Noah's time of the impending doom?
  11. When Abraham pleaded with God for Sodom and Gomorrah, there could not be found even ___ righteous.
  12. How were Sodom and Gomorrah destroyed?
  13. Who did the angels of God drag out of Sodom, before the destruction?
  14. Name several names of God that show His eternal existence.
  15. Who is the Righteous Judge?
  16. In 2 Timothy 4:8, who is the crown of righteousness laid up for?
  17. God is our _________ and our ___________, a very present help.
  18. What is the covering for the believer?
  19. Who was the Sermon on the Mount addressed to?
  20. Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be ________.
  21. Praise in church is usually accompanied by what?
  22. What does Zion symbolize?
  23. Who is a very good example of someone who shed his blood for the gospel?
  24. What is the cry of all mankind?
  25. The wicked is without _________.
  26. Who are the heathen, really?
  27. Why is the sinner judged guilty on judgement day?
  28. Verse 17 says, the wicked shall be turned into where?
  29. What is the greatest wealth known to man?
  30. Why can God do with us as He will?
  31. Who are presidents and kings subject to?



Go to Previous Section | Go to Next Section | Return to Top

Return to Psalms Menu | Return to Bible Menu


Psalms 10



Psalm 10

"Psalm 10": In contrast to the prayer at the end of the preceding psalm, David now points to the present condition in the world, where God seems to have permitted the wicked to triumph over the righteous (verses 1-11). He then appeals to the Lord to act, to set the matter right, confident that the King of the world will do so (verses 12-18).


Verses 1-18: Whereas psalm 9 started out with praise, Psalm 10 begins in despair. In Psalm 9 the psalmist was confident of the sure coming of Divine justice; in Psalm 10 injustice; in Psalm 10 injustice is rampant and God seems disinterested. However, the psalmist's walking more by sight than by faith will slowly turn around as he shifts his focus from empirical observations to theological facts. This is not an easy turn-around, especially since he is surrounded by so many practical atheists (compare verses 4, 11, 13). But hope will begin to dawn for the helpless (e.g., verse 12). In view of such kinds of general observations, the psalmist's expressions (in Psalm 10), exemplify how true believers seem to live in two different worlds at the same time.


(1) From His World of Hostility, Discouragement (10:1-11);


(2) From His World of Hope, Encouragement (10:12-18).


Psalm 10:1 "Why standest thou afar off, O LORD? [why] hidest thou [thyself] in times of trouble?"


"Why ...? Why ...": Two "whys" of lament boldly blurt out the psalmist's question: God, why do you remain aloof?" (Compare Psalms 13:1; 22:11; 38:21; 44:24; 71:12; 88:14).


The question "why" always signals a feeling of frustration or forsakenness. The psalmist here shows his own impatience and despair.


I can see myself in David's cry to the Lord here, and probably you can see yourself as well. Sometimes we feel that God is so far away from us and that He is hiding from us. This is just how it appears. God is always near to His children, and He knows the pain we are going through. We might find the answer to the question in the following verses.


Romans 5:3-5 "And not only [so], but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;" "And patience, experience; and experience, hope:" "And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us."


Many times, what we call a problem, is really the Lord teaching us. Trials must come to make us strong. Thank God that He cares enough to let us learn in our trials.


Psalm 10:2 "The wicked in [his] pride doth persecute the poor: let them be taken in the devices that they have imagined."


The pride of his heart which makes him forget God, despise the poor, and oppress others. In his exaltation; persecutes the poor. With great earnestness and burning fury, as the verb signifies: as if he had said, "the use which he makes of that power and authority to which thou hast advanced him is to persecute those whom he ought to protect and cherish".


"The poor": To wit, me, who am through their tyranny poor, and destitute, and miserable, and therefore the more proper object for thy compassion, and others who favor my righteous cause.


"Let them be taken in the devices that they have imagined": Compare (Psalm 35:8); "Let his net that he hath hid catch himself". And (Psalm 141:10); "Let the wicked fall into their own nets" (see also Psalms 7:15-16; 9:15; Prov. 5:22; 26:27; Eccl. 10:8). Some, however, translate, "They (i.e. the poor), are ensnared in the devices which they (i.e. the wicked), have imagined;" and this is certainly a possible rendering. Hengstenberg regards it as preferable to the other "on account of the parallelism and connection."


The wicked in the verse above, is scheming against the poor. The word pride shows us that the wicked thinks himself better than the poor. David is saying in this, let this wicked person be caught in his own trap.


Luke 6:20 "And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed [be ye] poor: for yours is the kingdom of God."


Jesus was a friend to the poor. We find, in the following Scriptures in Jesus' own words, the punishment those will receive who persecute the poor.


Matthew 25:41-45 "Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:" "For I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:" "I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not." "Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?" "Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did [it] not to one of the least of these, ye did [it] not to me."


Psalm 10:3 For the wicked boasteth of his heart's desire, and blesseth the covetous, [whom] the LORD abhorreth.


"Covetous ... abhorreth": The wicked's modus operandi is the opposite of what God demands (Deut. 25:1).


The word abhorreth goes further than to just dislike. In this particular Scripture above, it means to scorn or detest. To detest something is so strong that it is showing a sickening dislike for something. The wicked above, are boasting about what they can do in their own power. The only thing the wicked, or anyone else can do, is the things God allows them to do. Coveting is a sin. Thou shalt not covet is one of the 10 commandments. To want something or someone that belongs to someone else is coveting. We Christians must be careful not to want things that are out of God's will for us to have.



Verses 4-11: The psalmist calls on God to punish the unbridled disrespect and scorn of the wicked, which has reached such a pitch that it seems as if God winks at evil (94:2). The wicked mistake God's patience with evil for disinterest in justice and the victims (14:1). Their boldness grows as they no longer sense any accountability for their actions (Eccl. 8:11).


Psalm 10:4 "The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek [after God]: God [is] not in all his thoughts."


God's withdrawing are very grievous to his people, especially in times of trouble. We stand afar off from God by our unbelief, and then complain that God stands afar off from us. Passionate words against bad men do more hurt than good. If we speak of their badness, let it be to the Lord in prayer; he can make them better. The sinner proudly glories in his power and success.


Wicked people "will not seek after God". That is, will not call upon him. They live without prayer, and that is living without God. They have many thoughts, many objects and devices, but think not of the Lord in any of them. They have no submission to his will, nor aim for his glory. The cause of this is pride. Men think it below them to be religious. They could not break all the laws of justice and goodness toward man, if they had not first shaken off all sense of religion.


This is describing a person who is so caught up in himself that he does not realize a need for God. This person thinks he has everything under control himself. He does not realize that the most important thing in his life is preparing for an eternity with Jesus. Pride goes before a fall. This persons pride will keep him from humbling himself to receive the Lord.


Psalm 10:5 "His ways are always grievous; thy judgments [are] far above out of his sight: [as for] all his enemies, he puffeth at them."


"His ways are always grievous": God seems to be rewarding the ruthless. The psalmist's questioning insinuation is, "Has God also abandoned His own standards for retribution and reward?" Compare other why-do-the-wicked-prosper inquires (in Job 20:2; Jer. 12:1).


This person is living in the here and now with no preparation for life after death. He walks all over people he is dealing with. This puffing at his enemies, just means that he fusses and fights with all who get in his way. He insists on having his way in everything. He thinks he is the boss. He never once considers that there is a day of judgement coming, when he will stand before the judge of all the earth.


Psalm 10:6 "He hath said in his heart, I shall not be moved: for [I shall] never [be] in adversity."


He thinks and persuades himself.


"I shall not be moved": From my place and happy state.


I shall "never be in adversity": Because I am not in adversity, I never shall be in it. His present prosperity makes him secure for the future (compare Rev. 18:7). "Prosperity," says Dr. Horne, "begets presumption, and he who has been long accustomed to see his designs succeed, begins to think it impossible they should ever do otherwise. The long-suffering of God, instead of leading such a one to repentance, only hardens him in his iniquity." He hath said in his heart, I shall not be moved: for I shall never be in adversity.


The wicked person who has been successful in this world, thinks his success will continue. He is like the man who says, you make your own breaks. He believes hard times will never come his way, because he thinks he is so great. His life is totally centered on self.



Verses 7-11: Evidences of "hoof" and "mouth" disease (walk/talk), return in application to the wicked. These are enhanced by a return also of the ungodly being described as stalking, rapacious beasts.


Psalm 10:7 "His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud: under his tongue [is] mischief and vanity."


Of oaths and blasphemies against God. Of reviling and cursing of other men, especially of those that are good, and those that stand in his way, and hinder his wicked designs. And, perhaps, also of oaths and a spoken curse against himself, by which he endeavors to gain credit, and to make his neighbors secure, and so to make way for the deceit and fraud here mentioned next. He stops at nothing that may serve his ends. For he makes no conscience of calling for one curse after another upon himself to confirm those promises which he never intends to keep. Or to swear that which he knows is false, that by these impious means he may deceive those who rely on his word or oath.


"Under his tongue": Under his fair and plausible speeches.


"Is mischief": Mischievous wickedness lies hid.


"Vanity": Or iniquity, as the word aven, is often rendered. Or injury; the vexation or oppression of other men, which he covers with these fair pretenses.


This is a man who is evil to the core of his being. The following two verses pretty well cover what Jesus taught about evil men speaking evil.


Matthew 15:18-19 "But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man." "For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:"


Psalm 10:8 "He sitteth in the lurking places of the villages: in the secret places doth he murder the innocent: his eyes are privily set against the poor."


Not within the villages, which is not a fit place for lurking. But about them, in the ways bordering upon them, or leading to them, as robbers use to do.


"In the secret places": That he may avoid the shame and punishment of men. Which is the only thing that he fears.


"Are privily set": Hebrew; hide themselves. To lay up in private; to hoard; to keep back or to hold back, etc. Here it means to conceal, to lurk in ambush; and the idea is that his eyes will secretly watch, or keep a lookout for them. That is, that his eyes, or that he himself will be concealed, that he may observe the goings of those whom he intends to make his prey. The sense is either, he winked as men do when they shoot their arrows at a mark. Or rather, he watched and looked out of his lurking-place, to spy what passengers come that way. He alludes still to the practices of robbers.


"Against the poor": Or, the wretched, the afflicted, the defenseless. The meaning is, that instead of being a helper of the poor and wretched, he is disposed to take every advantage of them, and deprive them of all their rights and comforts.


Most of the dealings of this kind of man cannot take place out in the open. He must hide his evil deeds. This person has no dealings with strong upright people. He preys on the weak of society. He intends to take whatever belongs to them, even if he has to kill them in the process. He does this in the secret places, so he will not be found out.


Psalm 10:9 "He lieth in wait secretly as a lion in his den: he lieth in wait to catch the poor: he doth catch the poor, when he draweth him into his net."


"As a lion in his den": Where he lurks and waits for prey.


"He doth catch": Or snatch, or seize upon, to wit, with violence, and to devour or destroy him.


"When he draweth him": Or, by drawing him; or, after he hath drawn him. He lays snares for him, and when he takes him, tears him in pieces.


Psalm 10:10 "He croucheth, [and] humbleth himself, that the poor may fall by his strong ones."


As the lion before he leaps and seizes on his prey, and as the fowler creepeth upon the ground to draw the bird into his net and catch it. So the antichristian beast has two horns like a lamb. Though he has the mouth of a lion, and speaks like a dragon. He would be thought to be like the Lamb of God, meek, and lowly, and humble, and therefore calls himself "servus servorum", "the servant of servants"; but his end is;


"That the poor may fall by his strong ones": The word for "poor" is here used, as before observed on (Psalm 10:8), in the plural number, and is read by the Massoretes as two words. Though it is written as one, and is by them and other Jewish writers interpreted a multitude, company, or army of poor ones, whose strength is worn out. These weak and feeble ones, antichrist causes to fall by his strong ones. Either by his strong decrees, cruel edicts, and severe punishments, as by sword, by flame, or by captivity and by spoils (Dan. 11:33). Or by the kings of the earth and their armies, their mighty men of war, their soldiers, whom he instigates and influences to persecute their subjects. Who will not receive his mark in their right hands or foreheads (Rev. 13:15). It is very observable, that those persecuted by antichrist are so often in this prophetic psalm called "poor". And it is also remarkable, that there were a set of men in the darkest times of Roman Catholicism, and who were persecuted by the Roman Catholics, called the "poor" men of Lyons (Waldensians, who became part of the reformation in 1532). The whole verse may be rendered and paraphrased thus, "he tears in pieces". That is, the poor, whom he catches in his net. "He boweth himself", as the lion does, as before observed. "That he may fall", or rush upon; with his strong ones, his mighty armies, "upon the multitude of the poor".


Just as a lion gives no warning when he attacks his prey, this evil one attacks them unawares to them. He does not play fair. He pretends to be one of them and when they believe him, he destroys them.


Psalm 10:11 "He hath said in his heart, God hath forgotten: he hideth his face; he will never see [it]."


Namely, the poor (Psalm 10:10), or the humble. He forgets or neglects their oppressions and prayers, and doth not avenge their cause, as he hath said he would do.


"He hideth his face": Lest he should see. He takes no notice of their sufferings, lest he should be engaged to help them. He will not encumber himself with the care of things done upon the earth, but leaves it wholly to men to manage their affairs as they think fit.


"He will never see it": Namely, the oppression of the poor. Or the design of oppressors against them.


When Cain killed Abel, he thought no one would know. Well, that was almost true, no one but God knew. God said, your brother's blood cries out to me from the earth. We may hide our sin from the authorities here on the earth, but there is no hiding from God.



Verses 12-18: The psalm concludes with a triumphant assertion of faith: despite all seeming challenges, "the Lord is King", and He does hear and answer the cry of the oppressed (9:12; 29:10).


Psalm 10:12 "Arise, O LORD; O God, lift up thine hand: forget not the humble."


"Arise": The battle cry (of Numbers 10:35), also comes back again (compare Psalms 7:6; 9:19).


"Lift up thine hand": This is an idiom for God's strength and power especially as it is used in the context of retaliation.


He has been describing the ways of the evil person in his dealings with the weak and poor of the earth. Now, he is saying; Lord help those who cannot help themselves. The humble here, are speaking of people who have no earthly influence. Their only help is the Lord.


Psalm 10:13 "Wherefore doth the wicked contemn God? he hath said in his heart, Thou wilt not require [it]."


God may be said to be despised, when his being, perfections, and providence are denied, called in question, or abused (Psalm 10:9). When his word is derided, the great things of his law are counted as a strange thing (Hosea 8:12). And the truths of his Gospel are reckoned foolishness. And instead of these, the decrees, doctrines, and traditions of men, are set up, as by antichrist. And when his ministers, and especially his Son, are treated with disdain (Luke 10:16).


"He hath said in his heart, thou wilt not require it": Or "seek it"; or inquire after it, his iniquity. The sense is, that God will make no inquiry after sin, and bring it into judgment, unto account, and under examination. Or will not make inquisition, that is, for blood. For the blood of the saints and martyrs of Jesus, shed by antichrist. Or will not require it at his hands, or recompense vengeance for it. All which is false and vain; the contrary to it will be found true.


The wicked cannot condemn God. This seems to be happening in our society today. All things pertaining to God and His holy ways are trying to be struck down by worldly courts. This atheistic society of today does not recognize God at all. They do not feel that godly teachings are in order, because they do not believe in God. Since they do not believe in God, they do not believe that there is a day of judgement coming. My, what a rude awakening they are in for!


Psalm 10:14 "Thou hast seen [it]: for thou beholdest mischief and spite, to requite [it] with thy hand: the poor committeth himself unto thee; thou art the helper of the fatherless."


"Helper of the fatherless": God is pictured as Helper or Advocate again, but this time in association with orphans. He is the Defender par excellence of the defenseless (on the imagery, compare Exodus 22:2; Deut. 10:18; 1 Sam. 1:17; Jer. 7:6).


God fights the battles of the fatherless and the helpless. This verse is saying to God, you are their only hope God. In the study on the book of Revelation, we found that God has an all-seeing eye. He sees everything, good or bad. God will take vengeance on those who oppress those who cannot help themselves.


Romans 12:19 "Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but [rather] give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance [is] mine; I will repay, saith the Lord."


Psalm 10:15 "Break thou the arm of the wicked and the evil [man]: seek out his wickedness [till] thou find none."


"Break thou the arm of the wicked": The "hand" of God (verses 12, 14), is more than sufficiently strong to shatter the arm (another figure for power), of ungodly men.


We see a cry from the Psalmist for God to hurry up and bring judgement on these evil ones. God judges however, when He is ready, not when we want Him to.



Verses 16-18: The confident mood of this great climax outshines the psalm's introductory protestations. The psalmist's great Lord listens (verse 17), and Acts (verse 18).


Psalm 10:16 "The LORD [is] King for ever and ever: the heathen are perished out of his land."


That is, he reigns, and he will reign forever. This is one of the instances which frequently occur in the Psalms. Where, though there is a desponding spirit, or an apprehension of danger expressed in the beginning of the poem, it ends with the language of exultation and triumph. The psalmist speaks here as if what he had desired was actually accomplished. And as if the enemies that had encompassed him, and all the enemies of the Lord, were actually overthrown, and God now reigned supreme. He was so confident that this would be so, that he speaks of it as if it were already done (compare Rom. 4:17; Psalms 6:8-9; 7:17; 9:18).


"The heathen are perished out of his land": That is, this would so certainly occur that he might speak of it as if it were actually done. The word "heathen" here refers to the enemies of God and of his cause, who are the principal subjects of the psalm (compare Psalm 9:5). The "land" here, refers to the land of Palestine or the holy land, regarded as a land sacred to God, or in the midst of which he himself dwelt.


The King mentioned here, is the King of kings and LORD of lords who will reign forever. Those who receive Him as their Savior and Lord, will live with Him. This of course, is speaking of the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, who Christians call Jesus Christ.


Psalm 10:17 "LORD, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear:"


And, therefore, wilt still hear it, being unchangeable, and the same for ever.


"Thou wilt prepare their heart": By kindling therein holy desires by thy Holy Spirit, strengthening their faith, collecting their thoughts, and raising their affections to things above. That they may so pray as that thou wilt hear. Or, that they may be made fit to receive the mercies they desire, which, when they are, they shall have their prayers answered.


"Thou wilt cause thine ear to hear": In due time, though, for a season, thou seem to turn a deaf ear to their requests.


To receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, we must humble our self and repent of sins. The thing that prepares our heart is to have our heart washed in the blood of the Lamb. We must be willing to let self die, and Christ live in us.


Galatians 2:20 "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."


We must have our ears open to hear the things of God. This does not mean just the outward ear, but the ear that receives within us, to truly understand this study about the priest having blood applied to his right ear at dedication. Some have ears that do not hear. God wants us not only to hear, but understand as well.


Psalm 10:18 "To judge the fatherless and the oppressed, that the man of the earth may no more oppress."


I.e. to defend them, and give sentence for them, and against their enemies. As this word is used (Deut. 32:36; Psalms 7:8; 135:14).


"The man of the earth": I.e. earthly and mortal men, who are made of the dust, and must return to it. Such as the oppressors of thy people are; who yet presume most audaciously and madly to contend with thee their Maker and Judge. Therefore it is time for thee to repress such insolvency, and to show how unable they are to stand before thee.


"May no more oppress": To wit, the fatherless last mentioned.


Christians are in this world, but not of this world. This then, is speaking of the unsaved who are living on this earth and the here and now. There will come a time, when Jesus reigns, that there will be no more oppression of anyone.


Psalm 10 Questions


  1. How can all believers relate to David's cry in verse 1?
  2. What is possibly the reason that God does not always immediately answer our prayer?
  3. What does tribulation bring that is beneficial to us?
  4. In verse 2, what does the word pride show us about this wicked
  5. Jesus was a friend to the ________.
  6. The everlasting fire was prepared for whom?
  7. What does the 25th chapter of Matthew teach us about doing for the poor?
  8. What does the word, abhorreth mean?
  9. What are the wicked boasting about in verse 3?
  10. Coveting is a _____.
  11. Where do we find the instructions not to covet?
  12. _________ goes before a fall.
  13. In verse 4, what keeps this person from humbling himself to receive the Lord?
  14. What does puffing at them mean in verse 5?
  15. What untruth does the evil person who has been successful believe?
  16. The man in verse 6 is totally centered on whom?
  17. Verse 7 tells us that the evil man's mouth is filled with what?
  18. Words that come out of the mouth, originate where?
  19. Where does the evil man stay to catch others unaware?
  20. What is the evil man compared to in verse 9?
  21. We may hide our sin from the earthly authorities, but who knows?
  22. Who is David asking God to help in verse 12?
  23. What kind of society are we living in today?
  24. Who is God the helper of in verse 14?
  25. What does Romans 12:19 tell us about vengeance?
  26. Can we hurry God's judgement on anyone?
  27. Who is verse 16 speaking of?
  28. To receive Jesus as our Savior, we must __________ our self.
  29. When will there be no oppression?



Go to Previous Section | Go to Next Section | Return to Top

Return to Psalms Menu | Return to Bible Menu


Psalms 11



Psalm 11

To the chief Musician, [A Psalm] of David.


"Psalm 11": A vision of the Lord on His throne (verse 4), is all the righteous need for security in the face of the threat of the wicked (verse 2).


Verses 1-7: The panic that launched this psalm was not David's but that of his apparently well-meaning counselors. Their mood is panic, but David's is peace. In view of David's attitude, this psalm can be listed with the psalms of confidence (Psalms 4, 16, 23, 27, 62, 125, and 131). Also, the solidarity of the theocratic king and the theocratic people is obvious, as indicated by the shifts back and forth between singular and plural phrasings. The developing verses and lines of this psalm reveal that, although two different "voices" were speaking to David in yet another context of personal and national crisis, he had made up his mind to trust only in the Lord.


(1) Introductory affirmation (11:1a);


(2) The Two Voices;


  1. The Voice Urging Flight (11:1b-3);
  2. The Voice Urging Faith (11:4-7).

Psalm 11:1 "In the LORD put I my trust: how say ye to my soul, Flee [as] a bird to your mountain?"


God is the exclusive refuge for His persecuted children (compare Psalms 16:1; 36:7). As a life principle, David sought refuge from his enemies in the Lord, his stronghold. His counselors urged him to


"Flee as a bird to your mountain": To run and hide. But he refused, regarding the Lord as a much more secure refuge than any human fortress.


So many times, when we are going through trials, loving friends will tell us to get away from the problem (go to the mountain). I like the answer David gave here. "In the LORD put I my trust". Sure, we could run to safety, away from the trials of life. But generally speaking, the problem would follow us. Have you ever had the urge to run away and hide? I have. When I prayed, I discovered that God wanted me to put my trust in Him, even in the midst of the storm.


1 Peter 5:7 "Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you."


I have said this so many times, but it bears repeating. God did not save Noah from the flood, He saved him in the flood. It rained on Noah too. God made provision for Noah. God will save us in whatever problem we are facing now.


Psalm 11:2 "For, lo, the wicked bend [their] bow, they make ready their arrow upon the string, that they may privily shoot at the upright in heart."


Many eminent commentators consider these also as the words of David's friends, representing to him, as a motive for his flight and the extreme danger he was in. Which they compare to that of a bird when a fowler, having already fixed his eye upon it, had fitted his arrow to the string. And lying close, was taking aim at it, intending to shoot it. Just so, they signified, Saul and his counsellors had laid their plot on suddenly to destroy David.


"That they may privily shoot at the upright in heart": Such as David, and those that were with him. They were men whose hearts were upright before God, and were of upright conversations before men, and so became the butt of the malice and resentment of wicked men. Against these they formed evil purposes and delivered bitter words, which were like sharp arrows of the mighty. Threatened them with ruin and destruction, and took methods to bring about their designs and make good their words, in the most private and secret manner. Hence some of David's friends thought it most advisable for him to make his escape.


Look with me at the next Scripture and rejoice that the world hates and persecutes you.


John 15:18 "If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before [it hated] you."


This is printed in red in my Bible, which means Jesus spoke these very words. Look at one more Scripture with me on this.


John 15:25 "But [this cometh to pass], that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause."


This is what we must be careful of; that they have no cause to hate us. Christian, the world will try to destroy you, because you are not of the world. They hate you, because you remind them that they chose to sin. They did not have to. They hate you because you remind them of their sin.


Psalm 11:3 "If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?"


These are the words of a committed but confused saint. His philosophical problem is, "In view of the crumbling of the theocratic society, what can one righteous person, out of a shrinking remnant, do?"


"Foundations" is a metaphor for the order of society, the established institutions which are the social and civil order of the community (82:5). David's fainthearted counselors believed the very cornerstones of their nation were in jeopardy, namely, the Mosaic Law and other institutions of the faith. Many people wonder similarly today when cherished values are attacked. But the Lord calls every believer to do what can be done in his or her sphere of influence.


The foundation of society has been almost totally destroyed today. Our ancestors would be hurt deeply, if they could see the terrible things our society calls normal behavior. The United States was founded as a Christian nation to begin with. Today, most just turn their back to the filth on television, movies, books, and even common conversation on the street corner. What can the righteous do? We can raise a standard of righteousness and holiness where we are. Christians, do not participate in any of this. Set a standard for you and your family and live by it, then try to encourage others to live better too. The best thing to do is read your Bible every day, and find out what the will of God is, and then do His will. You may not change the world, but you can change the spot where you live. Refuse to be a part of anything you know is not of God.



Verses 4-6: God sees what happens in the world, and He will act, He will "try" the righteous", but the "wicked" will be dealt with more severely, through the heaping of "fire and brimstone" upon them (34:15-16; Ezek. 38:22). The statement that God "hateth" such people refers to God's intense rejection of them rather than an emotion (Mal. 1:2-3).


Psalm 11:4 "The LORD [is] in his holy temple, the LORD'S throne [is] in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men."


"In his holy temple ... in heaven": This emphasizes the transcendent throne room of God, yet God has sovereign sway over all the affairs of earth (compare Hab. 2:20).


"His eyes behold, his eyelids try": His transcendence previously depicted woes not negate His eminence here presented from the perspective of the divine scrutiny of all men, including the righteous (compare Jer. 6:27-30; 17:10).


The tabernacle in the wilderness was an example of that great tabernacle in heaven. When Stephen was being stoned to death, he looked to the heavens and saw Jesus standing at the right side of the throne of God. John in his Revelation, saw heaven's door opened. The door of heaven is never closed to the believer in Christ, because Jesus opened that door to the very presence of God, when He gave His body on Calvary. Jesus is our Door to heaven. He is our Way. The LORD'S throne is in heaven. Jesus sits on the right side of the Father even now interceding for you and me. Jesus is our great High Priest. He represents us before the Father. God is not blind, that He cannot see everything we do.


Revelation 1:14 "His head and [his] hairs [were] white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes [were] as a flame of fire;"


This description that we see from Revelation, is speaking of the one you and I know as Jesus our Savior. These eyes that were like flames of fire, mean that He can look into the very heart and soul of man. Fire burns out the evil. As I said before, He sees everything. There is nothing hid from him. Think before you sin next time. Jesus is watching.


Psalm 11:5 "The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth."


"His soul hateth": This is undiluted, perfect retribution.


Christians are righteous, not because we have never sinned, but because we took on the righteousness of the LORD when He took our sin on His body. It is not our righteousness we are clothed with, but the righteousness of Christ. The wicked and those who love violence, have totally rejected the Lord Jesus as their Savior. They are standing before Jesus in their cloak of sin. They are hated of God, because they chose sin over salvation in Jesus Christ.


Psalm 11:6 "Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and a horrible tempest: [this shall be] the portion of their cup."


"He shall rain snares, fire, and brimstone, and a horrible tempest": This will be in hell, as Jarchi observes. The allusion is to the Lord's raining fire and brimstone from heaven upon Sodom and Gomorrah, which was an example and emblem of eternal fire (see Gen. 19:24). For the beast and the false prophet, and all the antichristian party, and all wicked men, will have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone. The phrases used express the dreadfulness and horribleness of their punishment. The suddenness, violence, and force, with which it will come; and the rise of it, it will be from heaven. God himself will rain this shower of wrath upon them (Job 20:23). Nor will there be any escaping it, it will be inevitable. Therefore "snares" are said to be "rained"; and the wicked will be snared in the works of their own hands. They will be taken and held in the cords of their own sins. And full and deserved punishment will be inflicted on them, which will be very severe and terrible. All that is dreadful in a storm is here expressed, even in a storm of fire. The word rendered "snares" is by some thought to be the same with "burning coals"; and may signify burning stones, hot thunderbolts (see Psalm 18:13).


"This shall be the portion of their cup": Which will be measured out to them in proportion to their sins. And which God, in righteous judgment, has appointed for them. And which they shall all drink of, and wring out the very dregs of it.


This to me, is speaking of the terrible time when the wrath of God is poured out upon the earth. God has given them ample time to repent and they have not. The generation spoken of here, has totally rejected God. You may read about these terrible plagues, earthquakes, and many more terrors that come in the study on Revelation. The one thing that we must remember is, these people brought this upon themselves. I will share just one Scripture from the book of Revelation pertaining to this.


Revelation 14:10 "The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:"


Psalm 11:7 "For the righteous LORD loveth righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright."


"For the righteous Lord loveth righteousness": He loves righteousness. He Himself is the perfect norm or standard for all spiritual integrity.


"His countenance" (compare Psalms 17:15; 27:4; 63:2; 1 John 3:2).


We are told, to "be ye holy for I am holy", by Almighty God. Righteousness in Christ just means that we have taken on right standing in Christ. Abraham had faith, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. The Christian has faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and it is counted unto the Christian as righteousness. We are clothed in His righteousness when our garment has been washed in the blood of the Lamb. God loves those who are in right standing with Him through Jesus Christ the Lord.


Psalm 11 Questions


  1. Whose Psalm is this?
  2. Who was this Psalm addressed to?
  3. In the _______ put I my trust.
  4. What do loving friends tell us to do many times, when we are going through a trial?
  5. Should we take their advice?
  6. God did not save Noah _______ the flood, but ___ the flood.
  7. Why should we rejoice that the world hates and persecutes us?
  8. They hated Jesus __________ a _________.
  9. What has happened to the foundation of our society?
  10. What is some of the filth that most people just ignore now?
  11. What can a Christian do?
  12. You may not change the world, but you can change what?
  13. What was the tabernacle in the wilderness an example of?
  14. Who, while being stoned to death, looked into heaven and saw Jesus standing at the right side of the throne of God?
  15. Who else in the Bible saw the heavens opened?
  16. How was heaven opened for the Christian?
  17. What is Jesus doing for you and me in heaven now?
  18. What were the eyes of Jesus like from Revelation 1:14?
  19. What does this description of His eyes mean?
  20. In verse 5, we find that The LORD trieth whom?
  21. What makes the Christian righteous?
  22. What is meant, when we say we are righteous?
  23. Upon the wicked He shall rain what?
  24. Where can you read of the terrible things that are to come on the earth?
  25. The righteous LORD loveth ________________.
  26. What made Abraham righteous in God's sight?



Go to Previous Section | Go to Next Section | Return to Top

Return to Psalms Menu | Return to Bible Menu


Psalms 12



Psalm 12

To the chief Musician upon Sheminith, A Psalm of David.


"Psalm 12": The oppression of the righteous by the wicked is especially felt in the realm of vain and proud speech (verse 2-5), but the righteous find comfort in the pure and valued Word of God (verse 6).


Verses 1-8: Men's words do hurt, but the Lord's words heal. These thoughts preoccupy David (in Psalm 12). The psalm begins and ends with the reality of the current reign of the wicked. Yet amidst this very black setting, the gemstone truth (of verse 5), shines all the more brightly. These 8 verses are characterized by subtle repetitions and bold contrasts. In the development of Psalm 12, David provides a model for passing a spiritual hearing test, in that genuine disciples listen to and properly respond to two radically different sources of speech.


(1) Surviving the Propaganda of Depraved Speech (12:1-4).


  1. By Prayer 12:1-2);
  2. By Petition (12:3-4).

(2) Security in the Protection of Divine Speech (12:5-8).


  1. Its Divine Promises (12:5);
  2. Its Divine Purity (12:6);
  3. Its Divine Perseverance (12:7-8).

Psalm 12:1 "Help, LORD; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men."


"For the godly man ceaseth": His words and phraseology are deliberately hyperbolic, yet David's perception indeed was that the pious have perished!


David cried for the Lord, because he said the godly man is no more. It seems that he has described our generation more than all the rest. Society has fallen into such a state of degradation today that it is even as it was in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah. Even in the time of Noah, when God looked down and was sorry that He had ever made man, it was not as bad as the day we live in. Sometimes I feel like Elijah did when he thought he was the only one left who loved and obeyed God. We know from the Scriptures, that God told him there were still thousands that had not bowed their knee to Baal. I am sure there are thousands, even today, who love and obey God. I can surely say they are not in the majority however. Even many in the church have compromised to the extent that God would find many of them wanting, if they were weighed in the balance. To know what our society is today (we must read 2 Timothy chapter 3). I will give part of it here. To get the full picture, read it all.


2 Timothy 3:1-5 "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come." "For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy," "Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good," "Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;" "Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away."


The only answer is God. Help Lord! The faithful are becoming fewer and fewer. We are outnumbered by the world. Don't give up. Read your Word and pray for God's help. He will help you. The main thing is, to stay in the Bible and draw your strength from God.



Verses 2-4: These smooth-talking sinners verbally abuse the remnant (verses 2-3), and verbally defy their Sovereign (verse 4).


Psalm 12:2 "They speak vanity every one with his neighbor: [with] flattering lips [and] with a double heart do they speak."


That which is false and a lie, either doctrinal or practical. What was not according to the word of God, and was vain and empty, frothy, filthy, and corrupt. And which no godly and faithful man would do. And this being done in common, by the generality of men, one with another, shows the degeneracy of the age, and supports the complaint before made. They speak even;


"With flattering lips": As Cain did to Abel, Joab to Amasa, the Herodians to Christ, Judas to his Master, false teachers to those that are simple, or hypocrites to God himself. When they draw nigh to him only with their lips. And all formal professors to the churches of Christ, when they profess themselves to be what they are not. And this is a further proof of the justness of the above complaint.


"And with a double heart do they speak": Such are double minded men, who say one thing, and mean another. Their words are not to be depended upon; as there is no faithfulness in them. The Chinese reckon a man of "two hearts", as they call him, a very wicked man, and none more remote from honesty.


Most of the time, flattery is like a con game. I will brag on you, so that I can get what I want from you. Another way to say a double heart, would be to say two faced.


Proverbs 26:28 "A lying tongue hateth [those that are] afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin."


Psalm 12:3 "The LORD shall cut off all flattering lips, [and] the tongue that speaketh proud things:"


"The Lord shall cut off all flattering lips": Here is a call for death in the light of sin. On the obnoxious sin of lying lips (compare Psalms 5:9; Isa. 30:10; Dan. 11:32; Rom. 3:13).


Not only does God not like flattering lips and proud statements, but people are turned off by that kind of person as well. I always wonder what they are up to, when flattery begins. Pride comes just before a fall.


James 1:26 "If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion [is] vain."


It is a very dangerous thing to have a tongue that is not controlled by the Holy Spirit of God. I will give one more Scripture on the evil tongue, and then go on.


James 3:5 "Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!"


The tongue is the evilest part of our body, until we turn our tongue over to God. Let God control your tongue, and it will speak life and not death.


Psalm 12:4 "Who have said, With our tongue will we prevail; our lips [are] our own: who [is] lord over us?"


By raising and spreading slanders and evil reports concerning him, where by both, Saul will be highly and implacably enraged against David and the hearts of the people alienated from him. Which was indeed a very likely way to prevail against him, and that by their tongues only.


"Our lips are our own": I.e. at our own disposal to speak what we please.


"Who is lord over us": Who can control or restrain us? This was not the language of their mouths, for they were Israelites, that owned a God above them, and they were subjects of Saul. But the language of their actions, scripture often tells us not only what men do actually say, but what they would say if they dared, or what their actions mean (as Psalm 94:7; Mal. 1:12-13; 2:17). They take as great a liberty in their speech as if they believed there was no God or man superior to them". Because neither the fear of God, nor the reverence of men, can keep them from speaking whatsoever they please, or what they suppose makes for their interest.


Life and death are in the power of the tongue.


James 3:8-9 "But the tongue can no man tame; [it is] an unruly evil, full of deadly poison." "Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God."


If God does not rule our tongue, we are evil to the core. In Isaiah, there is the most beautiful suggestion of how to purify unclean lips, in all the Bible.


Isaiah 6:5-7 "Then said I, Woe [is] me! for I am undone; because I [am] a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts." "Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, [which] he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:" "And he laid [it] upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged."


In the very next verse, we see why it was necessary for him to have clean and truthful lips.


Isaiah 6:8 "Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here [am] I; send me."


Psalm 12:5 "For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the LORD; I will set [him] in safety [from him that] puffeth at him."


The ungodly having been threatened, a promise of assistance is made to the righteous whom they oppress. God declares that, in response to the many calls made upon him (Psalms 3:7; 7:6; 9:19; 10:12), he will "now," at last, "arise". Interpose on behalf of the oppressed, and deliver them (compare Exodus 3:7-8).


"I will set him in safety from him that puffeth at him": This is a possible meaning; but it is perhaps better to render, with Hengstenberg and Cheyne: "I will place him in the safety for which he sighs," or "pants."


We know that the Lord is longsuffering to those who are living in sin. We also know that He listens and hears the prayers of His own. Sometimes it seems to us, that God is taking a long time to hear and answer our prayer. God is not controlled by time as we are, but is in fact the Controller of time. We are God's children, and He will fight our battles for us. He is never so far away that He does not hear our cry.


1 Samuel 8:20 "That we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles."


It is not our place to fight our enemies, God fights for us.


Psalm 12:6 "The words of the LORD [are] pure words: [as] silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times."


"Pure ... purified": The Lord's perfect words present a most radical contrast with the profane words of arrogant sinners. The purity of God's Person assures the purity of His promises (compare Psalms 19:7-10).


The psalmist contrasts the vain "words" of people with "pure" words of the Lord (119:140; Prov. 30:5). God's words are "as silver" that is passed through fire seven times when the greatest possible purity is desired. The dross is consumed, and only the bright, precious metal remains. In the same way, God's words are free from all error and unfaithfulness.


Notice in the following Scripture that, God cannot lie.


Titus 1:2 "In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;"


Jesus not only spoke the truth, but is in fact, the Truth. Man does not understand the Godliness that is contained in absolute truth, because man was born in flesh whose human nature it is to lie. Silver that is tried in the fire is pure silver. It has no trash at all in it. The seven times, as we know, means that it is spiritually complete. The Truth of God needs no improvement. If we were looking into the hidden message in this Scripture, we would see that redemption (silver), that has been tried by fire and made pure is the type of redemption a person must have to please God. Man may lie but God will not and cannot lie, because He is the Truth.



Verses 7-8: The hostile realities of verse 8 call for the heavenly resources of verse 7.


Psalm 12:7 "Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever."


That is, the persons referred to (in Psalm 12:5). The poor and the needy who were suffering from the wrongs inflicted on them. The idea is, that God would guard and defend them. They were safe in his hands (compare Psalm 37:3-7).


"From this generation": This generation, or this race of detractors, flatterers, and oppressors. The idea is, that that entire generation was eminently wicked, and that none but God could deliver the poor and the needy from their designs.


"Forever": That is, "constantly," or as long as they would need the divine protection. God would not interpose and save them from the "present" trouble, and then leave them to the designs of their enemies. But he would "always" interpose as often as there was any need of his help. That is, they were now and would be at all times, entirely safe. They had nothing to fear, for God was their refuge and their help.


We spoke earlier in this lesson, about the evil generation you and I are living in. We are in a world that is full of sin. The only protection we have is the hedge that the Lord builds around us and protects us with. We are in the world with these evil people, but we must not be influenced by them. We must be stayed upon God. We must put on our battle armor to fight the devil and His crowd.


Ephesians 6:10-17 "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might." "Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil." "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places]." "Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand." "Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;" "And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;" "Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked." "And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:"


2 Samuel 22:3 "The God of my rock; in him will I trust: [he is] my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my savior; thou savest me from violence."


One of the promises God has made to the righteous, is that He will protect and keep us unto the end. The fact that we have been adopted in to the family of God, assures us of our Fathers care and attention.


Psalm 12:8 "The wicked walk on every side, when the vilest men are exalted."


They fill all places, and go about boldly and securely, seeking to deceive, corrupt, and destroy others. Being neither afraid nor ashamed to discover themselves.


"When the vilest of men are exalted": To places of trust and power. Who, instead of putting the laws in execution against vice and injustice, and punishing the wicked according to their deserts. Patronize and protect them, or give them countenance and support by their own example.


We are living in an evil world. The leaders are also evil in some cases. This world is not the home of those who are believers. We are just passing through (this wilderness), on our way to the Promised Land (heaven). We are like Abraham, looking for a city whose maker is God. Let the evil have the world, I will take heaven.


Psalm 12 Questions


  1. In verse 1, David said who ceaseth?
  2. Our society is so evil today that it could be compared with what time in the Bible?
  3. When God looked down and saw the evil in Noah's day, what did He wish?
  4. Elijah saw the evil around him and thought he was the only what?
  5. If God were to weigh many in the church today, he would find them __________.
  6. Where, in the Bible, do we find a description of our day?
  7. How is the only way for the true followers today, to stay true?
  8. What is flattery most of the time?
  9. What is another way to say a double heart?
  10. A flattering mouth worketh _______.
  11. What is the evilest part of the body?
  12. When God controls your tongue, it speaks _______ not _________.
  13. Life and death is in the power of the _________.
  14. What man can tame the tongue?
  15. Where is the most beautiful Scripture in the Bible on purifying the tongue?
  16. What cleansed Isaiah's lips?
  17. Why was it necessary for Isaiah to have clean and truthful lips?
  18. God is not controlled by time as we are, He is the ____________ of time.
  19. Who fights the battles for the believers?
  20. Where do we find the Scripture that says, God, that cannot lie?
  21. What kind of silver has been tried in the fire?
  22. What does the seven times indicate?
  23. What is the spiritual message in verse 6?
  24. What protection does the believer have from this evil world we live in?
  25. Describe the armor of the Christian.
  26. What is the sword of the Spirit?
  27. 2 Samuel 22:3 says, whom will I trust?
  28. This world is not the ______ of the Christian.
  29. We are looking for a ______ whose maker is _____.



Go to Previous Section | Go to Next Section | Return to Top

Return to Psalms Menu | Return to Bible Menu


Psalms 13



Psalm 13

To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.


"Psalm 13": The distance between four occurrences of "How long", punctuated with question marks (verses 1-2), and the confident and joyful song at the end (verse 6), is covered only with prayer (verses 3-4), and trust (verse 5).


Sooner or later, most of God's people feel as if He has forgotten them. By his pleas for the Lord to "consider and hear", and "lighten" ("put the light back in"), "mine eyes". David clearly felt that God had intentionally forsaken him, an emotion Jesus echoed (Matt. 27:46).


Verses 1-6: Psalm 13 launches with an explosion of 4 "How longs", indicating another lament is about to begin. But David will shift radically from turmoil to tranquility in the space of 6 short verses through 3 levels of attitude.


(1) Below "Sea Level" Expressions of Despair (13:1-2);


(2) "Sea Level" Expressions of Desires (13:3-4);


(3) "Mountaintop Level" Expressions of Delight (13:5-6).


Verses 1-2: These lines reintroduce the familiar triangle of the psalmist, his God, and his enemies. This 3-way relationship produces perplexity and pain. In view of God's apparent absence (verse 1), he seems left to his own resources which are unable to deal with the reality of his enemies (verse 2).


Psalm 13:1 "How long wilt thou forget me, O LORD? for ever? how long wilt thou hide thy face from me?"


When God does not immediately deliver his people from their enemies, or help them out of an affliction. When he does not discover his love, communicate his grace, apply the blessings and promises of his covenant as usual. And when he does not visit them in his usual manner, and so frequently as he has formerly done, they are ready to conclude he has forgotten them. And sometimes this continues a long time and then they fear they are forgotten for ever. And this they cannot bear, and therefore expresses disapproval with God in a questioning manner, as the psalmist does here. But this is to be understood not in reality, but in their own apprehension, and in the opinion of their enemies. God never does nor can forget his people. Oblivion does not fall upon him with respect to common persons and things. And much less with respect to his own dear children, for whom a special book of remembrance is written (see Psalm 9:18).


"How long wilt thou hide thy face from me? His love, and the manifestation of it, from his person. His gracious presence, the light of his smiling countenance, which sometimes God hides or withdraws from his people by way of resentment of their unbecoming carriage to him. And which is very distressing to them, for they are apt to imagine it is in wrath and hot displeasure. When he still loves them, and will with everlasting kindness have mercy on them (see Isa. 8:17). The Targum renders it, "the glory of thy face".


I asked in a previous lesson, have you ever felt like crying out to God "how long"? It seems that David feels the situation is desperate. He must hear from God immediately. This is not a murmuring, but a cry for God to help. If you have never started a work for the glory of God, you have not experienced what David is feeling here. It is as if David is saying, I did the best I could Lord, Have I displeased you so that you are hiding from me? David really had not displeased God. Perhaps David was being taught a lesson of patience. Sometimes it seems the harder we try, the slower our answers are in coming. There is a little book on "Time Shall Be No More". In the book, it was talked about how time flies when we are doing something we enjoy. Also related, was that when we are sick or suffering, time seems to just drag by. Perhaps this is the case here. David is suffering, so time is dragging by. The Lord never forgets His own.


Hebrews 13:5 "[Let your] conversation [be] without covetousness; [and be] content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."


Psalm 13:2 "How long shall I take counsel in my soul, [having] sorrow in my heart daily? how long shall mine enemy be exalted over me?"


Or, how long shall I arrange plans? Tossing on a sea of doubt and perplexity, David forms plan after plan, but to no purpose. He seeks to find a way of escape from his difficulties, but cannot discover one. Having sorrow in my heart daily; or all the day. It is perhaps implied that the plans are formed and thought over at night.


"How long shall mine enemy be exalted ever me?" A special enemy is once more glanced at. The allusion seems to be to Saul (compare Psalms 7:2, 5, 11-16; 8:2; 9:6, 16; 10:2-11, 15; 11:5).


This reminds me so much of the things we try to do by our own might. We try this and that and it fails. David is in the same fix here. He knows war and is not afraid to go into battle to win. He seems to have tried all the things he knows to do in the flesh, and none of these things have worked. Have you ever read, "When all else fails, read the instructions"? We Christians, and David as well, need to take that advice. The Bible is our instruction Book. There is an answer for every problem we face, and even for the one David is facing here. It is not by our might that things work out, it is by God's help.


Zechariah 4:6 "Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This [is] the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts."


Have faith in the instruction Book (Bible), and the Instructor (God), then you cannot fail. Even though the enemy seems to be winning, I have read the last page and God wins. All of God's children who learn to trust in the Lord, will have the last laugh over their enemies.



Verses 3-4: After running from Saul countless times, David was so worn emotionally that he felt as though he would "sleep the sleep of death". In such difficult times, it is appropriate to acknowledge these emotions and come to God for endurance and hope. For even when it does not appear to be true, God will prevail so that one's "enemy" does not.


Psalm 13:3 "Consider [and] hear me, O LORD my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the [sleep of] death;"


Because I find my own counsels insufficient. Do thou enlighten my mind, and guide me by thy counsel into the right way of obtaining thy merciful help. Or, he means, do thou revive, and comfort, and deliver me from the darkness of death, which is ready to come upon me, and to close mine eyes? "Lest mine enemy say, I have prevailed against him". Namely, by my art or strength; which will reflect dishonor on thee, as if thou were either unfaithful and unmindful of thy promises, or unable to fulfil them. Therefore prevent, or repress this their arrogance and blasphemy, and maintain thine own honor. "I have trusted in thy mercy": Neither their threats and boastings, nor my own dangers, shall shake my confidence in thy mercy promised to me.


"Lest I sleep the sleep of death": A natural death, which is comparable to sleep, and often expressed by it. And which sense agrees with lightening the eyes of his body, as before explained. Or rather the sense is, lift up the light of thy countenance, revive thy work in the midst of the years. Let me see thy goodness in the land of the living that I may not faint and sink and die away. Or it may be an eternal death is designed. For though true believers shall never die this death, yet they may be in such circumstances, as through unbelief to fear they shall.


David has done the only thing left to him. He is praying to the Lord for help. When we feel that God is not listening to our prayers, it brings the worst despair a person can know. David says, he is sorrowful unto death. Perhaps death would be a relief from his great sorrow. Even Jesus felt this great sorrow, as we read in the following verse.


Matthew 26:38 "Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me."


Jesus prayed and submitted to the will of the Father.



Verses 4-5: "Rejoice ... rejoice": Using the same verb, he deliberately contrasts his enemy's celebration with his own confidence in divine deliverance.


Psalm 13:4 "Lest mine enemy say, I have prevailed against him; [and] those that trouble me rejoice when I am moved."


I have overpowered him; I have conquered him. That is, to triumph over him as having obtained a complete victory.


"And those that trouble me": Hebrew, "My adversaries." The reference here is the same as in the former member of the verse. It is to the enemies that seemed almost to have triumphed over him already, and under whose power he was ready to sink.


"Rejoice." Exult; triumph.


"When I am moved": Moved from my steadfastness or firmness; when I am overcome. Before he had been able to hold out against them; but now he began to despair, and to fear that they would accomplish their object by overcoming and subduing him. His ground of apprehension and of appeal was, that by his being vanquished, the cause in which he was engaged would suffer, and that the enemies of religion would triumph.


One of the reasons that Moses gave God a reason not to destroy the children of Israel out in the wilderness, when they made the golden calf, was that the Egyptians would rejoice about it. David is explaining to God that God's enemies will rejoice over the destruction of David. Those who are opposed to David are God's enemies, as well as David's. In fact, they associated David with the God of Israel. When David killed the giant (Goliath), David came against Him in the name of the God of Israel. This is a good reason David is giving here, but it is not necessary. God will help David, because He loves him. God will help you and me, because He loves us. He is our Father.



Verses 5-6: The psalm reaches its turning point when David recalls what God has done for him, giving him victory over the giant Goliath (1 Sam. chapter 17), and saving him from Saul's attacks (1 Sam. 19:9-10). David did not have to worry about God's plans for the future because he knew what God had done in the past.


Psalm 13:5 "But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation."


The faith, hope, and comfort of the psalmist grew and increased by prayer. From complaining he goes to praying, from praying to believing. He trusted not in himself, not in his own heart, nor in his own righteousness and merits, but in the mercy of God. And not in the bare absolute mercy of God, but in the grace and goodness of God, as the word here used signifies. As it is displayed in the plenteous redemption which is by Christ. Which is a sufficient ground of faith and hope (see Psalm 130:7).


"My heart shall rejoice in thy salvation": Which God is the contriver, author, and giver of, and in which the glory of his perfections is so greatly displayed. And a true believer rejoices more on account that God is glorified by it than because of his own interest in it. And this joy is an inward one, it is joy in the heart, and is real and unfeigned. And is what continues, and will be felt and expressed both here and hereafter.


Now, we see a statement of confidence in the mercy of God. We see David remembering his trust he had placed in the Lord. Just as every one of us must place our trust in the salvation that Jesus has provided for us, David must activate his faith and trust. God is a God of mercy. Prayers are answered when we have faith that they will be answered.


Psalm 13:6 "I will sing unto the LORD, because he hath dealt bountifully with me."


In prayer faith is encouraged, through believing the heart is filled with joy. And this joy is expressed by the lips, in songs of praise to the Lord, ascribing the glory of salvation to him, and giving him thanks for every mercy and blessing of life.


"Because he hath dealt bountifully with me": Both in a way of providence and grace, granting life and preserving it, and supporting with the comforts of it. Blessing with spiritual blessings, and crowning with loving kindness and tender mercies. All which is generous and bountiful dealing, and affords a just occasion of praise and thanksgiving (see Psalm 116:7).


What a beautiful way to end this chapter. David is praising God in song for dealing so bountifully with him. The sorrow we feel when we are convinced that God has forgotten us, is quickly turned to joy and thanksgiving when we remember all the blessings He has showered upon us. Pray with faith and God will bless you above what you can ask or think.


Psalm 13 Questions


  1. Have you ever felt like crying out to God the words "how long"?
  2. This from David is not a murmuring, but a _____ _____ _____.
  3. Perhaps, David was being taught a lesson of ___________.
  4. Time _______ when we are doing something we enjoy.
  5. Where do we find the Scripture that says, I will never leave you nor forsake you?
  6. In verse 2, what has David tried, that didn't work?
  7. When all else fails, read the _______________.
  8. What is the instruction book for the believer?
  9. Not by might, nor by power, but by my _______, saith the Lord.
  10. What is probably the worst despair for a Christian?
  11. Who is sorrowful, even unto death, in Matthew 26:38?
  12. What was one of the reasons Moses gave God for not destroying all the Israelites, when they made the golden calf?
  13. David's enemies are _______ enemies, as well.
  14. What was the name of the giant that David had killed?
  15. David came against the giant in whose name?
  16. When are prayers answered?
  17. What did David do, that showed he thanked God for dealing so bountifully with him?
  18. Pray with ________, and God will bless you.



Go to Previous Section | Go to Next Section | Return to Top

Return to Psalms Menu | Return to Bible Menu


Psalms 14



Psalm 14

To the chief Musician, [A Psalm] of David.


"Psalm 14": This psalm could be dedicated to the atheist. With the denial of God's existence often comes the moral decay described (in verses 1-6), and which was used by Paul to prove the universal depravity of the human race (Rom. 3:10-12). While the "fool" may deny that God is, the righteous finds in Him the object of hopeful prayer for deliverance (verse 7).


Verses 1-7: (Psalm 14), a wisdom poem, along with its nearly identical twin (Psalm 53), contains profound deliberations on human depravity. David's representative desire for deliverance (verse 7), provides the chorus to his two preceding dirges on depravity.


(1) The Dirges on Depravity (14:1-6);


  1. The First Dirge: In the Form of a Round, Addresses the Universality of Depravity (14:1-3);
  2. The Second Dirge: In the Form of a Ballad, Addresses the Futility of Depravity (14:4-6).

(2) The Chorus on Deliverance (14:7);


  1. The Wish for it (14:7a);
  2. The Worship Attending it (14:7b-c).

Verses 1-3: The "alls" and "no ones" of these lines make the indictments universally applicable. No wonder Paul included these indictments (in Rom. 3:10-12). There is also a common scriptural association of doing with thinking.


Psalm 14:1 "The fool hath said in his heart, [There is] no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, [there is] none that doeth good."


"The fool": In the Bible, this designation carries moral rather than intellectual meaning (Isa. 32:6).


The Hebrew word rendered "fool" in the Old Testament denotes one who is morally deficient (53:1; Deut. 32:5-6; Prov. 17:20-21).


It would certainly be a fool who would say there is no God. We have only to look around us at all of God's creation and know there is God. Just the fact that a planet rotates in the atmosphere and does not fall, shows that there is order in the universe. Some One, greater than you and I, put the planet there and told it what to do. So many people in the age we live in, have the false idea that we will become a god some day. To answer them I say, have you created any worlds lately? An intelligence so far above our comprehension created the entire universe, and everything and everyone in it. I can dig a hole in the ground and plant a seed, water it and watch it grow. The strange thing is that, I did not make the ground to put it in. I had nothing to do with the making of the seed, and I didn't even make the water to water it with. You see, if there were no God to provide the earth, the seed, and the water, then I could not grow a plant. I am not even in control of the next breath I breathe.


When God gets ready for me to stop breathing, I will. How foolish it is to say there is no God. You see, we do not even have the ability to save ourselves from hell. We all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. If we say we have not sinned, we are a liar. Our only hope is God. He loved us and sent His precious Son to die on the cross to save us. Our sins are not just covered up, they are wiped away in the blood of our precious Savior, Jesus Christ. The only thing we are required to do is to believe. What a fool, to say there is no God.


Psalm 14:2 "The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, [and] seek God."


To search out the truth. God knoweth all things without any inquiry. This is a figure called anthrōpopatheia, (the attributing of human emotions), whereby Scripture often speaks of God after the manner of men.


"Upon the children of men": Upon the whole body of the Israelites' nation, and upon the generality of mankind under heaven. For he speaks of all except his people, and the righteous ones, who are here opposed to these (Psalm 14:4-5).


"That did understand, and seek God": That did truly know God, to wit, so as to love, and fear, and trust, and obey him, (for all these are frequently signified in Scripture by this expression of knowing God). And that did diligently seek him, i.e. study his mind and will, that they might do it, and seek his grace and favor.


In the days of Noah, God did this very thing. He was grieved in His heart, because He had made man. He searched to see if there were any who believed, and He found Noah. The really sad thing was, that God could not even find 10 people in right standing with Him in Sodom and Gomorrah. It appears from this verse, that even in David's day, it was hard to find anyone living for God. We might say that if God looked down today, He might decide that it is worse now than then. There are a few real Christians, but the world as a whole has gone bad. Sin is on every corner.


Psalm 14:3 "They are all gone aside, they are [all] together become filthy: [there is] none that doeth good, no, not one."


From God and the rule he hath given them to walk by. From truth into error, and from duty into sin; from the paths of wisdom and righteousness. They are altogether become filthy, loathsome, and abominable before God.


This is speaking of humanity as a whole. Truly our generation would be classified as the evilest generation. I personally believe that television has had a great deal to do with the evil that is so rampant today. Movies that are so filthy they would not have been allowed even in B movie houses a few years ago, are shown on prime-time television now. Drugs and alcohol are rampant in our society. My own opinion of why drugs and alcohol are used so much is, because people are not able to face the realities of each day. They think if they get high on drugs or alcohol, it will help them face the day to day problems of life. Wholesale credit plans have ruined many marriages. Soap operas cause young girls to put unrealistic hopes on their marriages. Little children (neglected by parents), are seeking love in gangs. It really seems the whole society has gone crazy. Where are the true Christians who will stand up and try to change things for the better? Someone must say, STOP! Christian men and women of America must take a stand for God. We are in a war. Who will stand, even in the face of death, for Christian principles set down in the Bible? Will God say of our generation, where is even one who truly loves Me?



Verses 4-7: God has promised to be a present "refuge" for the "righteous (see note on 1:5), a secure place for the godly when tremendous evil presses in (14:3). God's presence brings "great fear" to those who wish to harm His people, while delivering hope to those who trust in Him.


The shift from third person affirmations about the wicked (verses 4-5), to the second person (verse 6a), intensifies this confrontation with divine judgment.


Psalm 14:4 "Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge? Who eat up my people [as] they eat bread, and call not upon the LORD."


Have they lost their senses? Have they neither religion nor common discretion? Either of which might teach them not to fight against Omnipotence. Not to seek death, everlasting death and destruction, in the error of their life. Not to rush voluntarily into the wrath of God, and provoke the vengeance of eternal fire.


"Who eat up my people": Who devour and destroy them, meaning God's people, the poor and godly Israelites.


"As they eat bread": With as little regret or remorse, and with as much greediness, delight, and constancy also, as they use to eat their meat.


"They call not upon the Lord": They are guilty, not only of gross injustice toward men, but also of horrid impiety and contempt of God. Denying his providence, and wholly neglecting, if not despising, his worship. Strange! that they should all be thus senseless, as not only to injure and oppress my poor innocent people, but to be cruel and void of all pity toward them, and to throw off likewise all religion!


These workers of iniquity are those who have rejected the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior. They are not satisfied with being lost themselves, but constantly are encouraging weak Christians to get involved with them. It is dangerous to fellowship with those of unbelief. Christians should witness to the lost, but do not go into their places and get involved in their sin to witness to them. These workers of iniquity desire to absorb Christians into their way of life (eat them). Christians are to be separated people. We are not to be caught up in the things of this world. When we receive Jesus as our Savior, we are symbolically buried with Jesus. We rise to new life in Him, which means we live our life the way Jesus would live if He were living it. The world and the wicked in it, are headed for hell. Don't go with them, Christian.


Psalm 14:5 "There were they in great fear: for God [is] in the generation of the righteous."


"There": In the midst of their evil-doing, while they are devouring God's people, a sudden terror seizes on them. (Psalm 53:5 adds), "Where no fear was," which seems to imply a panic terror, like that which seized the Syrians when they were besieging Samaria (2 Kings 7:6-7). For God is in the generation of the righteous. God's people cannot be attacked without provoking him. They were in him, and he in them; he will assuredly come to their relief.


"In the generation of the righteous": I.e. among them, with his gracious and powerful presence to defend them, and to fight against their enemies. Or, God is for, etc. That is, God is on their side, and therefore their enemies have great cause to fear.


This fear is speaking of the terrible awareness of knowing you have sinned and deserve to go to hell. This fear (reverence), of God causes a man to repent. Repentance of sin and accepting Jesus as our Savior, makes us righteous in God's sight. Those who have accepted a full pardon through the shed blood of Jesus, are the generation of the righteous in God.


Psalm 14:6 "Ye have shamed the counsel of the poor, because the LORD [is] his refuge."


The poor saints, the Lord's people. The generation of the righteous, who are generally the poor of this world. Poor in spirit, and an afflicted people. And the counsel of them intends not the counsel which they give to others, but the counsel which they receive from the Lord. From the Spirit of counsel, which rests upon them, and with which they are guided. And this is to trust in the Lord, and to make him their refuge; and which is good advice, the best of counsel. Happy and safe are they that take it! But this is derided by wicked and ungodly men. They mock at the poor saints for it, and endeavor to shame them out of it. But hope makes not ashamed (see Psalm 22:7).


"Because the Lord is his refuge": He betakes himself to him when all others fail. And finds him to be a refuge from the storm of impending calamities, and from all enemies.


The evil doers of this world, laugh at the righteousness of the believer. There is a day when their laughing will cease.


Proverbs 14:26 "In the fear of the LORD [is] strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge."


God fights our enemies for us.


Hebrews 6:18 "That by two immutable things, in which [it was] impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:"


Psalm 14:7 "Oh that the salvation of Israel [were come] out of Zion! when the LORD bringeth back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, [and] Israel shall be glad."


"Zion": The place on earth where God was pleased to reveal His presence, protection, and power (compare Psalms 3:4; 20:2; 128:5; 132:13; 134:3).


Throughout all Jewish history they have looked for the Messiah, their Savior. This Scripture possibly, is prophetic in more than one way. Not only did Jesus come to the earth and save all who would believe, but this also looks to the time when physical Israel comes back into the land. I believe that it further indicates the coming of the Lord for the church (Zion). To further understand this Scripture, study about the two sticks that come together. The 37th chapter of Ezekiel is a good starting point. I will leave this part of the study to you. Just one note here, the ones to study are Jacob and Israel.


Psalms 14 Questions


  1. The fool has said in his heart, ________ ____ ____ ______.
  2. What is one undeniable proof that there is God?
  3. When we think we are a little god, what question does the author ask us?
  4. What is the strange thing about growing a plant?
  5. Our only hope is _____.
  6. In the days of Noah, God looked down to the earth and was sorry about what?
  7. God could not find ___ righteous men in Sodom and Gomorrah.
  8. What would God think, if He looked down and saw our society?
  9. What does the author believe is a large contributing factor to the evil in our society?
  10. What does the author believe is the underlying reason that people are alcoholics and drug addicts?
  11. What has ruined many marriages?
  12. What is the underlying cause of many young girls having unrealistic ideas about marriage?
  13. Why do a lot of children join gangs?
  14. What must Christian men and women do to change things for the better?
  15. Who are the workers of iniquity in verse 4?
  16. Why is it dangerous for Christians to fellowship with those of iniquity?
  17. God is in the generation of the _____________.
  18. Describe what makes us righteous.
  19. In what ways is Psalm 14:7 prophetic?



Go to Previous Section | Go to Next Section | Return to Top

Return to Psalms Menu | Return to Bible Menu


Psalms 15



Psalm 15

A Psalm of David.


"Psalm 15": This psalm raises the question of qualifications for service in the tabernacle (verse 1), then answers that question by describing the man who has personal purity (verses 2-3a), and interpersonal integrity (verses 3b-5).


Verses 1-5: Whereas (Psalm 14), focused on the way of the wicked (Psalm 15), concentrates on the way of the righteous (compare Psalm 1). The saved sinner is described as exhibiting indications of ethical integrity. These characteristics alternate in triplets of positive and negative descriptions. The whole psalm unfolds through a question-and-answer vehicle, and indeed it may be regarded as the ultimate Question and Answer session. With its focus on moral responsibility, the psalm offers a sequence of responses to the question of acceptable worship.


(1) A Two Part Question (15:1).


(2) A Twelve-Part Response (15:2-5b);


  1. Three Positively Phrased Ethical Characteristics (15:2).

(1) His lifestyle exhibits integrity;


(2) His deeds exhibit justice;


(3) His speech exhibits reliability.


  1. Three Negatively Cast Ethical Characteristics (15:3).

(1) He does not tread over people with his tongue;


(2) He does not harm his fellow man;


(3) He does not dump reproach upon family or friend.


  1. Three Positively Phrased Ethical Characteristics (15:4a-c).

(1) He views the reprobate as rejected;


(2) He respects the people of God;


(3) He holds himself accountable.


  1. Three Negatively Cast Ethical Characteristics (15:4d-5b).

(1) He is not fickle;


(2) He is not greedy;


(3) He cannot be bought.


(3) A One-Part Guarantee (15:5c).


Psalm 15:1 "LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill?"


"Tabernacle" and holy hill" are interchangeable terms that indicate the dwelling place of God and descriptively express intimate fellowship with God (43:3; Exodus 40:34-35; Joel 3:17). "Abide" refers to a temporary condition; "dwell" is a permanent position. The two words suggest a progression from guest to full-time resident in the presence of God. These questions speak not only of being at home with God on earth but also in heaven (24:3-5).


The only one worthy to dwell in the tabernacle is our Lord Jesus Christ. Christians will be admitted, because we have been washed in the blood of the Lamb and made righteous in Jesus. Abide means to continually dwell. Notice who the tabernacle belongs to. The ultimate tabernacle, of course, is heaven. The tabernacle on the earth is God's house (church). No one can approach the holy hill of God, except they go through the Door who is Jesus. In the tabernacle in the wilderness, the world was shut out. It was not that they could not come into the outer court, it was that they did not come close to God. The Holy Place was open to the priests who symbolize all Christians. Before the crucifixion of Jesus only the High Priest could go into the Most Holy Place where God dwelt in the tabernacle in the wilderness. The curtain was torn from the top to the bottom at the death of Jesus' body on the cross. The veil (curtain), symbolized Jesus' flesh. Jesus opened the way for all believers to the very presence of God.


2 Corinthians 5:1 "For we know that if our earthly house of [this] tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens."


Revelation 21:3 "And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God [is] with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, [and be] their God."



Verses 2-5: Those who live according to these verses "shall never be moved". In other words, they will be stable, solid, God-honoring citizens in this world who have nothing to fear. Lives forged in integrity are reinforced as if with steel (2 Peter 1:10).


Psalm 15:2 He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.


'Uprightly" (sometimes translated "integrity"), conveys the idea of something that is whole, or wholehearted, and sound. The term "righteousness" is fundamental to Old Testament morality and shows that one is in right standing with God and with fellow humans. "Truth" means what is right and trustworthy, not merely correct (Eph. 4:25).


It is as if the Lord answers the question (from verse 1 above). In the natural, no man can live good enough to inherit heaven. Salvation is a free gift of God to all who will believe. The catch is, if you believe, you will want to do things pleasing to God. When you are saved, you become a new creature in Christ. Old things pass away and all things become new. The attributes mentioned above of those who can abide in the tabernacle, and are just what you will want to do after you are saved. Look at the following two verses that Jesus spoke.


John 14:15 "If ye love me, keep my commandments."


John 15:10 "If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love."


If we walk uprightly, we walk in the Light of Jesus. Worketh righteousness means that he does godly tasks. We see his faith through his good works. From the issue of the heart, the mouth speaketh. A heart stayed upon God, would speak truth. The heart of man is what he is.



Verses 3-4: "Backbiteth" is the word for slander, which means "to wander about on the tongue" and pictures one who walks here and there, pouring out verbal venom and poisoning others behind their backs. The "vile person" is literally a "worthless reprobate", someone who is totally disinterested in spiritual things.


Psalm 15:3 "[He that] backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbor, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbor."


Is not a slanderer, a defamer, a tale bearer. A backbiter is one who privately, secretly, behind a man's back speaks evil of him, devours and destroys his credit and reputation. The word here used comes from which signifies the "foot", and denotes such a person who goes about from house to house, speaking things he should not (1 Tim. 5:13). And a word from this root signifies spies. And the phrase here may point at such persons who creep into houses, pry into the secrets of families, and divulge them. And many times, represent them in a false light. Such are ranked amongst the worst of men, and are very unfit to be in the society of the saints, or in a church of Christ (see Romans 1:30; 2 Cor. 12:20).


"Nor doeth evil to his neighbor": To any man whatever, good or bad, friend or foe. Whether in a natural, civil, or spiritual relation, either by words or deeds, to his person, property, or good name.


"Nor taketh up, a reproach against his neighbor": Does not raise any scandalous report on him himself, nor will he bear to hear one from another, much less will he spread one. Nor will he suffer one to lie upon his neighbor, but will do all he can to vindicate him, and clear his character.


We see the example above of true believers. They are not like the world. Their tongue is controlled by the Holy Spirit. They do good to their neighbor, and not evil. Jesus said, Love thy neighbor as thyself. Our neighbors should be like our brothers and sisters. We should treat them just as we want them to treat us.


Psalm 15:4 "In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoreth them that fear the LORD. [He that] sweareth to [his own] hurt, and changeth not."


"Contemned ... honoreth": Whom God rejects, the psalmist rejects; whom God loves, he loves.


We are not only to stand up for the upright person, but we are to condemn sin in the vile person.


Romans 13:7 "Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute [is due]; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor." Jesus said swear not.


Matthew 5:34-6 "But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne:" "Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King." "Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black."


Psalm 15:5 "[He that] putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these [things] shall never be moved."


The Israelites were prohibited from charging fellow Israelites "usury" (excessive interest on a loan), but it was acceptable with Gentiles. A "reward" perverts justice or corrupts conduct.


"Interest rates ran as high as 50%, but God's law put strict regulations on borrowing and lending (see notes on Deut. 23:19-20; 24:10-13).


"He ... shall never be moved": This is an important promise in the light of its usage in Psalms and Proverbs (compare Psalms 10:6; 13:4; 16:8; 46:5; 62:2, 6; Prov. 10:30).


Usury is interest on money loaned. It is bad to do to an enemy, and worse to do to a brother in Christ. The Jews were forbidden to charge usury. It is a shame, but the poor, who can ill afford to pay high interest, are the very ones who have to pay unreasonable interest. Their credit is no good, so they pay unreasonable amounts to be able to borrow. The person loaning them this money is not helping them. He is digging them a hole they cannot get out of. Be kind to the poor. Except for the grace of God, you would be that poor. If we were to sum this lesson up in a few words, we would have to say these are instructions on how to get a permanent home in heaven. We are saved by grace and grace alone, but if we are saved we will live our life pleasing to God. The life we live before others would show the love of Jesus.


Psalm 15 Questions


  1. Who is the only One worthy to dwell in God's tabernacle?
  2. Why will the Christians be admitted?
  3. What does abide mean?
  4. Where is the ultimate tabernacle?
  5. What is God's tabernacle on earth?
  6. _____ _______ _________ was open to the priests in the tabernacle in the wilderness.
  7. Who was the only one who could go into the Most Holy Place?
  8. When was the way to the Father opened to the Christian?
  9. The tabernacle of God is with ______.
  10. What answer is given in verse 2, to who shall abide in God's tabernacle?
  11. Salvation is a free ______.
  12. If ye love Me, keep my __________________.
  13. A heart stayed upon God would speak ________.
  14. A believer's tongue is guided by what?
  15. We are not only to stand up for the upright person, but are to condemn what?
  16. What do we learn from Matthew chapter 5 about swearing?
  17. What is usury?
  18. Who are those who are required to pay unfair interest?
  19. We are saved by grace alone, but if we are saved, how will we live our life



Go to Previous Section | Go to Next Section | Return to Top

Return to Psalms Menu | Return to Bible Menu


Psalms 16



Psalm 16

A Michtam of David.


"Psalm 16": The attitude of the righteous man is described in life (verses 1-8) and death (verses 9-11).


  1. In life, his attitude is one of trust (verse 1);
  2. Gratefulness for God's goodness (verse 2);
  3. Delight in God's people (verse 3);
  4. Separation from idolatrous worship (verse 4; compare Exodus 23:13; Deut. 12:3);
  5. Satisfaction in God's gracious provisions (verse 5);
  6. Satisfaction in God's gracious provisions (verse 6);
  7. Praise for the Lords counsel (verse 7);
  8. And steadfastness in spiritual devotion (verse 8);
  9. In facing death, the righteous man rejoices and is hopeful (verse 9);
  10. He is confident that God will preserve him for the decay of death and that death will not result in his corruption (verse 10);
  11. Rather, he will travel down "the path of life", that is, the path leading to life, which will terminate in God's joyful presence (verse 11).

David's confidence in his ultimate destiny is valid for him (and for all believers), only because Christ has traveled down that path and paved the way for all who believe in Him (Acts 2:25-28).


Verses 1-11: The only prayer of Psalm 16 comes in the first line. The rest of the psalm consists of David's weaving together his personal testimonies of trust in the Lord. In view of this, David's opening prayer is bolstered by two cycles of testimony.


(1) David's Introductory Prayer (16:1);


(2) David's Testimony (16:2-11).


  1. His testimony of Communion (16:2-4).
  2. Its divine dimension (16:2);
  3. It's human dimension (16:3-4).
  4. His Testimony of Confidence (16:5-11).
  5. Its past and present dimensions (16:5-8);
  6. Its present and future dimensions (16:9-11).

"A Michtam of David": Compare Psalms 56, 57, 58, 59 and 60. In spite of many conjectures, this designation remains obscure.


Verses 1-2: These verses include three different names for God: Elohim (the powerful creator God), Yahweh (the covenant-giving God), and Adonai (the Lord and Master of life). David saw in all these names the personal presence of God in his life. "My goodness" speaks of the psalmist's welfare, not his character.


Psalm 16:1 "Preserve me, O God: for in thee do I put my trust."


"Preserve me": This is a frequent request begging God to protect the psalmist (compare 17:8; 140:4; 141:9).


Michtam means engraving, or a poem. This prayer of David not only asks for God to preserve him, but shows the perfect trust that David has in the Lord as well. Preserve here, is really a protection as a shepherd protects his sheep. Jesus is the great Shepherd. He watches over us and keeps us from harm. The blood of Jesus protects us from the wiles of the devil.


Psalm 16:2 "[O my soul], thou hast said unto the LORD, Thou [art] my Lord: my goodness [extended] not to thee;"


"My goodness extended not to thee": I.e., "My well-being is entirely dependent upon You."


Psalm 16:3 "[But] to the saints that [are] in the earth, and [to] the excellent, in whom [is] all my delight."


Who are sanctified or set apart by God the Father in election. Whose sins are expiated by the blood of Christ in redemption, and who are sanctified or made holy by the Spirit of God in the effectual calling. And who live a holy life and conversation. These are said to be "in the earth", not to distinguish them from the saints in heaven, to whom the goodness of Christ extends as to them. Unless it be to distinguish them from the angels in heaven, who are called saints (Deut. 33:2); as Aben Ezra observes. But to point out the place of their abode, scattered up and down in the earth. And to show that love, grace, goodness, and kindness of Christ reaches to them in the present state of things. Notwithstanding all their meanness and imperfection in themselves, and their despicableness in the eyes of others (see John 13:1).


"And to the excellent": The same with the saints, who though reckoned by men the faith of the world, and the off scouring of all things, are in high esteem with Christ. They are "nobles" in his account, as the word is rendered (in Jer. 30:21). They are princes in all the earth, and these princes are kings. They are made kings and priests unto God by Christ. They wear and live like kings, and have the attendance, power, riches, and glory of kings. They are guarded by angels, they have power with God, they are rich in faith, and heirs of a kingdom.


"In whom is all my delight": Christ's delights were with these sons of men before the world was, and have always continued with them. They are his "Hepbzibah" ("My delight is in her"), and "Beulah" (as in Isa. 62:4). Hence, he became incarnate, and suffered and died for them, and makes application of all the blessings of his grace and goodness to them.


The soul of man has to do with the will of man. The flesh and the spirit are in conflict. The man's will (soul), either follows the flesh and sin, or follows the spirit and God. Notice the soul of the man above has declared the Lord. Man has no goodness to extend to God. God's goodness extends to man, when the man decides to follow God. The difference in a Christian and a non-Christian is: Christians follow the will of their spirit, and non-Christians follow the desires of their flesh. Saints are followers of Jesus Christ.


1 Corinthians 1:2 "Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called [to be] saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:"


Psalm 16:4 "Their sorrows shall be multiplied [that] hasten [after] another [god]: their drink offerings of blood will I not offer, nor take up their names into my lips."


David had seen the idols of Moab and Philistia, and he had heard about his own people's history of idolatry (106:37-38). The principles of God's holiness kept him from giving in to the same temptations.


He will have nothing to do with false gods or the people pursuing them.


False gods are everywhere today. Satan worshippers actually drink blood as part of their ceremony. The drinking of blood is absolutely forbidden by God. The things the believers in Christ had to keep were the following.


Acts 21:25 "As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written [and] concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from [things] offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication."


God is a jealous God. He will not share His people with false gods. The very first commandments in the 10 commandments are:


#1 "Exodus 20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me."


#2 Exodus 20:4 "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness [of any thing] that [is] in heaven above, or that [is] in the earth beneath, or that [is] in the water under the earth:"


#3 Exodus 20:5 "Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God [am] a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth [generation] of them that hate me;"


#4 Exodus 20:7 "Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain."


God does not even want the names of false gods mentioned.


Exodus 23:13 "And in all [things] that I have said unto you be circumspect: and make no mention of the name of other gods, neither let it be heard out of thy mouth."



Verses 5-6: These lines use Old Testament metaphors to describe the blessing of God.


Psalm 16:5 "The LORD [is] the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot."


The word "lot" means circumstances, or the place God has put a person. People do well to recognize, as David did, the daily provisions of God.


Galatians 3:29 "And if ye [be] Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."


Galatians 5:24 "And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts."


The LORD Jesus Christ is our portion. We inherit eternal life because of our faith in Him. Just as God was the portion for Aaron, and he owned no earthly treasures, we need no earthly portion. The earth is not our home. Our treasures are in Jesus in heaven. We have inherited eternal life, just by our faith in Jesus Christ. He is the only portion we need.


John 6:39 "And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day." John 6:40 " And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and will raise him up at the last day."


Jesus is our protection now and at the end. If we profess the Lord here as our Savior, He will profess us to his Father.


Revelation 3:5 "He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels."


Psalm 16:6 "The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant [places]; yea, I have a goodly heritage."


In a sweet land, flowing with milk and honey, and, above all, blessed with the presence and knowledge of the true God. The allusion is the same as it was in the preceding verse. Lines signifying the lot or tract of land which it was anciently the custom to divide by lines. Those have reason to speak in this language who have God for their portion. For they have a worthy portion, a goodly heritage. What can they have better? What can they desire more?


"Yea, I have a goodly heritage": So the Lord's people are called (1 Peter 5:3). These are Christ's heritage, his peculiar treasure, his jewels, with whom he is greatly delighted and well pleased. More than men are with their gold and silver, houses and land, and their greatest wealth and substance. These persons are the inheritance with which he is contented and fully satisfied.


The Christian's heritage is through Abraham. He was counted righteous, because he believed. We are counted righteous, because we believe in Jesus Christ, as our Savior and Lord.


Galatians 3:29 "And if ye [be] Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."


Psalm 16 Questions


  1. What does Michtam mean?
  2. What does the word preserve, mean in verse 1 chapter 16 of Psalms?
  3. What does the soul of man have to do with?
  4. What protects us from the wiles of the devil?
  5. The flesh and the _______ are in conflict.
  6. What is the difference between a Christian and a non-Christian?
  7. Who are saints?
  8. What is one terrible thing Satan worshippers do that God has directly forbidden?
  9. God was Aaron's __________, and he owned no earthly treasures.
  10. Where are the Christian's treasures?
  11. We have inherited eternal life, just by what?
  12. Who will raise the Christian up on that day?
  13. Who is the Christian's Teacher and Guide?
  14. What cleanses us from all sin?
  15. Because Jesus arose from the grave, we shall _____ ______.
  16. Our joy is not in circumstances, but in what?
  17. What day does corruption of the body begin after death?
  18. Who is the path of life?
  19. Jesus is the ______, the _________, and the _______.



Go to Previous Section | Go to Next Section | Return to Top

Return to Psalms Menu | Return to Bible Menu


Psalms 17



Psalm 17

A prayer of David.


Psalm 17 is one of three that bear the title "A prayer of David" (also 86 and 142). It is a most appropriate heading since the psalm is rich with words for petition: "hear, attend, unto, give ear," and so on. After an initial cry to God (verses 1-2), David defends his character and motives (verses 3-5). On this basis, he is able to offer his petition, which includes both a beautiful prayer for divine protection (verse 8), and a repulsive description of his would-be captors (verses 9-12). The request, "Keep me as the apple of the eye" (verse 8), is a petition that God protect David just as a man protects the pupil of his eye, the most sensitive part of the most sensitive member of the body. Finally, David asks that his deliverance might be granted: it will involve the destruction of his enemies (verses 13-14), but will result in David's unhindered devotion (verse 15).


Verses 1-15: This "prayer" of David brims with petitions, as many as seventeen of them depending upon the translation of certain Hebrew verb forms. There are many literary parallels (with Psalm 16). Although the psalm shows indications of mixed forms, it is essentially a prayer for protection. David is fond of using themes and phrases from the Exodus narrative (compare Exodus chapter 15; Deut. Chapter 32). A logical repetition pattern development is detected in its verses, with the focus shifting from the psalmist (verses 1-8), to his enemies (verses 9-12), remaining on his enemies in (verses 13-14), then shifting back to David (verse 15). Or viewing its development from another angle, David approaches the divine court with 3 clusters of appeals in seeking justice.


(1) Appeals Dealing with Response and Recognition (17:1-5).


(2) Appeals Dealing with Rescue and Relief (17:6-12).


  1. His Need for Rescue is Presented (17:6-8);
  2. His Need for Relief is Documented (17:9-12).

(3) Appeals Dealing with Retribution and Rest (17:13-15).


  1. His Anticipation of Their Retribution (17:13-14);
  2. His Assurance of His Own Rest (17:15).

This is the first psalm simply entitled "A Prayer" (compare Psalms 86, 90, 102, 142).


Verses 1-2: The introductory language is that of the law court, and David stands before the ultimate Chief Justice to present his case. David claimed to be representing "the right", asking for a fair ruling in God's court.


Psalm 17:1 "Hear the right, O LORD, attend unto my cry, give ear unto my prayer, [that goeth] not out of feigned lips."


Hebrew (tzedek), righteousness. That is my righteous cause, or me, who notwithstanding all their accusations and slanders, am righteous in my conduct toward them and all men.


"Attend unto my cry": My fervent prayer, attended with strong cries.


"That goeth not out of feigned lips": Hebrew (shipthee mirmah), lips of deceit or of guile, which speak one thing when the heart knows and designs another. This profession of his sincerity in his words fitly makes way for his solemn appeal to God in the following verses.


Feigned in the verse above, means deceiving or fraud. Rinnah, the word that was translated cry here, means shout loudly. David says, that he is not speaking with false lips. He shouts, as if he needs to get God's attention. David is sure that he is on the side of the right. We see in this, that David feels justified in calling for God's help.


Psalm 17:2 "Let my sentence come forth from thy presence; let thine eyes behold the things that are equal."


Hebrew, my right or judgment. I.e. judgment in my cause, or on my behalf.


"From thy presence": I.e. from thee, and from thy tribunal, to which I bring my cause. Do not suspend or delay it, but speedily examine my cause and give sentence in it.


"Things that are equal": Or right. For though I desire and need thy grace and favor in many other respects, yet I beg only thy justice in this cause between me and them.


David is not afraid to be judged by the just God. David feels sure that, if he is tried in the balance scale, the scale would be in favor of him. We may be assured also, if we walk uprightly before our God, the balances will be weighed in our favor as well.



Verses 3-5: His basic integrity (verses 3-4), especially in view of the present age, was and is dependent upon the grace of God (verse 5).


Psalm 17:3 "Thou hast proved mine heart; thou hast visited [me] in the night; thou hast tried me, [and] shalt find nothing; I am purposed [that] my mouth shall not transgress."


Like Job, David did not claim he never sinned, but only that he was innocent of the kind of sin that would warrant his present difficulty (17:9). Sometimes personal difficulties are caused by personal sin, but not always (1 Peter 1:6-7). When a person has remained faithful and obedient and still faces trouble, the wise response is to appeal honestly to God, who is just and loving (17:7), as David does here.


David has every confidence that God knows the thoughts of David's heart. David feels that he has been through many tests, and has shown in these tests that he is on God's side. We remember when all the soldiers were so afraid of Goliath, they would not go out to fight him, David, as a lad went knowing that God was with him. In fact, he went in the name of God. He was not defeated, and I am sure David is reflecting on some of those times here. Many of God's people are comforted by God in the night in visions and dreams. David has made up his mind that every word that proceeds from his mouth will be pleasing unto God.


Psalm 17:4 "Concerning the works of men, by the word of thy lips I have kept [me from] the paths of the destroyer."


Of wicked men, as to what respects and concerns them, or in the midst of them. In the midst of a wicked generation of men, and their filthy conversation. Who appear to be so,


"By the word of thy lips": The law of God, the Scriptures of truth, the rule and standard of faith and practice. Which show what works are good and what are not. By the use, help, and benefit of this;


"I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer": Such is the devil, who was a murderer from the beginning. The Antichrist, whose name is Abaddon and Apollyon, both which signify a destroyer. False teachers, and all wicked men: The "paths" of such are their wicked principles and practices, their damnable errors and heresies, and their sins and lusts, which make up the broad road that leads to destruction. These the psalmist "kept" or "observed", for the words "me" and "from" are not in the original text. And the sense is, that he took notice of them, and avoided them. And, as a faithful prince and magistrate, forbad his subjects walking in them, and restrained them from them, making the word of God the rule of his conduct.


The word of thy lips here is speaking of the Word of God (the Bible). The teachings of God have kept David from the concerns of the works of men. Notice in this that, David's will was involved in staying away from the destroyer. He says (I have kept). David has let the teachings of God direct him. Christians today must hide the Word of God in their inner being, and let that Word direct them in all decisions they make. I do not believe a person can walk as a Christian without studying His Word (the Bible), daily. We are living in very dangerous times. We cannot take someone else's word for what the Bible says. We must know for ourselves what the Bible teaches, so that we cannot be deceived.


Psalm 17:5 "Hold up my goings in thy paths, [that] my footsteps slip not."


Which being spoken by David in his own person, and for himself, shows that he was conscious of his own weakness to keep himself in the ways of God, and to direct his steps therein. And that he was sensible of the need he stood in, of divine power to uphold and support him in them.


"That my footsteps slip not": Out of the paths of truth and duty, of faith and holiness. Of which there is danger, should a man be left to himself, and destitute of divine direction and aid (see Psalm 73:2). And though Christ had no moral weakness in him, and was in no danger of falling into sin, or slipping out of the ways of God; Yet these words may be applied to him in a good sense, as considered in human nature. And attended with the sinless infirmities of it, he being God's servant, whom he upheld. And of whom he gave his angels charge to keep him in all his ways (Isa. 42:1).


Those who walk in spiritual darkness, stumble and fall. We must walk in the Light of Jesus so we will not fall.


John 12:35 "Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth."


John 8:12 "Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life."


Psalm 17:6 "I have called upon thee, for thou wilt hear me, O God: incline thine ear unto me, [and hear] my speech."


In prayer. This had been the constant practice of the psalmist, and he still continued in it.


"For thou wilt hear me, O God": God is a God who hears our prayers. He is used to hearing his people, and they have frequent experience of it. And they may be assured that whatsoever they ask according to his will, and in the name of Christ, he will hear. And such an assurance is a reason engaging the saints to a constant calling upon God (Psalm 116:2). And such confidence of being always heard Christ had (John 11:41).


"Incline thine ear unto me, and hear my speech": Meaning his prayer, which he now directed to him in full assurance of being heard, and is as follows.


Just the fact that a person prays, shows that he believes that God hears and answers prayers. Notice again, the confidence that David has (thou wilt hear me). David is saying, God listen carefully to my request before you answer. Have you ever felt that God tired of hearing your requests in prayer? I believe this is David saying this is a more important prayer than some I have prayed. When Jesus prayed for the sick, and they were healed, He said, your faith has made you whole. It is very important to believe that our prayer will be answered when we pray.


Mark 11:24 "Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive [them], and ye shall have [them]."


Psalm 17:7 "Show thy marvelous lovingkindness, O thou that savest by thy right hand them which put their trust [in thee] from those that rise up [against them]."


Namely, in preserving and delivering me. Which, if thou dost, I must ever acknowledge it to be an act of kindness, or free grace and mercy. Yea, and of marvelous kindness. Because of my extreme and pressing dangers, out of which nothing but a miracle of divine mercy and power can save me.


"O thou that savest by thy right hand": Either by his power, or by the man of his right hand, his own son.


"Them which put their trust in thee": Not in men, not in an arm of flesh, not in themselves, in their own power, wisdom, riches, and righteousness. But in the Lord their God, who is the Savior of all men, but especially of them that believe (1 Tim. 4:10). For these he saves both in a temporal and in a spiritual manner.


"From those that rise up against them": From all their spiritual enemies, sin and Satan. And from all outward ones, from the men of the world, oppressors and violent persecutors. Who are afterwards described: the phrase, "by thy right hand", is by some, as Aben Ezra. Connected with the word trust, and rendered, "them which trust in thy right hand". Either in the grace, mercy, and favor of God, dispensed by his right hand; or in his strength, and the mighty power of his arm.


Jesus not only sits at the right hand of God, but in fact, is the Right Hand of God. (To understand this better, read the little pamphlet on The Right Hand of God). The Right Hand that saved all of us is Jesus. We know that in the 14th chapter of John beginning with the 12th verse, we can pray and receive answers to those prayers if we ask in Jesus' name. It is impossible to pray in someone's name you do not believe in. Those who rose up against Jesus, and those who even now reject Him, will not pray in His name. God's lovingkindness was shown abundantly to all of us, when He gave Himself to die for our sin. God's love for mankind could never be questioned.


1 John 4:10 "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son [to be] the propitiation for our sins."



Verses 8-9: The "apple" of the "eye" refers to the pupil, or, as the Hebrew language calls it, "the daughter of the eye". God places the eye in a well-protected position; it stands surrounded by projecting bones. Likewise, the righteous are in a protected position, no matter how "deadly" or "wicked" the enemy.


Psalm 17:8 "Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings,"


"The apple of the eye": An expression meaning the pupil of the human eye. As a person protects that vital organ of vision, so God protects His people.


I believe the eye is the window to the man's soul. The apple mentioned here, is possibly the pupil of the eye. The first moment any foreign object comes toward the eye; the lid closes to protect the pupil. I have used the expression so many times, about the mother hen spreading her wings and saving the little chicks from the storm under her wings. How wonderful to know that God will spread His wings and save us from harm, if we are His. David wants the supernatural protection of God. If we are smart, we will want that protection too.


Psalm 17:9 "From the wicked that oppress me, [from] my deadly enemies, [who] compass me about."


Or "waste" or "destroy"; as wild beasts do a field or vineyard when they get into it. And such havoc that persecutors and false teachers make of the church and people of God. When they are suffered to get in among them (Psalm 80:13). Wherefore from such wicked and unreasonable men protection is desired (2 Thess. 3:2).


"From my deadly enemies": Enemies against his soul or life, who sought to take it away. Nothing would satisfy them but this.


"Who compass me about": On all sides, in order to obtain their desire. Such were the enemies of Christ, and so they are described (Psalm 22:12).


David is not crying for protection from a natural storm, but he is asking for protection from the wicked who would like to kill him. Our prayer should be that the blood of Jesus will build a hedge around us that the enemy cannot get through to harm us. When you are covered in the blood of Jesus, the enemy will flee. The enemy is afraid of the blood of Jesus. The blood of Jesus is what defeated Satan.



Verses 10-12: These verses apply powerful imagery to demonstrate what sort of people were troubling David. "Enclosed in their own fat" was a colloquialism for being insensitive. David's enemies were ruthless and lacking compassion, waiting to tear away at his life, much like a "lion" would his "prey". Yet David knew that God could protect him, even from such bloodthirsty people. God is able to shield all His children from those who seek to do them harm.


Psalm 17:10 "They are enclosed in their own fat: with their mouth they speak proudly."


"They are enclosed in their own fat": (Meaning their fat hearts). Literally "They have closed their fat". This was a common Old Testament idiom for insensitivity (compare 32:15; Job 15:27; Psalm 73:7; Jer. 5:28).


"With their mouth they speak proudly": Haughtily; in an arrogant tone; as a consequence of their prosperity.


They would possibly wonder why they needed God, because they have most everything this world can offer them.


Psalm 17:11 "They have now compassed us in our steps: they have set their eyes bowing down to the earth;"


I e., in all our ways. We go from place to place, to rocks, and caves, and woods. But wherever we go they are at hand, and ready to surround us. Of which see an example (1 Sam. 23:26).


"They have set their eyes": To wit, upon or against us. I.e. they have discovered us, and keep their eyes fixed upon us, that we may not escape, or as designing to shoot at us.


"Bowing down to the earth": Couching and casting themselves down upon the earth, that they may not be discovered. And so may watch the fittest opportunity to surprise us. Which sense is favored by the next verse, and by comparing (Psalm 10:10). Otherwise, to cast us down to the earth.


This probably means that David believes he is surrounded by these worldly people. Notice their eyes are not looking heavenward, but at the earth. You and I are surrounded by people of the earth today. They see only the here and now. They want the things the earth has to offer and are not concerned about their life after death.


Psalm 17:12 "Like as a lion [that] is greedy of his prey, and as it were a young lion lurking in secret places."


Or "the likeness of him is as a lion"; meaning Saul, as Kimchi interprets it. Or every one of them that compassed them about, as Aben Ezra observes. Sometimes wicked and persecuting princes are compared to lions, for their strength and cruelty (see Prov. 28:15). So the devil is called a roaring lion (1 Peter 5:8). And the antichristian beast is said to have the mouth of a lion (Rev. 13:2).


"And as it were a young lion lurking in secret places": To leap upon its prey, and seize it, as it has opportunity. This denotes the secret and insidious method which the enemies of Christ take to do mischief (see Psalm 10:9).


Notice they are not a lion, but are acting like one. We will look at the devil who runs around (like a lion), seeking whom he may destroy.


1 Peter 5:8 "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:"


Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.


Psalm 17:13 "Arise, O LORD, disappoint him, cast him down: deliver my soul from the wicked, [which is] thy sword:"


That is, go forth against him, and meet and face him in battle, as enemies are accustomed to do. Or, prevent the execution of his mischievous designs against me:


"Deliver my soul from the wicked, which is thy sword": So Jarchi, Aben Ezra, Kimchi, and Ben Melech, render the words. That is, from wicked men, whom God makes use of as instruments to afflict and chastise his people. Compare with this (Psalm 22:20). The words are rendered by some, "deliver my soul from the wicked by thy swords". Meaning not the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God by which Christ was delivered from the wicked one, when tempted by him in the wilderness. But the avenging justice of God, the sword of the Lord, which, being whetted and taken hold on, and used by him, brings vengeance on his enemies, and salvation to his people (see Deut. 32:41). The Targum paraphrases the clause thus "deliver my soul from the wicked, who deserves to be slain by thy sword."


David was well aware that battles were won by God being on his side. To fight a battle without the aid of God, would be disastrous. David is asking God to destroy his enemies for him.



Verses 14-15: The common grace of God is overlooked by those who are satisfied with temporal prosperities (verse 14), but David brings back the proper perspective on true satisfaction in verse 15. Compare Jesus' teaching on these vital issues (in Matt. 6:19-34).


Psalm 17:14 "From men [which are] thy hand, O LORD, from men of the world, [which have] their portion in [this] life, and whose belly thou fillest with thy hid [treasure]: they are full of children, and leave the rest of their [substance] to their babes."


Wherewith thou dost correct me.


"Men of the world": I. e. who prosper in and set their hearts upon this vain and transitory world, and neither have, nor choose, or desire any other portion or felicity, as it follows.


"Whose belly": I.e. mind or appetite, as that word is used (Job 20:20; Prov. 20:30).


"With thy hid treasure": I.e. not only with common mercies, as food and raiment; but with thy choicest and most precious good things, such as men use to hide or keep in their treasures, with extraordinary wealth and glory, and all the delights and of the present life.


"They are full of children": When many of the faithful servants are barren, these are blessed with a numerous posterity. Or, their children are filled or satisfied as well as their parents. There is abundantly enough, both for them and for their children, and to spare for their children's children, as it follows.


The worldly people who have rejected Jesus as their Savior, surely better enjoy this world, because this is all the pleasure they will have. Hell awaits that type of person. Notice their treasures are all of this world. When they die they will leave their treasures here on the earth. Their worldly children will be the only ones that will get any good out of them. They have laid up no treasures for heaven. The only thing meant by these people being (thy hand), is that God was their Creator. They have no future with God in heaven at all. Their portion is for this life.


Psalm 17:15 "As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness."


"To behold Jehovah's face" is to enjoy communion with Him and all the blessings that flow from it. It is the inward reality which corresponds to "appearing before Him" in the sanctuary.


"I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness": David had already spoken of death as a "sleep" (Psalm 13:3). Now he speaks of "awaking." What awaking can this be but an awaking from the sleep of death? When he so awakes, he says, he will be "satisfied with God's likeness." The word used is the same as that employed in (Num. 12:8), of the manifestation of the Divine glory to Moses. David therefore expects to see, on awaking, a similar manifestation. He will have the enjoyment of the "beatific vision," if not in the Christian sense. At any rate in a true and real sense, and one that will wholly "satisfy" him. Let me be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.


David says here, that heaven is good enough for him. He knows that someday he will stand before the righteous Judge of all the earth. He also knows that he will have taken on the likeness of God. Praise God, we are adopted in to the family of God when we become a Christian. When we die, we will be like David and see His righteousness. We will be righteous too, because we have washed our robe in the blood of the Lamb and taken on His righteousness.


1 John 3:2 "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is."


We shall be heirs according to the promise.


Galatians 3:29 "And if ye [be] Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."


Titus 3:7 "That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life."


Psalm 17 Questions


  1. What does feigned mean?
  2. Rinnah means what?
  3. David says, he is not speaking with ______ ____.
  4. Why does David feel that he is justified to receive God's help?
  5. How does David feel about being tried in the balance scale?
  6. Name one of the tests that David went through.
  7. What are just 2 ways that God comforts His people?
  8. What is the (word of thy lips) speaking of in verse 4?
  9. How do we know that David's will was involved in staying away from the destroyer?
  10. What does the author believe is a must to walk as a Christian?
  11. What happens to those who walk in spiritual darkness?
  12. Who is the Light of the world?
  13. What is a simple thing that shows that people believe in prayer?
  14. When Jesus healed the sick, He said, Your ______ has made you whole.
  15. Who is the Right Hand of God?
  16. How can we pray and receive answers to our prayers?
  17. 1 John 4:10 tells us what about love?
  18. What is the (apple of the eye) probably?
  19. What is David asking for when he says, hide me under the shadow of thy wings?
  20. What protects the Christian from the devil?
  21. Being enclosed in their own fat means what?
  22. Why do they speak proudly?
  23. What kind of people was David surrounded by?
  24. What is meant by, they have set their eyes, bowing down to earth?
  25. The devil runs around seeking whom he may destroy, acting like what animal?
  26. To fight a battle, without the aid of God, would be _______________.
  27. Why should worldly people get all the enjoyment they can out of this world?
  28. What is meant by, leaving the rest of their substance to their babes?



Go to Previous Section | Go to Next Section | Return to Top

Return to Psalms Menu | Return to Bible Menu


Psalms 18



Psalm 18

To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, the servant of the LORD, who spake unto the LORD the words of this song in the day [that] the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul (as he said in verse 1).


Psalm 18 is a royal song of thanksgiving that rehearses God's deliverance of David from all his enemies. It appears to be a popular version of the song in (2 Sam. chapter 22). The title "servant of the Lord" places David in an elite company, namely, that of Moses, Joshua, and the Messiah, who also bear the title. The psalm includes a declaration of David's love and trust in the Lord (verses 1-3), a narrative of his deliverance by the Lord (verses 4-19), an explanation of the cause for David's deliverance (verses 20-24), an exposition of the display of God's attributes to those who trust in Him (verses 25-30), a further description of David's victory (verses 31-45), and a concluding word of thanks for God's deliverance (verses 46-50). The description of the Lord's intervention given (in verses 7-19), is called a theophany, one of many in the Old Testament, in which God visibly manifests Himself. The theophany characteristically has two parts: the Lord leaves His residence and nature reacts. It is thus a highly poetic and vivid way of describing the fact that the God of Israel intervened in history on David's behalf. The entire psalm is a celebration of that fact.


Verses 1-50; Psalm 18 is clearly an individual psalm of thanksgiving, also bearing royal characteristics. Its poetry and theme resemble other ancient testimonies to God's great historical deliverances (e.g., Exodus chapter 15; Judges chapter 5). Between David's opening (verses 1-3), and closing (verses 46-50), praises to God, his life with the Lord is described in 3 stages.


  1. Prelude: His Opening Praises (18:1-3).
  2. The States of His Life (18:4-45).
  3. In the pit of Peril (18:4-19);
  4. His desperation (18:4-5);
  5. His defender (18:6-15);
  6. His deliverance (18:16-19).
  7. On a Course of Ethical Integrity (18:20-28).
  8. The principles of the Lord's direction (18:20-26);
  9. The privileges of the Lord's direction (18:27-28).
  10. In the Turbulent Atmosphere of Leadership (18:29-45).
  11. Military leadership (18:29-42);
  12. Theocratic leadership (18:43-45.

III. Postscript: His Closing Praises (18:46-50).


This large psalm bears a large title. Although the title seems to refer to only one specific occasion (e.g., "in the day"), it does state that God's deliverance was "from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul". Therefore, it is preferable that the language of this superscription be understood to summarize the testimony of David's whole life in retrospect.


Verses 1-2: (Here and in 2 Sam chapter 22), David employs the same series of strong words to express the security he has in God. A "high tower" is a place located above the reach of violence.


Psalm 18:1 "I will love thee, O LORD, my strength."


"Love": This is not the normal word for love that often bears covenant meaning (e.g., Deut. 7:8; Psalm 119:97), but it is a rare verb form of a word group that expresses tender intimacy. David's choice of words intended to express very strong devotion, like Peter's (in John 21:15-17).


David was prouder of the fact that he was a servant of the LORD, than the fact that he was king of the Hebrews. David is looking back at the problems he had pertaining to Saul, and the wicked we have been reading about in previous lessons. This is a song of thanksgiving for the wonderful way God has brought him through his trials. David knows full well that it was not his strength that saved him, but the strength of God working in him.


Psalm 18:2 "The LORD [is] my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, [and] my high tower."


Military metaphors for the Divine Warrior multiply in this verse. Both defensively and offensively, the Lord was all David needed in life's tough battles.


David had hidden in the caves and among the rocks, and found that God was his protection. These are all things that every Christian could say about the LORD as well. I built my house, not on the sand, but on the solid Rock (Jesus Christ). He is my fortress. He has built a fortress around me to protect me from the devil. He has delivered me from all my sin. I will have no other god before Him. In my weakness, He has made me strong. I am as Abraham, who had faith and it was counted unto him as righteousness. The horn, as we have studied in all of these lessons, means strength. My salvation is bought by the precious shed blood of the Lamb.


Psalm 18:3 "I will call upon the LORD, [who is worthy] to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies."


In prayer, for fresh mercies, and further appearances of Himself. And discoveries of His grace and favor.


"Who is worthy to be praised": For the perfections of His nature and the works of His hands. His providential goodness, and more especially for his covenant grace and blessings in Christ. The Targum is, "in praise, or with a hymn, I pray before the Lord." Agreeably to the rule the apostle gives (Phil. 4:6). And this prayer was a prayer of faith, as follows.


"So shall I be saved from mine enemies": Which was founded upon past experience of God's goodness to him in distress, when he called upon Him, as the words show in the next verse.


God inhabits the praises of His people. We are to praise God in all things. We, like David, should know from past blessings that God will be with us in all our battles. He is our help.


Psalm 18:4 "The sorrows of death compassed me, and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid."


I.e. dangerous and deadly troubles. Or, the bands or cords of death, which had almost seized me, and was putting its bands upon me (compare Psalm 73:4; Jonah 2:2-9).


"The floods of ungodly men": Their great multitudes, and strength, and violent assaults, breaking in upon me like a flood.


"Made me afraid." Made me apprehensive of losing my life. To what particular period of his life he here refers it is impossible now to determine.


Psalm 18:5 "The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented me."


Or "the cords of the grave", under the power of which he was detained for a while. The allusion may be to the manner of burying among the Jews, who wound up their dead bodies in linen clothes. So that they were as persons bound hand and foot. And thus were they laid in the grave (see John 11:44). And so was Christ, till He was raised from the dead, when he showed Himself to have the keys of hell and death, and to be no more under their power, or be held by them.


"The snares of death prevented me": Or "met" or "got before me" the sense is; he was taken in them. This phrase designs the insidious ways and methods which the enemies of Christ took to ensnare him, and take away His life, and in which they succeeded (see Matt. 26:4).


David is telling of his condition, before the Lord came to his rescue. David's fear was turned into joy. David was in danger of death from his enemies, until the Lord rescued him.


Psalm 18:6 "In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, [even] into his ears."


The great Jehovah, the everlasting I AM, who is the Most High in all the earth, and who is able to save (Heb. 5:7).


"And cried unto my God": As Jesus did (Matt. 27:46). So the members of Christ, when in distress, as they often are, through sin and Satan, through the hidings of God's face, a variety of afflictions, and the persecutions of men. Betake themselves to the Lord, and call upon their God. A time of distress is a time for prayer; and sometimes the end God has in suffering them to be in distress is to bring them to the throne of his grace. And a great privilege it is they have that they have such a throne to come to for grace and mercy to help them in time of need. And such a God to sympathize with them, and help them. And their encouragement to call upon Him, and cry unto Him, is, that he is Jehovah, omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent. Who knows their wants, is able to help them, and is a God at hand to do it.


"He heard my voice out of his temple": That is, out of heaven his dwelling place. For the temple at Jerusalem was not built in David's time. And it may be observed, that the prayer of the psalmist, or whom he represents, was a vocal one, and not merely mental. And hearing it intends a gracious regard unto it, an acceptance of it, and an agreeable answer. For it follows.


"And my cry came before him, even into his ears": God did not cover himself with a cloud, that his prayer could not pass through. But it was admitted and received. It came up before Him with acceptance; it reached His ears, and even entered into them. And was delightful music to them (see John 11:41).


In this David is setting us a pattern to follow when troubles come upon us. In our deepest need, we should cry out to God. He will hear and answer our prayers. God's ears are always tuned into the needs of His people.



Verses 7-15: This theophany, a vivid poetic picture of God's presence, rivals other biblical presentations (compare Exodus 19:16; Deut. 33:2; Judges chapters 4 and 5; Psalm 68:7-8; Micah 1:3-4; Hab. chapter 3; Rev. chapter 19). His presence is largely described by various catastrophic responses by all creation.


Psalm 18:7 "Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken, because he was wroth."


As it did quickly after Christ called upon the Lord, and cried to his God upon the cross (Matt. 27:50). And so some time after, when his people were praying together, the place where they were assembled was shaken (Acts 4:31). As a token of God's presence being with them. And the shaking and trembling of the earth is often used as a symbol of the presence of God, and of the greatness of his majesty. As when he brought the children of Israel through the Red sea, went before them in the wilderness, and descended on Mount Sinai, which mountain then moved and quaked exceedingly (see Psalm 104:32).


"The foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken": And design the shaking of the earth and heavens, prophesied of in (Hag. 2:6). And which is explained in (Heb. 12:26). Of the removing the ordinances of the ceremonial law, that Gospel ordinances might remain unshaken. For in (2 Sam. 22:8); the words are, "the foundations of heaven moved and shook". And the shaking and moving of the earth and mountains may denote the abolition and destruction of kingdoms and nations.


"Because he was wroth": With the people of the Jews, for disbelieving and rejecting the Messiah. For setting themselves, and taking counsel together against him, and putting Him to death. For these things God was angry with them, and wrath came upon them to the uttermost, and their nation, city, and temple were destroyed (Psalm 2:1). And with the Pagan empire and antichristian powers (Rev. 6:16).


Many times in the Bible, God shook the earth. Once was the earthquake when Moses came down the mountain and saw the children of Israel worshipping a golden calf. When Jesus died on the cross, the earth quaked. The earth is God's and the fullness thereof. He can shake it if He desires to. When God's anger comes up in His face at the end of the age, the earth will quake as never before. In fact, the earth will quake so that it will be felt around the world. It is best not to anger God.


Psalm 18:8 "There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it."


God sends forth "smoke" in the heat of His wrath and zeal. He will not endure rebellion forever.


Deuteronomy 9:3 "Understand therefore this day, that the LORD thy God [is] He which goeth over before thee; [as] a consuming fire He shall destroy them, and He shall bring them down before thy face: so shalt thou drive them out, and destroy them quickly, as the LORD hath said unto thee."


Hebrews 12:29 "For our God [is] a consuming fire."


We know that the wrath of God is something we do not want to encounter. If God is a flaming fire, and the Word says He is, it would be only natural for His anger to proceed from His mouth as a fire.


Psalm 18:9 "He bowed the heavens also, and came down: and darkness [was] under his feet."


To execute wrath and vengeance on wicked men; which is always the sense of these phrases when they go together (see Psalm 144:6). The Targum is, "He bowed the heavens, and his glory appeared". That is, the glory of his power, and of his mighty hand of vengeance. For not His grace and mercy, but his indignation and wrath, showed themselves; for it follows.


"And darkness was under his feet": The Targum is, "a dark cloud", expressive of the awfulness of the dispensation to wicked men. Who are not allowed to see the face of God, are debarred His presence, and denied, communion with Him. And to whom everything appears awful and terrible (Psalm 97:2).


God showed Himself to the Israelites in a fire by night, and a cloud by day. He descended and His presence was over the mercy seat. As far as the people were concerned, this cloud was as thick darkness because they could not see God. For that matter, all things are under His feet, not just darkness.


Psalm 18:10 "And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind."


Or, upon the cherubims, that is, upon the angels, who are so called (Gen. 3:24; Hebrews 9:5). Who are also called God's chariots (Psalm 68:17), upon which he is said to sit and ride. All which is not to be understood grossly, but only to note God's using of the ministry of angels in raising such storms and tempests as are here described.


"Upon the wings of the wind": As swiftly as the wind. He came to my rescue with all speed.


This is just David's explanation of how God can move through the air, as He moves through the earth. Jesus rose into heaven after 40 days of ministry here on the earth after His resurrection from the dead. He did not need an airplane to carry Him, He just went up on a cloud.


Psalm 18:11 "He made darkness his secret place; his pavilion round about him [were] dark waters [and] thick clouds of the skies."


Which, and the dark waters in the next clause, are the same with the thick clouds in the last. In which Jehovah is represented as wrapping Himself, and in which He lies hid as in a secret place. Not so as that He cannot see others, as wicked men imagine (Job 22:13). But as that He cannot be beheld by others. The Targum interprets it, "he caused his Shekinah to dwell in darkness."


"His pavilion round about Him were dark waters, and thick clouds of the skies": These were as a tent or tabernacle, in which He dwelt unseen by men (see Job 36:29). All this may design the dark dispensation of the Jews, after their rejection and crucifixion of Christ. When God departed from them, left their house desolate, and them without his presence and protection. When the light of the Gospel was taken away from them, and blindness happened unto them. And they had eyes that they should not see, and were given up to a judicial darkness of mind and hardness of heart. Which were some of the dark, deep, and mysterious methods of divine Providence. With respect to which God may be said to be surrounded with darkness, dark waters, and thick clouds (see Rom. 11:7).


The smoke in the Holy of Holies was so thick that the High Priest could not see the presence of God, even though he was in the same room with Him. Jesus opened the way in to the heavenlies for you and me. Someday, the darkness of clouds surrounding the Father will be removed and we will see Him as He is. That is when the secret of God will be revealed in heaven to us.


Psalm 18:12 "At the brightness [that was] before him his thick clouds passed, hail [stones] and coals of fire."


The lightning that came out of the thick clouds. Which may denote, either the coming of Christ to take vengeance on the Jewish nation, which was swift and sudden, clear and manifest. Or the spreading of the Gospel in the Gentile world, in which Christ, the brightness of his Father's glory and appeared to the illumination of many (see Matt. 24:27). And both may be intended, as the effects following show.


"His thick clouds passed": That is, passed away. The gross darkness, which had for so many years covered the Gentile world, was removed when God sent forth his light and truth. And multitudes, who were darkness itself, were made light in the Lord.


"Hail stones and coals of fire": The same Gospel that was enlightening to the Gentiles, and the savor of life unto life unto them, was grievous. Like hail stones, and tormenting, scorching, irritating, and provoking, like coals of fire, and the savor of death unto death, to the Jews. When God provoked them, by sending the Gospel among the Gentiles, and calling them. Or these may design the heavy, awful, and consuming judgments of God upon them, which are sometimes signified by hail storms (see Rev. 8:7). In (2 Sam. 22:13), it is only, "through the brightness before Him were coals of fire kindled".


Psalm 18:13 "The LORD also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave his voice; hail [stones] and coals of fire."


By his apostles and ministers, some of which were Boanerges, sons of thunder. Whose ministry was useful to shake the consciences of men, and bring them to a sense of themselves (Mark 3:17).


"And the Highest gave his voice": The same with thunder; for thunder is often called the voice of the Lord (Job 37:5). Compare with this (Psalm 68:11); the Targum interprets it, "he lifted up his word"; the same effects as before follow.


"Hail stones and coals of fire" (see note on Psalm 18:12).


The strangest hail that ever hit the earth, was the hail mingled with fire that God rained on Pharaoh in Egypt. The anger of God was kindled against him and it hailed this strange hail, because he would not let God's children go. We also know that fire and brimstone from heaven rained down on Sodom and Gomorrah in God's anger toward them. Even the elements of hail and fire are at the command of God.


Psalm 18:14 "Yea, he sent out his arrows, and scattered them; and he shot out lightnings, and discomfited them."


By which thunderbolts, cracks of thunder, and flashes of lightning, seem to be meant (see Psalm 77:17). Comparable to arrows shot, and sent out of a bow. And may denote, either the doctrines of the Gospel, which were sharp in the hearts of Christ's enemies, and are either the means of subduing them to him, or of destroying them, being the savor of death unto death. Or however, like arrows, give great pain and uneasiness where they stick. And grievously distress and torment; as does the fire which comes out of the mouth of the two witnesses (Rev. 11:5). The Targum is, "he sent his word as arrows." Or else the judgments of God are meant, as famine, pestilence, and the sword, which God sent unto, and spent upon the Jewish nation (Deut. 32:23).


"And scattered them": Among the nations of the world, where they have been dispersed ever since.


"And he shot out lightnings": Or "many lightnings", so the Targum. And discomfited them; troubled, terrified, and distressed them.


One of the most frightening times in my life was a night out west, when it was lightening so bad that it looked as if the world was coming to an end. The lightening seemed to come from all directions. Men pale in front of God who controls even the lightning.


Psalm 18:15 "Then the channels of waters were seen, and the foundations of the world were discovered at thy rebuke, O LORD, at the blast of the breath of thy nostrils."


Or, "of the sea"; as in (2 Sam. 22:16). There seems to be an allusion to the drying up of the sea when the Israelites passed through it. Aben Ezra interprets this of the discovery of the secrets of enemies, and of their deep schemes and counsels. Which they seek to hide, but are made known by him who sees all things in the dark. And so the following clause.


"And the foundations of the world were discovered": But it rather seems to intend the utter destruction and ruin of the Jewish nation. Both in their civil and ecclesiastic state, the foundation of which was rooted up and laid bare. Unless with Jerome we understand this of the ministers of the word, in whom the doctrines of grace were channeled, and who were as fountains of water. And of the foundation of the apostles and prophets made known in the Gospel. But the former sense is best; since it follows.


"At thy rebuke, O Lord; at the blast of the breath of thy nostrils": For the destruction of the Jews was the effect of divine wrath and vengeance. So ends the account of the wonderful appearance of God in favor of the person the subject of this psalm, and against his enemies. The deliverance wrought for him is next described.


We will see a small illustration of the power of the nostrils of God in the next verse, where the Red Sea was opened and the children of Israel walked through the middle of the sea on dry ground.


Exodus 15:8 "And with the blast of thy nostrils the waters were gathered together, the floods stood upright as a heap, [and] the depths were congealed in the heart of the sea."


As I said in the beginning, this is just a minor illustration. God could blow with His nostrils and blow the whole world away.



Verses 16-19: His sheer power, exhibited so dramatically (in verses 7-15), is now amazingly attested as coming to rescue the psalmist personally.


God delivered David as a lifeguard rescues a drowning person from the waters that threatens to overwhelm (144:7).


Psalm 18:16 "He sent from above, he took me, he drew me out of many waters."


He interposed to save me. All these manifestations of the divine interposition were from above, or from heaven and all came from God.


"He took me" He took hold on me; he rescued me.


"He drew me out of many waters": Waters are often expressive of calamity and trouble (Psalms 46:3; 69:1; 73:10; 124:4-5). The meaning here is, that God had rescued him out of the many troubles and dangers that encompassed him. As if he had fallen into the sea and was in danger of perishing.


David's work and our work, is dependent upon Him protecting us. He brings us out of our troubles. In Revelation, we read of the Christians standing around the throne in white robes washed in the blood of the Lamb. They have been brought out of great tribulation upon the earth.


Psalm 18 Questions


  1. Who was chapter 18 addressed to?
  2. What made David prouder than the fact he was a king?
  3. What is David giving thanks for in this first verse?
  4. What things does David call the LORD in verse 2?
  5. Where does the Christian build his house?
  6. Who is the solid Rock?
  7. He has delivered me from what?
  8. How are Christians like Abraham?
  9. What does the horn symbolize?
  10. God inhabits the _________ of His people.
  11. David's fear was turned into _____.
  12. What should we do in our deepest need?
  13. Name a time when God shook the earth in His anger.
  14. Our God is a _____________ _______.
  15. How did God show Himself to the Israelites?
  16. Why did the people think of this cloud as thick darkness?
  17. How did Jesus go to heaven after His 40 day ministry on the earth after the resurrection?
  18. Why had the High Priest, who went into the Most Holy Place, not seen God?
  19. How was the way to the heavenlies opened for you and me?
  20. What was the strangest hail that ever fell?
  21. Where do we find the Scripture that tells us the nostrils of God opened the Red Sea?
  22. Where have the Christians, in Revelation, come out of?

Psalm 18 Continued

Verses 16-19: His sheer power, exhibited so dramatically (in verses 7-15), is now amazingly attested as coming to rescue the psalmist personally.


God delivered David as a lifeguard rescues a drowning person from the waters that threatens to overwhelm (144:7).


Psalm 18:17 "He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: for they were too strong for me."


The enemy that had more power than I had, and that was likely to overcome me. It is probable that the allusion here in the mind of the psalmist would be particularly to Saul.


"And from them which hated me": From all who hated and persecuted me, in the time of Saul, and ever onward during my life.


"For they were too strong for me": I had no power to resist them. And when I was about to sink under their opposition and malice, God interposed and rescued me. David, valiant and bold as he was as a warrior, was not ashamed, in the review of his life. To admit that he owed his preservation not to his own courage and skill in war, but to God. That his enemies were superior to himself in power. And that if God had not interposed he would have been crushed and destroyed. No man dishonors himself by acknowledging that he owes his success in the world to the divine precision.


The He here of course, is God. Jesus Christ defeated Satan on the cross. The war is won. We are still in a few skirmishes here on the earth, but the war is won. Most of the problems we have on this earth involve the short comings of still being in this body of flesh. We are no match for Satan at all, if we try to fight him our self. We must stand against him in the name of Jesus and through the power of the shed blood of Jesus. Speak the Word to him. Tell him, he is defeated. It is written, is a very good way to start on him.


Psalm 18:18 "They prevented me in the day of my calamity: but the LORD was my stay."


They anticipated me, or went before me (see the note at Psalm 18:5). The idea here is that his enemies came before him, or intercepted his way. They were in his path, ready to destroy him.


"In the day of my calamity": In the day to which I now look back as the time of my special trial.


"But the Lord was my stay": My support, or my prop. That is, the Lord upheld me, and kept me from falling.


Not only did God stay the hand of David's enemy, but He does the same for us.


Proverbs 16:7 "When a man's ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him."


Psalm 18:19 "He brought me forth also into a large place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me."


Into heaven, a place of the glorious liberty of Christ, after His captivity to death and the grave. Where He ascended leading captivity captive, and of the children of God. And a spacious place, where there is room enough for Christ and all his people. Here


he now is, and will remain till his second coming. And from hence we expect him (see John 14:2; compare with this Psalm 31:8).


"He delivered me, because he delighted in me": God delivered David from all his enemies, because he was a man after his own heart, in whom he delighted. Not for any merit and worthiness in him, but of his good will and pleasure. He delivered Christ because He was His elect, in whom His soul delighted. And who was daily His delight, rejoicing in His presence before the world was. And He delivers his church and people, because they are His Hephzibah (my delight is in her), in whom is His delight (see Isa. 62:4). The Father delighted in them, and therefore chose them to salvation. The Son delighted in them, and gave Himself for them, and ransomed them out of the hands of him that is stronger than they. The Holy Spirit delighted in them, and therefore regenerates, renews, and sanctifies them, and seals them up unto the day of redemption.


Heaven is the largest place I know of. It is so large, it will never be to overcrowded to receive you and me. What a wonderful thing to be able to say, (He delighted in me). Are you a sweet sound in the ear of the Lord?



Verses 20-24: No human can claim perfect innocence, but those who love the Lord, like David, seek to live full of integrity and godliness. The pattern of their lives is one of righteousness (Gen. 18:19).


These verses should not be taken out of context, making David look like an arrogant boaster. (As in verses 25-36 and 39-50), both David and the community, although responsible for living with integrity within the covenant relationship, are fully dependent on the resources of God to do so. Therefore, his "boasting" is biblical since it is ultimately in the Lord (Jer. 9:23-24).


Psalm 18:20 "The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me."


That is, He saw that I did not deserve the treatment which I received from my enemies, and therefore He interposed to save me (compare Psalm 17:3).


"According to the cleanness of my hands": So far as my fellow-men are concerned, I have done them no wrong.


"Hath he recompensed me": By rescuing me from the power of my enemies. It is not inconsistent with proper views of piety, with true humility before God, to feel and to say, that so far as our fellow-men are concerned, we have not deserved ill-treatment at their hands. And, when we are delivered from their power, it is not improper to say and to feel that the interposition in the case has been according to justice and to truth.


Righteousness, as we have said over and over, is being in right standing with God. The only righteousness we have that could stand up to this standard, is our righteousness in Christ. I received my right standing with God, when I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord. I traded Him my sin for His righteousness. We must continue to walk in that righteousness we received, until we are called to heaven. I believe (cleanness of my hands), means that my work must be acceptable. You do not have to work to be saved, but you will work for Him to remain in the salvation you received. Our hands will be doing good or evil. To be pleasing unto God, the work must be pure.


Psalm 18:21 "For I have kept the ways of the LORD, and have not wickedly departed from my God."


I have obeyed His laws. I have not so violated the laws which God has given to regulate my conduct with my fellow-men as to deserve to be treated by them as a guilty man.


"And have not wickedly departed from my God": "I have not been a sinner from my God;" an apostate; an open violator of his law. The treatment which I have received, though it would be justly rendered to an open violator of law, is not that which I have merited from the hand of man.


So many people, in our day, feel that all they must do is be baptized and they will go to heaven. To depart from God, after He has saved you, would cause God to call you wicked. Baptism is burying that old man of sin and living a new clean life in Christ Jesus.


Psalm 18:22 "For all his judgments [were] before me, and I did not put away his statutes from me."


That is, the precepts of the law of God, which David had a respect unto. He loved, took delight and pleasure in, and so had them all in his sight, and made them the rule of his actions. And the law of God is delighted in by regenerate persons, after the inward man. And though it is abolished as a covenant of works, it is a rule of walk and conversation to the saints. And as such they keep it in view, and regard it impartially, not only some of its precepts, but all. This in the highest and fullest sense was done by Christ, who was made under the law, in whose heart it was, and who came to fulfil it, and has completely fulfilled it.


"And I did not put away his statutes from me": (in 2 Sam. 22:23), it is read, "and as for his statutes, I did not depart from them"; the sense is the same. This may have respect to the ceremonial law, and the ordinances of it which David abode by, and very strictly observed, renewed, and put in order. And which Christ, his antitype, never departed from. But David conformed unto throughout the whole of his life. Witness his circumcision, keeping of the Passover, attendance on the synagogue and temple worship.


David is making a statement that we should live by too. He says, God I have not forgotten your law. I keep it on my mind and do it. Look at the following Scripture with me.


Joshua 1:8 "This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success."


Read your Bible and know God's will, then do God's will.


Psalm 18:23 "I was also upright before him, and I kept myself from mine iniquity."


In heart and conversation, being sincere and faithful. So David was in the sight of God. But this is much truer of Christ, in whom there was no unrighteousness nor guile, neither in his heart, nor in his lips. He was of perfect integrity, and faithful in all things to him that appointed him.


"I kept myself from mine iniquity": I have watched over myself that I might not transgress, lest I should cherish any sin till it became a part of me. There is no reference to indwelling corruption or a besetting sin.


The main thing we are to notice in this is that David kept David from sinning. Temptation comes to all. We must not surrender to temptation. We must stay strong in ourselves. The battle is between the sinful things the flesh wants to do and the spirit which wants to follow God. Let your spirit rule over your flesh.


Psalm 18:24 "Therefore hath the LORD recompensed me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in his eyesight."


Having proved and supported this proposition by the above reasons, it is repeated, for confirmation's sake.


"According to the cleanness of my hands in his eyesight": This phrase, "in his eyesight", is here added, to show that the righteousness of Christ was clean, pure, and spotless in the sight of God. In the eye of divine justice. Hence those that are clothed with it are holy and unblamable, and unreprovable in His sight (Col. 1:22).


Notice in this whose eyesight it was important to be right in. David probably did not appear to be righteous in people's eyes. Stop worrying about what others think and start pleasing God.



Verses 25-29: The psalmist has argued that the love of God moves heaven and earth for the sake of His own (18:7-19). Now he offers instruction regarding what God expects of His children. God's character evokes a desire in the godly to devotedly follow His ways.


Psalm 18:25 "With the merciful thou wilt show thyself merciful; with an upright man thou wilt show thyself upright;"


From the particular statement respecting the divine dealings with himself the psalmist now passes to a general statement (suggested by what God had done for him), in regard to the general principles of the divine administration. That general statement is, that God deals with men according to their character. Or, that he will adapt his providential dealings to the conduct of men. They will find him to be such toward them as they have shown themselves to be toward him. The word "merciful" refers to one who is disposed to show kindness or compassion to those who are guilty. Or to those who injure or wrong us.


"Thou wilt show thyself merciful": Thou wilt manifest toward him the same character which he shows to others. It is in accordance with this that the Savior teaches us to pray, "And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors" (Matt. 6:12). And in accordance also with this he said, "For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: but if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses" (Matt. 6:14-15).


"With an upright man": Literally, a perfect man, see (Job 1:1), where the same word is used in the original, and rendered perfect. The idea is that of a man who is consistent, or whose character is complete in all its parts (see note at Job 1:1).


"Thou wilt show thyself upright": Thou wilt deal with him according to his character. As he is faithful and just, so will he find that he has to do with a God who is faithful and just.


Psalm 18:26 " With the pure thou wilt show thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt show thyself froward."


Those who are pure in their thoughts, their motives, their conduct.


"Thou wilt show thyself pure". They will find that they have to deal with a God who is himself pure. Who loves purity, and who will accompany it with appropriate rewards wherever it is found.


"And with the froward thou wilt show thyself froward": The froward are such as are of perverse dispositions, and of stubborn and obstinate tempers. And whose ways are crooked and distorted; and such were the people of the Jews in the times of Moses, and of Christ (Deut. 32:5). And who seem here to be designed; even the Jews in Christ's time, who were just the reverse of the above characters. Were cruel and unmerciful, faithless and hypocritical, filthy and impure. Disbelieved the Messiah, rejected and crucified him, were contrary to God, and to all men. And therefore, God walked contrary to them, as he threatened (Lev. 26:27). The same as showing Himself froward to them. For God is not froward and perverse in Himself, nor in His ways, which are all equal, just, and pure. And though there is one and the same word used in our version, yet there are two different words in the Hebrew text. The same word that is used of the froward is not used of God. That which is used of God, as before observed, signifies wrestling, and designs God's contending with the people of the Jews, in a way of wrath and fury. Which came upon them to the uttermost, and issued in their entire ruin as a people and nation. The words here had their fulfilment in the destruction of Jerusalem.


When Jesus taught the disciples to pray, He taught them (forgive me my trespasses as I forgive those who trespass against me). In modern language, I can expect to receive from God what I dish out to others. If I am merciful, I will receive mercy. If I am upright in all my dealings with others, God will deal uprightly with me. God will deal with us as we deal with others. If we want God to forgive us, we must forgive others when they ask.


Psalm 18:27 "For thou wilt save the afflicted people; but wilt bring down high looks."


As the people of God commonly are; they are afflicted with sin, and the corruption of their own hearts. And with Satan and his temptations, and with the world, its reproaches, and persecutions. But God in his own time saves them out of them, if not here, yet hereafter.


"But wilt bring down high looks": Or proud men, whom God humbles. These he abhors, resists, sets himself against, scatters and destroys. The Jews were a very proud people, and behaved in an insolent and insulting manner towards Christ and his followers. But the high looks of the chief priests, Scribes, and Pharisees, were brought down to a purpose, when their city, temple, and nation, were destroyed (see Isa. 2:11).


We must humble our self to receive from God. Proud arrogant people feel that they are self-sufficient. They do not feel as if they need a Savior. Jesus said in Mark:


Mark 2:17 "When Jesus heard [it], he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."


God will not force salvation upon anyone. The person must need and want salvation, and then they can receive salvation.


Psalm 18:28 " For thou wilt light my candle: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness."


Or lamp: in (2 Sam. 22:29), it is, "Thou art my lamp, O Lord". Which may either design outward prosperity, and the flourishing condition of David's kingdom. Or internal spiritual light, and an increase of it, by giving fresh supplies of the oil of grace, to cause the lamp to burn more clearly. Or rather the prosperous estate of Christ's kingdom; and may be the same with the lamp ordained for the Messiah (Psalm 132:17).


"The Lord my God will enlighten my darkness": Or "cause light to shine in my darkness". That is, bring me out of darkness into light. Either out of adversity to prosperity, or from walking in darkness to the enjoyment of the light of his countenance. And is true of Christ, not only of the prosperity of His kingdom and interest, but of him personally. Who though, when on the cross, was in darkness of soul, being forsaken by his God. Yet, when raised from the dead, He was received up to heaven, and set down at the right hand of God. And was made full of joy with his countenance (Acts 2:28).


In the study on Revelation, we saw that each church had its light. Not only is Jesus the light for each church, but He is the light for each individual as well. The world that we live in is full of darkness. We may live in a darkened world, but we can have the Light of Jesus with us. The Light that Jesus shines in each Christian is the only real Light in the world today. The beautiful thing about our candle is the fact that the fire of God lights it. In this terrible dark world that we are living in, we must let our candle shine forth brightly, so that those in darkness will see the Light and come to it.


Psalm 18:29 "For by thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall."


The word troop here refers to bands of soldiers, or hosts of enemies. The word rendered run through means properly to run; and then, as here, to run or rush upon in a hostile sense. To rush with violence upon one. The idea here is that he had been enabled to rush with violence upon his armed enemies. That is, to overcome them, and to secure a victory. The allusion is to the wars in which he had been engaged (compare Psalm 115:1).


"And by my God": By the help derived from God.


"Have I leaped over a wall": Have I been delivered, as if I had leaped over a wall when I was besieged. Or, I have been able to scale the walls of an enemy, and to secure a victory. The probability is that the latter is the true idea, and that he refers to his successful attacks on the fortified towns of his enemies. The general idea is, that all his victories were to be traced to God.


Christians, how many times have your friends told you that the job you are trying to do for God is impossible? When I first started writing these Bible studies, many of my friends told me that this job was too big for one person to do. They were right, I cannot do this job, it is too big, but PRAISE GOD! Christ within me can do the job. The wall may be high and look like it is impossible to climb, but with God's help I can climb any mountain He puts before me.


Psalm 18:30 "[As for] God, his way [is] perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he [is] a buckler to all those that trust in him."


His counsel and providence, though it may sometimes be dark and hard to be understood, yet is always wise and just, and every way perfect or unbearable.


"The word of the Lord is tried": The truth of God's promises is certain, and approved by innumerable experiences, and mine among the rest.


"He is a buckler to all those that trust in him": Not in man, nor in themselves. In their own righteousness, or in any creature or creature enjoyment or performance. But in the providence and power of God. In his grace and mercy, in his word, and especially in his Son. In his person, blood, and righteousness; to such He is a buckler or shield. His power is all around them, his favor encompasses them, and His truth, or faithfulness in His word, is their shield and buckler. And so is his Son, who is both a sun and shield to them. And such are his precious blood, his spotless righteousness, and stoning sacrifice. Which, being held up by faith, repel the fiery darts of Satan.


We may not always understand what God is doing at the moment in our lives, but we can be assured it is the right thing. God is perfect. He does not make mistakes. Whatever problem we are facing at the moment; we can trust that our God can handle it. Our job is not to question, but to trust Him. To have faith is one thing, but trust goes beyond faith. Many married people who have been together for many years will tell you that trust of their spouse, regardless of how the circumstances look, is what has held them together. Remember, we got into the meaning of buckler in a previous lesson, and found that it went much further than just a protection. It means protector, but it also means shield, armed and defense.


Psalm 18:31 "For who [is] God save the LORD? or who [is] a rock save our God?"


"A rock" (compare verses 2, 46). Moses, at the beginning of his great song about the Lord (in Deut. chapter 32), called God "The Rock" (verse 4). The Lord is indeed a massive, unshakable foundation and source of protection.


We find in this statement a truth almost too deep to comment upon.


1 John 5:7 "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one."


From the beginning of time to all of eternity, we will still be trying to understand the fullness of who God is. The Spirit is one. The personalities of that One Spirit are three. We know that Jesus was and is, the Rock. He is the Rock that we must build our house upon. He was the Rock in the wilderness that Moses struck to bring forth water. He not only was the Rock, but is the Water that flows from that Rock as well. I have said it before but it has need to be said again. God is everything good and wonderful. He is my all in all. Without Him I can do nothing. With Him I can do all things.


Psalm 18:32 "[It is] God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect."


For battle (as in Psalm 18:39), with strength of body and fortitude of mind. Both which are from the Lord, and were in David. And were acknowledged by him as bestowed on him by the Lord. And which confirms what he had before said of him. Or with spiritual strength, with strength in his soul, against sin, Satan, and the world. And to do the will and work of God. Saints are girded by the Lord with the whole armor of God, and among the rest with the girdle of truth. And are prepared and ready to every good work (see 1 Sam. 2:4). Hannah's song is referred to (in 2 Sam. 22:33), the words are, "God is my strength and power". They are true of Christ, the man of God's right hand, whom He promised to strengthen, and whom He has made strong for himself (Psalm 80:17).


"And maketh my way perfect": Or safe, or prosperous. God removed every impediment and obstacle out of his way, and made it plain and easy, as Jarchi observes. And succeeded him, and gave him victory over his enemies. This has been verified in Christ, who has conquered sin, Satan, the world, death, and the grave. For this is not to be understood of the way and course of David's life and conversation, which was not perfect and unspotted. But had many blemishes and imperfections in it, which he often owns, confesses, and bewails.


I would suggest that you read (Ephesians 6:11), to truly understand the help of the Lord. All of the items that the soldier in Ephesians was to wear were things God would have to give the soldier. The Israelites learned firsthand how easy it was to lose a battle when God was not with them. If the Ark of the Covenant went before them, on orders from God, they won the battle. If it were a battle of their own making, they lost. God will make our way perfect if we stay in His way and not our own.


Psalm 18:33 "He maketh my feet like hinds' [feet], and setteth me upon my high places."


See (Hab. 3:19), "He maketh my feet like hinds' [feet]": The hind is the female deer, remarkable for fleetness or swiftness. The meaning here is, that God had made him alert or active, enabling him to pursue a flying enemy, or to escape from a swift-running foe.


"And setteth me upon my high places": The towers and fortresses, and strong and fortified places, where he was safe from his enemies. And in a spiritual sense, may design the everlasting love of God, the covenant of grace, its blessings and promises. And Christ himself, with the fullness of grace in him, on which believers may be said to be set, when their faith is directed to them. And they live and dwell upon them (see Hab. 3:19). And the words were fulfilled in Christ, when God highly exalted him at His right hand, and set Him above all principalities and powers, and made Him higher than the heavens.


A deer has feet that are swift and also, they can jump over high obstacles. If we are like a deer, we are not easily stopped. Notice that it is God who puts you on high places.


Psalm 18:34 "He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms."


From whence it appears, that war in some cases, is lawful. And that all the skillfulness and art in training men for war, in the use of armor, in marshalling of armies, in forming sieges, etc. is all from God (see Psalm 144:1). And so is all that spiritual skill, in making use of the whole armor of God against every enemy, sin, Satan, and the world. And even the wisdom and skill, counsel and instruction, which Christ as man and Mediator had, when it was the hour and power of darkness. When he was engaged with principalities and powers, and got the victory over them, were from the Lord (see Psalm 16:7).


"So that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms": That is, the bow of an enemy falling into his hands, which might be literally true of David. It is in the Hebrew text, "a bow of brass"; and so Apollinarius renders it. Which Kimchi and Ben Melech interpret strong iron, that is, steel. And so the Targum (see Job 20:24). Satan is an archer; his temptations are darts, and fiery ones. And his strong bow may be said to be broken by the arms of faith, when his temptations, under the influence of divine grace, are repelled and rendered ineffectual. And especially his bow was broken by Christ. Not only in the wilderness, when he was vanquished by him; but in the garden, and on the cross. When Satan could find nothing in him, and get no other advantage over him, but to bruise his heel. When he himself had his head broke, his works ruined, and he himself destroyed. Some render the words, "mine arms have bent a bow of steel". That is, such skill and strength were given him that he was able to bend, draw, and shoot a bow or steel. The Targum is, "and hath strengthened mine arm as a bow of brass", or "steel"; and so the Syriac and Arabic versions. And to the same purpose the Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, and Ethiopic versions.


Some people are offended that we are soldiers, in a battle to the death for the Lord. When David went into battle, it was a war that he was fighting with the blessing of God. The Holy Spirit of God teaches the Christian the way to win the war that we are in. Our weapons are not carnal.


2 Corinthians 10:4 "(For the weapons of our warfare [are] not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)"


The weapon of the Christian is the two-edged sword, which is the Word of God. Are you ready to do battle for the Lord? There is a spiritual war, and there is a physical war. Christians are called to the spiritual war.


Psalm 18 Continued Questions


  1. Who has already defeated Satan?
  2. What are most of the problems we have in this earth caused by?
  3. How can a Christian come against the devil?
  4. How large is heaven?
  5. What is righteousness?
  6. When does a Christian become righteous?
  7. What does cleanness of my hands probably mean?
  8. What would cause God to call you wicked?
  9. Describe what baptism really is.
  10. What does Joshua chapter 1 verse 8 tell us about keeping God's law?
  11. Who kept David from sinning in verse 23?
  12. What is the battle that we fight every day?
  13. What lesson can we learn from verses 25 and 26, that Jesus taught the disciples in the Lord's prayer?
  14. Who did Jesus come to save?
  15. Not only is Jesus the Light for the church, but for each_____________, as well.
  16. What is the only light in the world today?
  17. When you take on a big job for God, what will many of your friends tell you?
  18. What does buckler mean?
  19. Can you explain trust?
  20. What is one, in the verse above?
  21. Who is the Rock?
  22. Who is the Water that flows from that Rock?
  23. Where do we find the Scriptures on the armor of God?
  24. What does the Scripture mean that says, we have feet like hinds'?
  25. Who teaches the

    Psalm 18 Second Continued

    Psalm 18:35 "Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great."


    Thy protection, which hath been to me like a shield to defend me.


    "Thy right hand hath holden me up": Kept me from falling into those snares and mischiefs which mine enemies designed, and I feared I should fall into.


    "And thy gentleness hath made me great. Or, meekness, as the Hebrew word gnanvah, is translated (Num. 12:3; Psalm 45:4; Zech. 2:3). That is, thy clemency, whereby thou hast pardoned my sins, which otherwise would have undone me. And hast mitigated thy corrections which I have deserved. Or, thy grace and benignity, which thou hast manifested to me, and exercised in and for me.


    Just as Abraham had faith, and it was counted unto him as righteousness, we must have faith to receive salvation.


    Romans 10:9-10 "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." "For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."


    Faith is believing in things you cannot see.


    Hebrews 11:6 "But without faith [it is] impossible to please [him]: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and [that] he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."


    The Right Hand of God is Jesus Christ our Lord. We will find that our help is God. He is holding us up to keep us from falling. Even when we do not realize He is helping us, He is holding us up. Gentleness and longsuffering go hand in hand. God is not only gentle, but patient with us. He is waiting even now to come back, so that a few more will be saved.


    Psalm 18:36 "Thou hast enlarged my steps under me, that my feet did not slip."


    The idea here is, "Thou hast made room for my feet, so that I have been enabled to walk without hindrance or obstruction. So in (Psalm 31:8), "Thou hast set my feet in a large room." The idea is, that he was before straitened, compressed, hindered in his goings, but that now all obstacles had been taken out of the way, and he could walk freely.


    "That my feet did not slip": The meaning is that he had been enabled to walk firmly; that he did not limp. Before, he had been like one whose ankles are weak or sprained; now he was able to tread firmly. The divine favor given to him was as if God had given strength to a lame man to walk firmly.


    To me this would mean that God had made his step sure. We know that the path to righteousness is narrow and straight, so it does not mean that God has widened the path. It just means that God made his feet sure in the path.



    Verses 24-30 and 37-38: These verses should not be taken out of context, making David look like an arrogant boaster. (As in verses 25-36 and 39-50), both David and the community, although responsible for living with integrity within the covenant relationship, are fully dependent on the resources of God to do so. Therefore, his "boasting" is biblical since it is ultimately in the Lord (Jer. 9:23-24).


    Psalm 18:37 "I have pursued mine enemies, and overtaken them: neither did I turn again till they were consumed."


    He had not only routed them, but had enough strength to pursue them. He had not only pursued them, but he had been enabled to come up to them. The idea is that of complete success and absolute triumph.


    "Neither did I turn again": I was not driven back, nor was I weary and exhausted, and compelled to give over the pursuit.


    "Till they were consumed": Until they were all either slain or made captive, so that the hostile forces vanished. None of my enemies were left.


    We know that there was a literal meaning of this verse, because David did defeat his enemy. I believe that looking at this from the spiritual standpoint would mean: withstand the devil, and he will flee from thee.


    Psalm 18:38 "I have wounded them that they were not able to rise: they are fallen under my feet."


    I have so weakened them, so entirely prostrated them, that they were not able to rally again. This does not refer so much to wounds inflicted on individuals in the hostile ranks as to the entire host or army. It was so weakened that it could not again be put in battle array. The idea is that of successful pursuit and conquest.


    "They are fallen under my feet": I have completely trodden them down, a common mode of denoting entire victory (Psalm 119:118; Isa. 25:10; Lam. 1:15; Dan. 8:13; Luke 21:24).


    We know that God was with David in battle. This is like a victory cry over the enemy.


    Psalm 18:39 "For thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle: thou hast subdued under me those that rose up against me."


    See (Psalm 18:32). That natural strength, courage and valor, which David had, were from the Lord. And so is the Spirit of power, love, and of a sound mind, which believers have. And likewise, that strength which Christ, as man, had and used in his combat with the powers of darkness (see Psalm 80:17).


    "Thou hast subdued under me those that rose up against me": As the psalmist ascribes his strength, so he attributes his success to the Lord. Who likewise subdues the sins of his people, and all other enemies of theirs. And who also makes the enemies of his Son his footstool (Psalm 110:1).


    It was a dangerous thing to come against the anointed of God then, and it is a dangerous thing now to come against the anointed of God. The next Scripture shows how even David was fearful to come against the anointed of God.


    1 Samuel 26:9 "And David said to Abishai, Destroy him not: for who can stretch forth his hand against the LORD'S anointed, and be guiltless?"


    Psalm 18:40 "Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies; that I might destroy them that hate me."


    Either to slay them, or to trample or put a yoke upon them. Or rather the sense is, thou hast made them to fly before me. To turn their necks or backs unto me, as the word is used (in Joshua 7:8). And it is expressive of an utter rout and vanquishing of them.


    "That I might destroy them that hate me. They not being able to face him and stand against him.


    Notice again, that David is quick to give God the credit for putting his enemies in his hand. Not only did he put them in David's hand, but actually placed their neck in David's hand.


    Psalm 18:41 "They cried, but [there was] none to save [them: even] unto the LORD, but he answered them not."


    It is (in 2 Sam. 22:42); "they looked". That is, they looked round about, here and there, to see if there were any near at hand to help and deliver them. They cried in their distress, and because of the anguish of their spirits, and for help and assistance, but in vain. They cried, as Jarchi thinks, to their idols, as Jonah's mariners cried everyone to their god. And, if so, it is no wonder there was none to save. For such are gods that cannot save. But it follows.


    Even unto the Lord, but he answered them not; as Saul, for instance (1 Sam. 28:6). So God deals with wicked men, often by way of righteous retaliation (see Proverbs 1:28).


    These people had an opportunity to surrender to God, but did not. Now it is too late for them to cry out to Him. When Jesus comes in the clouds for the believers, it will be too late for those who rejected Him completely. We must accept Jesus as our Savior, because we believe, not because we see Him with our eyes.


    Psalm 18:42 "Then did I beat them small as the dust before the wind: I did cast them out as the dirt in the streets."


    They being given up by God, and he not answering to their cries. The phrase denotes the utter ruin and destruction of them, and represents their case as desperate and irrecoverable. Being, as it were, pounded to dust, and that driven away with the wind. Just as the destruction of the four monarchies is signified by the iron, clay, brass, silver, and gold, being broken to pieces, and made like the chaff of the summer threshing floor. And carried away with the wind, so that no place is found for them any more (Dan. 2:35).


    "I did cast them out as the dirt of the streets": Expressing indignation and contempt. (In 2 Sam. 22:43); it is, "I did stamp them as the mire of the street, and did, spread them abroad". Which also denotes the low and miserable condition to which they were reduced. And the entire conquest made of them, and triumph over them (see Isa. 10:6; compare with this 2 Sam. 12:31).


    The defeat of our enemies will be as the defeat of David's enemies, if we continue to serve the Lord. They were completely destroyed.


    Psalm 18:43 "Thou hast delivered me from the strivings of the people; [and] thou hast made me the head of the heathen: a people [whom] I have not known shall serve me."


    From the contentions, seditions, and tumults of my own people under Saul. And during the civil war raised by Abner in favor of Ish-bosheth, when the tribes strove with each other. And from the invasions of the Philistines who attacked him soon after his accession to the throne.


    "Thou hast made me the head of the heathen": Of the Ammonites, Moabites, Edomites, Syrians, and others, who were become tributary to him by his victories over them (see 2 Sam.; Psalm 8:1; 1 Chron. chapter 18).


    "A people whom I have not known": Whom I had no acquaintance with or relation to, not even by thy promise or grant. That is, barbarous and remote nations.


    "Shall serve me": Shall be subject to me.


    This is a prophetic Scripture, speaking of Jesus being accepted by the heathen. You see, the Hebrews as a whole rejected Jesus as their Savior, and He turned to the Gentiles. The Gentiles did not have God's law and had been classified as heathen. Jesus came and changed all of that. Christianity was offered to the Jew first, and then to the Gentile. When the Jew rejected Jesus, Christianity was offered to whosoever would believe. Jesus is the Head of all believers in Christ, Jew and Gentile. The most believers are the Gentiles however. The very law that the Jew revered so was their downfall. They had a form of godliness, but did not understand the grace of God.


    Psalm 18:44 "As soon as they hear of me, they shall obey me: the strangers shall submit themselves unto me."


    At the fame of my name and victorious arms. Or upon the first tidings of my coming toward them.


    "They shall obey me": They shall instantly comply with my will, as soon as they understand it.


    "The strangers shall submit themselves unto me": The Hebrew is literally, the sons of the strangers shall lie unto me. That is, shall submit themselves to me. Not willingly and cheerfully as they will pretend, but only out of fear and by constraint. By this it appears that this is spoken with reference to David, and not (as some would have it), to Christ. Because Christ's people are a willing people (Psalm 110:3), and those whom he conquers freely obey him.


    1 Corinthians 1:21 "For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe."


    In the study of Jesus' days of ministry upon the earth, you will find that the simple people readily accepted Him. They were called strangers, because the natural Jew was thought of as being knowledgeable of the laws of God. The law of God was given to the children of Israel on the way to the Promised Land. They had used the law to benefit themselves. At the time Jesus walked on the earth, it had been changed in meaning to fit the High Priest in power at the time. Had they really understood their law, they would have recognized Jesus as Messiah. The Gentiles, who had never been allowed to study the law, accepted Jesus quickly when they heard Him preach.


    Psalm 18:45 "The strangers shall fade away, and be afraid out of their close places."


    Like the leaves of trees in autumn, when they fall and perish. To which hypocrites and nominal professors are compared (Jude 1:12).


    "And be afraid out of their close places": Their towers and fortified places, or the rocks and mountains to which they betake themselves for shelter. But, as not thinking themselves safe enough, through fear and dread, come out of them (see Micah 7:17).


    To stay strong in the Lord, we must get our strength from the Lord. We Christians have been grafted into the Tree of Life. As long as we are connected to the Tree, we will have the strength to remain with God. If we get separated from the tree, we will soon wither and die. I am sure Jesus felt that fading away, when He was so alone on the cross.


    Psalm 18:46 "The LORD liveth; and blessed [be] my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted."


    Life is the essential attribute of Jehovah. He is the Living God in contrast to the dead idols of the heathen. The experience of David's life is summed up in these words. It had been to him a certain proof that God is the living, active Ruler of the world (compare Joshua 3:10).


    "And blessed be my rock": Let him have all blessing and praise, for he is worthy of it.


    "And let the God of my salvation be exalted": God was the God of his salvation in a temporal sense, saving him daily from his many enemies. And in a spiritual sense, being the contriver, author, and applier of it to him. On which account he would have him be exalted both by himself, and in the high praises of his people. Ascribing the whole of salvation to him, and giving him all the glory of it. Some render the words, "the God of my salvation is high". He is the Most High God, the High and Lofty One that inhabits eternity, and is above all others. In (2 Sam. 22:47), the words are read, "and exalted be the God of the Rock of my salvation".


    Praise God! There was a resurrection morning. THE LORD LIVETH. We should never cease praising the Lord Jesus Christ for what He has done for us. We should exalt His name forever. The God of my salvation is Jesus. He is my Rock, He is my Lord, He is my Savior. Liveth means to continually live. He is the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning