To the Chief Musician. With stringed instruments. A Contemplation of David.
1 Give ear to my prayer, O God, and do not hide Yourself from my supplication.
2 Attend to me, and hear me; I am restless in my complaint, and moan noisily,
3 Because of the voice of the enemy, because of the oppression of the wicked; for they bring down trouble upon me, and in wrath they hate me.
4 My heart is severely pained within me, and the terrors of death have fallen upon me.
5 Fearfulness and trembling have come upon me, and horror has overwhelmed me.
6 So I said, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest.
7 Indeed, I would wander far off, and remain in the wilderness. Selah
8 I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest.”
9 Destroy, O Lord, and divide their tongues, for I have seen violence and strife in the city.
10 Day and night they go around it on its walls; Iniquity and trouble are also in the midst of it.
11 Destruction is in its midst; oppression and deceit do not depart from its streets.
12 For it is not an enemy who reproaches me; then I could bear it. Nor is it one who hates me who has exalted himself against me; then I could hide from him.
13 But it was you, a man my equal, my companion and my acquaintance.
14 We took sweet counsel together, and walked to the house of God in the throng.
15 Let death seize them; let them go down alive into hell, for wickedness is in their dwellings and among them.
16 As for me, I will call upon God, and the LORD shall save me.
17 Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, and He shall hear my voice.
18 He has redeemed my soul in peace from the battle that was against me, for there were many against me.
19 God will hear, and afflict them, even He who abides from of old. Selah Because they do not change, therefore they do not fear God.
20 He has put forth his hands against those who were at peace with him; he has broken his covenant.
21 The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart; his words were softer than oil, yet they were drawn swords.
22 Cast your burden on the LORD, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.
23 But You, O God, shall bring them down to the pit of destruction; bloodthirsty and deceitful men shall not live out half their days; but I will trust in You.
When I read verses twelve and thirteen, where David is talking about being betrayed by one close to him, I can’t help thinking that he was guilty of an even greater betrayal against Uriah when he had him killed to cover up his sin with Bathsheba. Now we don’t really know where specifically this psalm fits in the timeline of David’s life, but it makes me wonder if I am the same way. Do I complain about a wrong committed against me, only to go and do the same and worse to someone else? Did this crisis plant the seed of betrayal in David? Perhaps we need to take preventative measures when we are wronged. I don’t think it’s possible to repent for a sin you haven’t done yet, but we can ask God to weed out and remove whatever seeds may have been planted in us by the injury received.
Back in Psalm 51, David writes, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Why save that thought until after the sin? I think it would be better used as a daily vitamin rather than a bandage for after a fall. They say love comes naturally, but we must be taught how to hate. Let’s all make the conscious decision to leave some lessons unlearned.