The Faithful Cry to the Lord for Justice
The Faithful Cry to the Lord for Justice
Psalm 7. The inscription indicates that this is a psalm of David. It was written in the style of “Shiggaion”, meaning “loud crying”. This psalm describes the agonizing cry of the remnant under extreme persecution. This historical setting is given in the title; “which he sang to Jehovah, concerning the words of Cush the Benjaminite”. This is a reference to the cursing of Shimei when David was fleeing from Absalom (2 Sam. 16:5-8), when he said to David; “Come out, come out, thou bloody man, and thou man of Belial: The LORD hath returned upon thee all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose stead thou hast reigned; and the LORD hath delivered the kingdom into the hand of Absalom thy son: and, behold, thou art taken in thy mischief, because thou art a bloody man.” This was an extremely humiliating experience for David, and it caused him to pour out his heart to the Lord, exposing his soul. Shimei falsely accused David of being guilty of the blood of the house of Saul. This caused David to consider his past, and ask the Lord to judge righteously between him and his accuser. Prophetically, this Psalm gives us the expressions of the remnant fleeing from Antichrist (Absalom being a type) and the apostate Jews with him. It is not confession of sin, but an appeal to the Lord’s justice.
Shiggaion of David, which he sang to Jehovah, concerning the words of Cush the Benjaminite.
1 Jehovah my God, in thee have I trusted: save me from all my pursuers, and deliver me;
2 Lest he tear my soul like a lion, crushing it while there is no deliverer.
vv.1-2 Cry for Deliverance. In this first section, the psalmist cries out to Jehovah for deliverance from the lionlike power of the attacks coming against him.
3 Jehovah my God, if I have done this, if there be iniquity in my hands;
4 If I have rewarded evil to him that was at peace with me; (indeed I have freed him that without cause oppressed me;)
5 Let the enemy pursue after my soul, and take it, and let him tread down my life to the earth, and lay my glory in the dust. Selah.
vv.3-5 Righteousness Acknowledged. In this second section, David owns his righteousness in the matter with which he is accused. Yet he also acknowledges that judgment would be fitting if he were guilty. Perhaps this is the beginnings of the work of repentance; a question is in their mind as to their own guiltiness. Sometimes God chastens us to cause us to reflect on our own walk, that we might keep short accounts with Him!
6 Arise, Jehovah, in thine anger; lift thyself up against the raging of mine oppressors, and awake for me: thou hast commanded judgment.
7 And the assembly of the peoples shall encompass thee; and for their sakes return thou on high.
vv.6-7 Appeal to Justice. In the third section, David, a type of the Spirit of Christ in the remnant, appeals the righteousness and vengeance of God on his behalf (“awake for me”) and Jehovah’s judgment on the enemies’ behalf (“for their sakes return thou”).
8 Jehovah shall minister judgment to the peoples. Judge me, Jehovah, according to my righteousness, and according to mine integrity which is in me.
9 Oh let the wrong of the wicked come to an end, and establish thou the righteous man; even thou that triest the hearts and reins, the righteous God.
vv.8-9 Calling for a Twofold Judgment. The faithful cry out to Jehovah, the “righteous God” to make a twofold judgment: (1) to vindicate the faithful according to their integrity, and (2) to bring the wicked to an end. These verses are what we could call an imprecatory prayer. Notice that universal judgment is called for; “minister judgment to the peoples”. The “peoples” is a general word that refers to the races of mankind. Also, the discernment of Jehovah is invoked; “thou that triest the hearts and reins”. The “hearts” are the affections, and the “reins” are the motives; i.e. that which controls people’s actions. When they speak of “my righteousness” and “mine integrity” we must remember that the Old Testament takes up the individual in the government of God. The Psalmist does refer to sinless perfection, but rather to the general character of honesty and integrity; a life free from hidden sin and hypocrisy. These word are spoken in the reality of the heart, not in the pride of the flesh.
10 My shield is with God, who saveth the upright in heart.
11 God is a righteous judge, and a GOD who is indignant all the day.
12 If one turn not, he will sharpen his sword; he hath bent his bow and made it ready,
13 And he hath prepared for him instruments of death; his arrows hath he made burning.
14 Behold, he travaileth with iniquity, yea, he hath conceived mischief, and brought forth falsehood:
15 He digged a pit, and hollowed it out, and is fallen into the hole that he made.
16 His mischief shall return upon his own head, and his violence shall come down upon his own pate.
vv.10-16 A digression on the righteous judgment of God. The final section is unique from the others. The rest of the Psalm is characteristically addressed to Jehovah, but these verses are addressed to Elohim. The psalmist is appealing to the strength and sovereignty of a Creator-God, put forth in the judgment of the wicked. The theme is this; “God is a righteous judge” (v.11). These verses expound the folly of the wicked in refusing to repent, and turn from their course; “if one turn not…”, etc. There are various “instruments of death” that are described in vv.12-15, to poetically illustrate how God will hunt them. Rather than be a “shield” (v.10) to them, God will sharpen His “sword”, bend His “bow”, light His “arrows”, etc. But further, in the government of God, the wicked will be the means of their own undoing; “digging a pit” for others only to fall into it themselves; “his mischief shall return upon his own head”. So it will be with the apostate nation of Israel; “He taketh the wise in their own craftiness” (Job 5:13).
17 I will praise Jehovah according to his righteousness, and will sing forth the name of Jehovah the Most High.
v.17 Praise.The psalm concludes with praise to Jehovah “according to his righteousness”. It is praise in anticipation of deliverance. Notice that the name “Most High” or Elyon, which is a millennial name of God. This flows into the next Psalm which is a millennial psalm!