Summary: God delivers the righteous when they look to Him. He will not permit His Name to be dishonoured.


“Deliver me from my enemies, O my God;

protect me from those who rise up against me;

deliver me from those who work evil,

and save me from bloodthirsty men.

“For behold, they lie in wait for my life;

fierce men stir up strife against me.

For no transgression or sin of mine, O LORD,

for no fault of mine, they run and make ready.

Awake, come to meet me, and see!

You, LORD God of hosts, are God of Israel.

Rouse yourself to punish all the nations;

spare none of those who treacherously plot evil. Selah

“Each evening they come back,

howling like dogs

and prowling about the city.

There they are, bellowing with their mouths

with swords in their lips—

for “Who,” they think, “will hear us?”

“But you, O LORD, laugh at them;

you hold all the nations in derision.

O my Strength, I will watch for you,

for you, O God, are my fortress.

My God in his steadfast love will meet me;

God will let me look in triumph on my enemies.

“Kill them not, lest my people forget;

make them totter by your power and bring them down,

O Lord, our shield!

For the sin of their mouths, the words of their lips,

let them be trapped in their pride.

For the cursing and lies that they utter,

consume them in wrath;

consume them till they are no more,

that they may know that God rules over Jacob

to the ends of the earth. Selah

“Each evening they come back,

howling like dogs

and prowling about the city.

They wander about for food

and growl if they do not get their fill.

“But I will sing of your strength;

I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning.

For you have been to me a fortress

and a refuge in the day of my distress.

O my Strength, I will sing praises to you,

for you, O God, are my fortress,

the God who shows me steadfast love.” [1]

“Do Not Destroy.” This particular tune must surely have been catchy, one so intriguing that anyone hearing the tune would be unable to shake the melody for years after. Of the six Miktams of David included among the Psalms, three are to be sung according to this particular tune. David wrote this Psalm, and he apparently believed it necessary to instruct the choirmaster that this particular melody was to be used when the Psalm was presented during worship.

While the Psalm itself presents information that will prove critical for the worshipper of God, especially when the opponents of the LORD are attacking, David wanted the Psalm to be easily recalled by the people of God. Therefore, he instructed that the Psalm was to be sung to the tune of “Do Not Destroy.” We are perhaps deprived, not knowing the melody, but we do have the Psalm itself. Because the Psalm has been included among the collection of prayers we know as the Book of Psalms, we are instructed, as were the ancient Hebrew worshippers, of how we should respond to the pressures that are sure to come to the child of God seeking the Lord’s glory.

The Psalms are often neglected by followers of Christ, but it is to our great loss to neglect these beautiful prayers. That is what the Psalms are, to a great degree—prayers. In some instances, they are simply expressions of praise as the Psalmist worships the LORD. At other times, they are cries of desperation. And as the Psalmist pleads for deliverance, he is brought to the place of confessing that the LORD alone is able to deliver him. The experience of the Psalmist mirrors our own experience, for when we are under assault by the enemies of the Master, as we cry out for deliverance Christ brings us into the safety of His oversight. Our hearts are comforted and our lives are delivered.

LIVING ON THE EDGE — A preacher who influenced my ministry to a great degree, was known to say during multiple vicious and frequent attacks against him and his service, attacks initiated and carried out by fellow Christians, “If you don’t want trouble, don’t say anything, don’t do anything, don’t be anything.” The admonition is somewhat earthy, but it bespeaks a significant truth. What he said holds especially true in the world of the faithful. The moment God blesses a person or a congregation is the moment those who pretend to follow the Lord attack God’s beloved saints. That was certainly the case for David, the man anointed by God and who was destined to be the king of Israel.

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