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Summary: Psalm 64

David usually mentions his enemies in his prayers, but this prayer is entirely about them except the last verse. This is made apparent in the first petition, where he asks God to hear him and preserve his life from fear of the enemy (v. 1). He asks to be hidden from the “secret counsel of the wicked” (v. 2). These are the people who sharpen their tongues on the grindstone (v. 3), dipping the arrows of their words into the poison of bitterness (v. 3). They take counsel in secret, and they shoot from secret places (v. 4). Their target is the righteous man. The wicked get discouraged from time to time, and so they take care to encourage one another (v. 5). They look for dirt like they were on a treasure hunt (v. 6). Theirs is not a superficial malice (v. 6). But vengeance belongs to the Lord, and He is not absent. God will shoot at them (v. 7). The work of their tongues will recoil upon them (v. 8). When this happens, men will see and declare that God was at work in this (v. 9). Poetic justice is therefore the hand of God (v. 9), and so the righteous are glad in how the story ends (v. 10).

Lesson 1 - SECRET COUNSEL: The first lesson to learn is that slander of the righteous is not something that happens by accident. It is the result of “secret counsel” (v. 2). The words are sharpened beforehand, with malice aforethought (v. 3). They give one another pep talks if they start to lag in the work of tearing a righteous man down (v. 5). They lay traps beforehand (v. 5). They do “opposition research,” looking for something that will stick. And if they heap on enough calumny, something from it is sure to stick.

Lesson 2 - VENGEANCE BELONGS TO GOD: Scripture teaches that vengeance belongs to God (Rom. 12:19). “Rejoice not when thine enemy falls, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbles: Lest the Lord see it, and it displease him, And he turn away his wrath from him” (Prov. 24:17-18).

Lesson 3 - POETIC JUSTICE: - You have often been urged to “read the story you are in.” This means at least two things. In the first place, it means being steeped in the stories of Scripture. Tell them over and over—get them down into your bones. In the second place, it means honoring and obeying direct instructions like this one.

Having read the story, you must know how to glory in the wisdom of the storyteller (v. 10). There is sin in gloating over His endings, and there is sin in just sitting there as though He hadn’t told His story at all.

Lesson 4 - FAITH EMBRACES THE SUSPENSE:

A small child, playing hide n’ seek, will often give himself away, running out of hiding. Why? The answer is because they can’t handle the suspense. You have heard before that God loves cliffhangers. That means we need to adjust our thinking so that we come to love them too. Count it all joy . . . On the mount of the Lord it will be provided . . . This is true when it comes to physical threats and circumstantial trials. But it also true when it comes to slander. God will vindicate you, sure enough, but He will do it in the right chapter.

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