The text does not give us any direct clues as to what is going on at the time this psalm is written. All we know for certain is that it is written by David at a time when he is being attacked and slandered. Most commentators place this psalm during the time when Saul turned the army against David and sought to kill him. If you have ever felt betrayed, unfairly treated, or unjustly attacked this psalm offers tremendous encouragement.
(1-3) Fight for me, God
David finds himself in a position where he does not have the ability to defend himself. This could be because he lacks an army, or it could be that his position has been taken from him so that he cannot speak publicly in his defense. Whatever the case, he implores God to vindicate him. The language he employs is that God would take up arms and fight for him.
(4-8) Bring justice, God
As David prays he uses nine “let” phrases to lay out his request for God to bring justice. In verse 7 he tells God the injustice that has been done to him.
Because of this injustice he wants God to bring about for his enemies:
- Shame and dishonor
- Routing and disappointment
- Chased away
- Persecuted by God
9-10 Praise for future deliverance
David is determined that all glory will go to God for his deliverance. There is tremendous faith seen in these verses. David is sure of his deliverance and is planning on how he will praise God with his entire being.
These imprecatory prayers have confused Christians for many years. Aren’t we supposed to love our enemies and turn the other cheek? Why would God record such awful prayers? Why would He inspire David to write them?
The answer is simple. I must love and forgive. I must turn the other cheek. I must repay good for evil done to me. God must bring justice. It is no lack of love or forgiveness to ask for God to be Who God is, a just God Who punishes those who do evil.
We must seek clarity on if we were in the wrong.
We must forgive others.
There is injustice in this world, and it is our duty to cry out against it.
We are not to take justice into our own hands or even into our own hearts.
We must leave justice in the hands of God. He will do what is right.
Are you trusting that God will vindicate you?
Are you planning how you will praise God for His deliverance?