As David continues his psalm, he now contrasts how he has treated his enemies with the way they have treated him.
(11-12) The enemies’ attack
David expresses his ignorance of what was happening. He has no idea why they are attacking him. They are lying about him, and he does not even know where the lies are coming from. Even though he has shown them good, they repay him with evil.
(13-14) David’s love
David shows his love for his enemies in several ways:
- Emotion for their suffering
- Concern for their well being
- Fasting for them
- Fervent prayer for them
- Viewing them as family
- Grieving for them
(15-16) The enemies’ hatred
David’s love stand in stark contrast to the way he was treated by his enemies. They showed their hatred in these ways:
- Finding joy in his suffering
- Gathering against him
- Hiding their hatred
- Trying to hurt him
- Continually seeking retribution
- Contempt and indignation
(17-18) Prayer and praise
David is worn down. He wants God to act quickly for his deliverance. He cries out that God would deliver his soul from his enemies. He then begins to plan how he will give thanks to God and praise Him before all people.
A wrong reading of this text would be, “Be less like Saul and more like David.” This is our natural tendency when we read passages like this. However, David was not naturally this way. We see his lying and deception in 1 Samuel 21 and then his temper flare up against Naboth in 1 Samuel 25. David is not a naturally loving person. The question is how did David become a person who loved his enemies? The answer is simple, the grace of God.
The true application of this passage is that David is a mere shadow of which Jesus is the reality. Jesus is the one who was betrayed by those He loved. He demonstrated such love that He died so that His enemies might become His friends. It is His Spirit that made David loving. His Spirit can do the same for you.
Do you see hatred in your life instead of love?
Would you give your life to Jesus Christ so that His love might be shed abroad in your heart?