By Henry Law
In times of extreme distress deliverance is sought from God. He is extolled as the protector of His people. Faith looks to Him as the destroyer of all adversaries.
1-3. "Deliver me, O Lord, from the evil man; preserve me from the violent man; who imagine mischiefs in their heart; continually are they gathered together for war. They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent; adders' poison is under their lips."
Since sin defiled this earth, enmity has existed between the seed of the serpent and the children of the promised Savior. This wickedness has been displayed in every form of outward persecution. Schemes of secret malice have been its fruit. Violent assaults are made. Venomous slanders are circulated. Unaided strength is vain to escape.
But God is ever near, ready to protect. To Him should application be made. Earnest and incessant prayer should plead. Fruitless will be all efforts to destroy, if God in answer arises to give help.
4-5. "Keep me, O Lord, from the hands of the wicked; preserve me from the violent man, who has purposed to overthrow my goings. The proud have hid a snare for me, and cords; they have spread a net by the wayside; they have set gins for me."
As long as persecution rages heaven must be besieged. The resolve to destroy the godly is not always openly avowed. Frequently traps are set to ensnare unwary feet. This was the experience of David. But the knowledge of these acts was salutary discipline, and led to close communion with a prayer-hearing and prayer-answering God.
6. "I said to the Lord, You are my God; hear the voice of my supplications, O Lord."
Blessed, indeed, are the prayerful moments when we can appeal to the Lord that He is our God. Who can conceive all that is contained in the name of God? But all that God is, He is to the happy people. Can we desire more? Happy indeed is our case, if we have the Lord for our God.
7. "O God the Lord, the strength of my salvation, You have covered my head in the day of battle."
What must that salvation be which has omnipotence for its strength! Who can injure those who are thus saved by the Lord? They may be called to fight the good fight of faith. Fiery darts may fly around, but none can inflict mortal wound. God, who is the helmet, must be pierced before the head can be reached.
8-13. "Grant not, O Lord, the desires of the wicked; further not his wicked device, lest they exalt themselves. As for the head of those that compass me about, let the mischief of their own lips cover them. Let burning coals fall upon them; let them be cast into the fire; into deep pits, that they rise not up again. Let not an evil speaker be established in the earth; evil shall hunt the violent man to overthrow him. I know that the Lord will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and the right of the poor. Surely the righteous shall give thanks unto Your name; the upright shall dwell in Your presence."
Let peace ever reign in the believer's heart. The Lord on His side will crush His foes. The mischief plotted by them will be the pit which shall overwhelm them. The cause of the afflicted and the right of the poor shall gloriously be established. Dwelling in the constant light of God's smile, the righteous shall give everlasting thanks. Happiness now and forever is their portion.