To the choirmaster: for the flutes. A Psalm of David.
1 Give ear to my words, O Lord; consider my groaning.
2 Give attention to the sound of my cry, my King and my God,
for to you do I pray.
3 O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice;
in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch.
4 For you are not a God who delights in wickedness; evil may
not dwell with you.
5 The boastful shall not stand before your eyes; you hate all
6 You destroy those who speak lies; the Lord abhors the
bloodthirsty and deceitful man.
7 But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love,
will enter your house. I will bow down toward your holy
temple in the fear of you.
8 Lead me, O Lord, in your righteousness because of my
enemies; make your way straight before me.
9 For there is no truth in their mouth; their inmost self is
destruction; their throat is an open grave; they flatter
with their tongue.
10 Make them bear their guilt, O God; let them fall by their
own counsels; because of the abundance of their
transgressions cast them out, for they have rebelled
11 But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing
for joy, and spread your protection over them,
that those who love your name may exult in you.
12 For you bless the righteous, O Lord; you cover him with
favor as with a shield.
This psalm is another individual lament and is the first instance of a psalm that includes prayers for the personal downfall of one’s enemies. Such psalms are not expressions of petty annoyances or insults but are cries to God for justice in the face of bloodthirsty and deceitful persecutors.
This psalm is one of many places in the Bible where we can be greatly encouraged by the sheer earthiness of the Bible. Despite being the religious book of billions, the Christian Scriptures are not abstract or ethereal, disconnected from the visceral emotions and experiences of life in a fallen world. The Bible is concrete, tangible, and rooted in gritty reality. David is “groaning” (v. 1). Disgusted by the deceitful schemes of the wicked, he pleads with God for justice, for a righting of wrongs, for the evil of the wicked to be returned on their own head (v. 10). Such language — even more, such prayer —sounds abrasive to modern ears, immersed as we are in a culture of tolerant niceness. Yet David knows that for God to tolerate wickedness would undermine the very character of God and His righteous purposes for the world.
Content to leave the punishment of all evil in God’s hands, David directs his heart elsewhere. He does not let thoughts of evildoers fester in his mind but finally rests in God, his refuge (vv. 11–12), who must do what is right.
And so God did. At the climax of all of human history, God showed us just how concrete and tangible He was willing to become, in the ultimate righting of all wrongs. Refusing to remain abstract or ethereal, the second person of the Trinity became one of us, knowing all of our weaknesses except sin.
Are you groaning today? Your reigning Savior knows what that is like. He too groaned, on a cross, so that every groaning you now experience may result in your ultimate strengthening.
Source: Devotional Psalter