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This is a chronologically-ordered Bible site with commentary on each passage.
The daily summaries are written by Wayne D. Turner, Pastor of Fayette Bible Church in Fayetteville, Georgia

This is the May 20 reading. Select here for a new reading date:


BibleTrack Summary: May 20
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For New King James text and comment, click here.

Psalms 7, 27, 31, 34, 52    Listen Podcast

Psalms that go with the Book of I Samuel?
As we read through the Bible chronologically, we seek to read the writings of David during the period of his life in which his Psalms were written. While some of the Psalms are quite specific in their introductions regarding the occasion of their writing, we are left to conjecture on others. Here are five Psalms that were likely written as David was on the run from Saul. You may want to read the historical back drop for these Psalms in I Samuel 21-24 (see notes).

 

A note about the words written between the chapter numbers and the first verse:
Not all of the Psalms have introductions, but Psalms 7 says, "Shiggaion of David, which he sang unto the LORD, concerning the words of Cush the Benjamite." These words serve as Psalm introductions, and are part of the Hebrew text.

Here's another definition from Easton's Bible Dictionary:

Shiggaion: from the verb shagah, “to reel about through drink,” occurs in the title of Psalm 7. The plural form, shigionoth, is found in Habakkuk 3:1. The word denotes a lyrical poem composed under strong mental emotion; a song of impassioned imagination accompanied with suitable music; a dithyrambic ode.

God Loves the Righteous (Psalm 7)
See notes at top regarding the circumstances of this Psalm.

Shiggaion of David, which he sang unto the LORD, concerning the words of Cush the Benjamite.
1 O LORD my God, in thee do I put my trust: save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me:
2 Lest he tear my soul like a lion, rending it in pieces, while there is none to deliver.
3 O LORD my God, if I have done this; if there be iniquity in my hands;
4 If I have rewarded evil unto him that was at peace with me; (yea, I have delivered him that without cause is mine enemy:)
5 Let the enemy persecute my soul, and take it; yea, let him tread down my life upon the earth, and lay mine honour in the dust. Selah.
6 Arise, O LORD, in thine anger, lift up thyself because of the rage of mine enemies: and awake for me to the judgment that thou hast commanded.
7 So shall the congregation of the people compass thee about: for their sakes therefore return thou on high.
8 The LORD shall judge the people: judge me, O LORD, according to my righteousness, and according to mine integrity that is in me.
9 Oh let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end; but establish the just: for the righteous God trieth the hearts and reins.
10 My defence is of God, which saveth the upright in heart.
11 God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.
12 If he turn not, he will whet his sword; he hath bent his bow, and made it ready.
13 He hath also prepared for him the instruments of death; he ordaineth his arrows against the persecutors.
14 Behold, he travaileth with iniquity, and hath conceived mischief, and brought forth falsehood.
15 He made a pit, and digged it, and is fallen into the ditch which he made.
16 His mischief shall return upon his own head, and his violent dealing shall come down upon his own pate.
17 I will praise the LORD according to his righteousness: and will sing praise to the name of the LORD most high.

The Bible elsewhere makes no mention of “Cush, the Benjamite.” Obviously David is distressed in this Psalm. While it is impossible to know for sure, it is certainly likely that this Psalm was written by David when he was fleeing Saul's wrath. He puts his case before the Lord, and he believes in his own heart that he has not done anything to deserve the ill-treatment of his adversaries. David makes a strong appeal in verses 4 and 5 when he says, in essence, "If I'm the aggressor here, bring on my punishment." Of course, he was convinced that he was not. He makes this case in verse 8 when he says, "The LORD shall judge the people: judge me, O LORD, according to my righteousness, and according to mine integrity that is in me."

God takes care of me (Psalm 27)
See notes at top regarding the circumstances of this Psalm.

A Psalm of David.
1 THE LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
2 When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.
3 Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.
4 One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.
5 For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.
6 And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LORD.
7 ¶ Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me.
8 When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek.
9 Hide not thy face far from me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation.
10 When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up.
11 Teach me thy way, O LORD, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies.
12 Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty.
13 I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.
14 Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.

In verses 1-6 David shows great confidence in the Lord's protection. He cries out for communion with God in verses 7-12, and he tops it off with a final expression of confidence in the last two verses. Again, it seems likely that this Psalm was written by David as he was fleeing Saul. I memorized verse 14 back in my early 20's as a reminder not to "jump the gun" on decisions after committing them to God in prayer, "Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD."

A prayer of expression toward God's faithfulness (Psalm 31)
See notes at top regarding the circumstances of this Psalm.

To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.
1 In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness.
2 Bow down thine ear to me; deliver me speedily: be thou my strong rock, for an house of defence to save me.
3 For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name’s sake lead me, and guide me.
4 Pull me out of the net that they have laid privily for me: for thou art my strength.
5 Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O LORD God of truth.
6 I have hated them that regard lying vanities: but I trust in the LORD.
7 I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy: for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities;
8 And hast not shut me up into the hand of the enemy: thou hast set my feet in a large room.
9 Have mercy upon me, O LORD, for I am in trouble: mine eye is consumed with grief, yea, my soul and my belly.
10 For my life is spent with grief, and my years with sighing: my strength faileth because of mine iniquity, and my bones are consumed.
11 I was a reproach among all mine enemies, but especially among my neighbours, and a fear to mine acquaintance: they that did see me without fled from me.
12 I am forgotten as a dead man out of mind: I am like a broken vessel.
13 For I have heard the slander of many: fear was on every side: while they took counsel together against me, they devised to take away my life.
14 But I trusted in thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my God.
15 My times are in thy hand: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me.
16 Make thy face to shine upon thy servant: save me for thy mercies’ sake.
17 Let me not be ashamed, O LORD; for I have called upon thee: let the wicked be ashamed, and let them be silent in the grave.
18 Let the lying lips be put to silence; which speak grievous things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous.
19 Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men!
20 Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.
21 Blessed be the LORD: for he hath shewed me his marvellous kindness in a strong city.
22 For I said in my haste, I am cut off from before thine eyes: nevertheless thou heardest the voice of my supplications when I cried unto thee.
23 O love the LORD, all ye his saints: for the LORD preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer.
24 Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.

Fleeing Saul's pursuit is a likely setting for this Psalm of David as well. Notice Psalm 31:5, "Into thine hand I commit my spirit:" Jesus used these words from the cross regarding his death in Luke 23:46 (see notes). Notice how David establishes the premise upon which he seeks relief from God in verse 3, "For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name’s sake lead me, and guide me." David uses that ol' argument used by Moses every time God was inclined to destroy Israel for their rebellion, "How is it going to look, God, if your people don't succeed?". So David here says, "Everyone knows my faith in God; how's it going to look if you don't deliver me?" Hey! Let's face it; the quality of one's life changes when the head of state has a bounty out on your head. Feel David's pain as he says in verse 11, "I was a reproach among all mine enemies, but especially among my neighbours, and a fear to mine acquaintance: they that did see me without fled from me." After Saul slaughtered the priest's entire family (except for one escapee) because of their assistance to David (I Samuel 22, see notes), it's obvious that friendship with David has its risks. Even the king's own son has to play "dodge the javelin" because of the kindness he demonstrated to David (I Samuel 20, see notes).

Taste and See That the Lord Is Good (Psalm 34)
See notes at top regarding the circumstances of this Psalm.

A Psalm of David, when he changed his behaviour before Abimelech; who drove him away, and he departed.
1 I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
2 My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.
3 O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.
4 I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.
5 They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed.
6 This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.
7 The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.
8 O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.
9 O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him.
10 The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing.
11 ¶ Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
12 What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good?
13 Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.
14 Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.
15 The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.
16 The face of the LORD is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.
17 The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.
18 The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.
19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.
20 He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken.
21 Evil shall slay the wicked: and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate.
22 The LORD redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate.

The introduction to this Psalm says, "A Psalm of David, when he changed his behaviour before Abimelech; who drove him away, and he departed." Following is an excerpt from the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: "The title of Psalm 34 mentions another Abimelech, who in all probability is the same as Achish king of Gath (I Samuel 21:10-22:1, see notes); with whom David sought refuge when fleeing from Saul, and with whom he was dwelling at the time of the Philistine invasion of Israel, which cost Saul his kingdom and his life (I Samuel 27, see notes). It appears from this that Abimelech was the royal title, and not the personal name of the Philistine kings."

So, we see from the introduction to this Psalm that these words are penned by David at the same time he was faking mental illness before the Philistine king. That ploy didn't work out, but David's faith in God, nonetheless, remained strong.

There are some great deliverance verses in this chapter. Here are some memorization suggestions.

Psalms 34:4 I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.
Psalms 34:7 The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.
Psalms 34:8 O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.
Psalms 34:15 The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.

Here's another interesting aspect of this Psalm. This is an acrostic poem; each verse begins with the successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet. That's why there are 22 verses in this Psalm - one for each letter of the Hebrew alphabet in order. You know, that's not easy. Try composing a poem about deliverance from God using all the letters of our English alphabet as the first letter of the first word of each verse - especially when you get to "x" and "z." How poetic for a man faking insanity and on the run!

This Psalm has a history (Psalm 52)
See notes at top regarding the circumstances of this Psalm.

To the chief Musician, Maschil, A Psalm of David, when Doeg the Edomite came and told Saul, and said unto him, David is come to the house of Ahimelech.
1 Why boastest thou thyself in mischief, O mighty man? the goodness of God endureth continually.
2 Thy tongue deviseth mischiefs; like a sharp razor, working deceitfully.
3 Thou lovest evil more than good; and lying rather than to speak righteousness. Selah.
4 Thou lovest all devouring words, O thou deceitful tongue.
5 God shall likewise destroy thee for ever, he shall take thee away, and pluck thee out of thy dwelling place, and root thee out of the land of the living. Selah.
6 The righteous also shall see, and fear, and shall laugh at him:
7 Lo, this is the man that made not God his strength; but trusted in the abundance of his riches, and strengthened himself in his wickedness.
8 But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God: I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever.
9 I will praise thee for ever, because thou hast done it: and I will wait on thy name; for it is good before thy saints.

The term "Maschil" appears in the introduction to this Psalm, as it does in 13 Psalms altogether. It describes a song which enforces some lesson of wisdom or piety - a teaching song.

Back in I Samuel 21-22 (see notes), when Saul was on David's trail trying to kill him, David makes a visit to the priest, Ahimelech. David lies about his visit - says he's on a special secret mission for Saul. He gets some food from Ahimelech and takes Goliath's sword (Goliath was finished with it) which was in his possession. While Ahimelech hardly had a choice but to help David, and did so without knowledge of David's outlaw status before Saul, one of Saul's employees, Doeg the Edomite, told Saul about the secret meeting. Subsequently, Saul had Ahimelech and his family executed for helping David. Given those circumstances, you'd be distraught as well. According to the introduction, this is the setting in which Psalm 52 was written. Incidentally, in I Samuel 22:17-23 (see notes) when Saul commanded his soldiers to slay the priests and their families, they refused. So who did Saul get to perform this atrocity? That's right, the spy Doeg. Given those circumstances, I think David shows a good bit of restraint in this piece dedicated to Doeg.


For commentary on another passage, click here.


Copyright 2003-2011 by Wayne D. Turner