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Psalms 26; 40; 58; 61-62; 64 Listen
Plea for Redemption (Psalm 26)
A Psalm of David.
1 Judge me, O LORD; for I have walked in mine integrity: I have trusted also in the LORD; therefore I shall not slide.
2 Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart.
3 For thy lovingkindness is before mine eyes: and I have walked in thy truth.
4 I have not sat with vain persons, neither will I go in with dissemblers.
5 I have hated the congregation of evil doers; and will not sit with the wicked.
6 I will wash mine hands in innocency: so will I compass thine altar, O LORD:
7 That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works.
8 LORD, I have loved the habitation of thy house, and the place where thine honour dwelleth.
9 Gather not my soul with sinners, nor my life with bloody men:
10 In whose hands is mischief, and their right hand is full of bribes.
11 But as for me, I will walk in mine integrity: redeem me, and be merciful unto me.
12 My foot standeth in an even place: in the congregations will I bless the LORD.
Here, David casts himself on the Lord asking that He pay attention to his circumstances. He maintains that his troubles are undeserved; yet he is suffering. Sounds a little like Job, huh? He repeats before the Lord his innocence. David doesn't maintain that he is without sin; he simply insists that the intent of his heart is to do the will of God.
Here's how Psalm 26 is structured:
To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.
1 I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.
2 He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.
3 And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.
4 Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.
5 Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.
6 Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required.
7 Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me,
8 I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.
9 I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O LORD, thou knowest.
10 I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation.
11 Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O LORD: let thy lovingkindness and thy truth continually preserve me.
12 For innumerable evils have compassed me about: mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of mine head: therefore my heart faileth me.
13 Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me: O LORD, make haste to help me.
14 Let them be ashamed and confounded together that seek after my soul to destroy it; let them be driven backward and put to shame that wish me evil.
15 Let them be desolate for a reward of their shame that say unto me, Aha, aha.
16 Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: let such as love thy salvation say continually, The LORD be magnified.
17 But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God.
David seems to be on top of the world in the first 11 verses. He's praising God for deliverance and provision. But then...what's up beginning with verse 12. Were the first 11 verses for the purpose of reminding God in prayer all that he had done for him in the past, and now it's time to do it again? It looks like adversaries are out to kill him, but he's depending on God for deliverance. Notice verse 7, "Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me." Mosaic Law dictated that each king who ascended to Israel's throne was to copy for himself the Law into his own book. Notice that provision in Deuteronomy 17:18 (see notes), "And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites."
By comparison, you will notice that verses 13-17 comprise the entire Psalm 70 (see notes) with minor variations in wording.
Note the parallel between the two passages:
|Psalms 70:1 Make haste, O God, to deliver me; make haste to help me, O LORD.
Psalms 70:2 Let them be ashamed and confounded that seek after my soul: let them be turned backward, and put to confusion, that desire my hurt.
Psalms 70:3 Let them be turned back for a reward of their shame that say, Aha, aha.
Psalms 70:4 Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: and let such as love thy salvation say continually, Let God be magnified.
Psalms 70:5 But I am poor and needy: make haste unto me, O God: thou art my help and my deliverer; O LORD, make no tarrying.
|Psalms 40:13 Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me: O LORD, make haste to help me.
Psalms 40:14 Let them be ashamed and confounded together that seek after my soul to destroy it; let them be driven backward and put to shame that wish me evil.
Psalms 40:15 Let them be desolate for a reward of their shame that say unto me, Aha, aha.
Psalms 40:16 Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: let such as love thy salvation say continually, The LORD be magnified.
Psalms 40:17 But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God.
To the chief Musician, Altaschith, Michtam of David.
1 Do ye indeed speak righteousness, O congregation? do ye judge uprightly, O ye sons of men?
2 Yea, in heart ye work wickedness; ye weigh the violence of your hands in the earth.
3 The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.
4 Their poison is like the poison of a serpent: they are like the deaf adder that stoppeth her ear;
5 Which will not hearken to the voice of charmers, charming never so wisely.
6 Break their teeth, O God, in their mouth: break out the great teeth of the young lions, O LORD.
7 Let them melt away as waters which run continually: when he bendeth his bow to shoot his arrows, let them be as cut in pieces.
8 As a snail which melteth, let every one of them pass away: like the untimely birth of a woman, that they may not see the sun.
9 Before your pots can feel the thorns, he shall take them away as with a whirlwind, both living, and in his wrath.
10 The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance: he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked.
11 So that a man shall say, Verily there is a reward for the righteous: verily he is a God that judgeth in the earth.
Written by David, the introduction to this Psalm says, "To the chief Musician, Altaschith, Michtam of David." The word "Michtam" is used in six Psalm titles, always belonging to David (Psalms 16, 5660). All six are psalms of lament and four of the headings have historical references to Davids struggles with the Philistines (56), Saul (57, 59) and the Arameans (60). We're not sure what the word means, nor the word "Altaschith" that precedes it, but it appears to be a technical term that pertains to the style or perhaps the tune to which it was to be sung.
This Psalm may be outlined as follows:
One more thing: Paul quotes verse 4 in Romans 3:13 (see notes).
Let me live long and prosper (Psalm 61)
To the chief Musician upon Neginah, A Psalm of David.
1 Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer.
2 From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
3 For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy.
4 I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Selah.
5 For thou, O God, hast heard my vows: thou hast given me the heritage of those that fear thy name.
6 Thou wilt prolong the king’s life: and his years as many generations.
7 He shall abide before God for ever: O prepare mercy and truth, which may preserve him.
8 So will I sing praise unto thy name for ever, that I may daily perform my vows.
The introduction to this one says, "To the chief Musician upon Neginah, A Psalm of David." The "Neginah" was probably a type of stringed instrument. David is probably directing that the song be played upon this instrument. David's prayer here is for God to provide strength and longevity to his kingdom and himself. He speaks directly of himself in verse 6, "Thou wilt prolong the kings life: and his years as many generations." With the adversity in David's life - especially in his early years - who would have guessed that he'd die of old age? It just goes to show us: It's not how hard you live, but for whom you live. Then, after referring to himself in third person in verse 6, he adds his personal assurance of eternal life in verse 7 when he says, "He shall abide before God for ever: O prepare mercy and truth, which may preserve him."
To the chief Musician, to Jeduthun, A Psalm of David.
1 Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation.
2 He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defence; I shall not be greatly moved.
3 How long will ye imagine mischief against a man? ye shall be slain all of you: as a bowing wall shall ye be, and as a tottering fence.
4 They only consult to cast him down from his excellency: they delight in lies: they bless with their mouth, but they curse inwardly. Selah.
5 My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.
6 He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence; I shall not be moved.
7 In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.
8 Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.
9 Surely men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree are a lie: to be laid in the balance, they are altogether lighter than vanity.
10 Trust not in oppression, and become not vain in robbery: if riches increase, set not your heart upon them.
11 God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God.
12 Also unto thee, O Lord, belongeth mercy: for thou renderest to every man according to his work.
David wrote this one as well. The Jeduthun named in the introduction is called the kings seer in II Chronicles 35:15 (see notes). David wrote a song for him in which he maintains that man is unreliable as he expresses in verse 4, "they bless with their mouth, but they curse inwardly." However, God is strong and trustworthy as in verse 7, "In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God." You can't trust man, but you can trust God.
Incidentally, Paul may have been referencing verse 12 here when he says in Romans 2:6 (see notes), "Who will render to every man according to his deeds"
A prayer for protection (Psalm 64)
To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.
1 Hear my voice, O God, in my prayer: preserve my life from fear of the enemy.
2 Hide me from the secret counsel of the wicked; from the insurrection of the workers of iniquity:
3 Who whet their tongue like a sword, and bend their bows to shoot their arrows, even bitter words:
4 That they may shoot in secret at the perfect: suddenly do they shoot at him, and fear not.
5 They encourage themselves in an evil matter: they commune of laying snares privily; they say, Who shall see them?
6 They search out iniquities; they accomplish a diligent search: both the inward thought of every one of them, and the heart, is deep.
7 But God shall shoot at them with an arrow; suddenly shall they be wounded.
8 So they shall make their own tongue to fall upon themselves: all that see them shall flee away.
9 And all men shall fear, and shall declare the work of God; for they shall wisely consider of his doing.
10 The righteous shall be glad in the LORD, and shall trust in him; and all the upright in heart shall glory.
David calls upon God to protect him from his enemies. Here's David's desire in verse 2, "Hide me from the secret counsel of the wicked; from the insurrection of the workers of iniquity:" So...when you put your reliance on God, where does that leave you? Answer...verse 10, "The righteous shall be glad in the LORD, and shall trust in him; and all the upright in heart shall glory."
Really, there are just two main thoughts in this Psalm: