“O LORD my God, in thee do I put my trust: save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me:
Lest he tear my soul like a lion, rending it in pieces, while there is none to deliver.
O LORD my God, if I have done this; if there be iniquity in my hands;
If I have rewarded evil unto him that was at peace with me; (yea, I have delivered him that without cause is mine enemy:)
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.
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.
So shall the congregation of the people compass thee about: for their sakes therefore return thou on high.
The LORD shall judge the people: judge me, O LORD, according to my righteousness, and according to mine integrity that is in me.
Oh let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end; but establish the just: for the righteous God trieth the hearts and reins.”
-Psalm 7:1-9 (KJV)
David now writes because of a man named Cush who is persecuting him. Whoever this man was (we aren’t certain), he said some terrible things and committed some awful acts. David is trusting God in this situation; perhaps he feels like he doesn’t fully understand why he is being persecuted. But then, what other option to we have when trials befall us but to trust in God. We read in verse two just how this predicament has made David feel- he feels as though he may be torn to pieces and this adds urgency to his prayer. He has no one else to turn to and he us under attack. I get his struggle- having moved out and learning to live on my own, the few friends that I have managed to make in my new location are school bound, and I would not wish to burden them with my struggles. There are days when I become so overwhelmed that even failing to reciprocate a hug properly will upset me, and physical touch isn’t even my ‘love language’! On those days all I want to do is get back to my apartment and spend time in communion with God. Not much more can add such urgency to prayer than when you feel your enemies may shred you to bits like a lion! David prays for deliverance- and who wouldn’t! But he prays with confidence, that God will deliver him from this trial he is facing.
David appeals to the heavenly courts for his innocence. He doesn’t claim to be without sin, but whatever accusations Cush brought up against him to slander him, David claims innocence to those things. David knew he was innocent in this case, otherwise he wouldn’t have appealed to God on these things (remember last Psalm how we discussed life on the other side of the Cross? David would not have appealed to God if he thought there was any fault against him.) In the notes to the side of my Bible verses, it says for verse 4 ‘Evil for Good’. I’m sure you’ve heard it said before ‘No good deed goes unpunished’. But David had never rendered evil for evil, not even when others told him it was merited. And he certainly never returned evil for any good done to him by Cush.
David calls on God to step in- he had the presence of mind to, while undergoing serious accusations and being pursued by his enemies, seek God. And not just seek God, but he requests that God judge them both. David is so sure of his innocence that he tells God to judge him on these accusations. He sure prays boldly on this- perhaps also brought on by his fear of being torn to bits. He tells God to get up and judge him! Not a prayer I can really say I have ever prayed. It is a good lesson to learn though. We ought to be so sure of our standing that we can pray with such boldness and confidence before God as to request that He judge us by our righteousness. Of course, David continues with his plea for the wicked to cease being wicked, as God tries them and their true character is revealed.
I’m going to compare David to Paul again, because of his boldness. Paul attributes his boldness to God. (“In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.” -Ephesians 3: 12) But Paul is on our side of the cross. David’s boldness is a combination of his knowledge (he knew he was innocent) and the many hours he spent reflecting on the character of God. Now, both these people were very different- Paul definitely had a knack for turning everything into praising God, everything. He did his best in his wording for everything to never give himself credit for what he had been taught by God. David’s psalms don’t have a ‘boldness’ tag in the side margin of my Bible. He is still a very humble person (as we have learned that his reflections of how Holy God is often brought him lower as he realized how not holy he was in contrast), but he never feels the need to speak of his boldness directly, we just see evidence of it in his songs. These two represent two different, yet similar, characteristics of boldness, and we can glean a lot from considering them both.
I will leave that study up to you though. I recommend reading “The Apostle: A Life of Paul” by John Pollock for more insight into what brought Paul to where he was when he wrote his letters. I think the only ‘book’ I have read concerning David is “David: 90 days with a Heart like His” by Beth Moore when I was in high school. While I do recommend going through that study (and her other 90 day studies, which are reflective and not necessarily books), I’m sure there are other books out there that aren’t 90 day studies and that give more history and background and insight into David’s life. (feel free to list any books you have read that have been beneficial to you!)
Be blessed, pray with boldness, and challenge yourself to give sacrificially this week!