Read Psalm 140
For the director of music. A psalm of David.
1 Rescue me, Lord, from evildoers;
protect me from the violent,
2 who devise evil plans in their hearts
and stir up war every day.
3 They make their tongues as sharp as a serpent’s;
the poison of vipers is on their lips.
4 Keep me safe, Lord, from the hands of the wicked;
protect me from the violent,
who devise ways to trip my feet.
5 The arrogant have hidden a snare for me;
they have spread out the cords of their net
and have set traps for me along my path.
6 I say to the Lord, “You are my God.”
Hear, Lord, my cry for mercy.
7 Sovereign Lord, my strong deliverer,
you shield my head in the day of battle.
8 Do not grant the wicked their desires, Lord;
do not let their plans succeed.
9 Those who surround me proudly rear their heads;
may the mischief of their lips engulf them.
10 May burning coals fall on them;
may they be thrown into the fire,
into miry pits, never to rise.
11 May slanderers not be established in the land;
may disaster hunt down the violent.
12 I know that the Lord secures justice for the poor
and upholds the cause of the needy.
13 Surely the righteous will praise your name,
and the upright will live in your presence.
David’s self-awareness of the true enemy stands out in this passage. His plea with God is clear in his desperate language, “deliver me, preserve me, guard me [from evil, wicked, and violent men].” Our culture today minimizes the idea of a true enemy while maximizing the small offenses. We often act as if we are on a playground rather than a battlefield. This passage reminds us that the enemy of our souls is after us. He has hidden traps for us, spread out nets, and set out snares all in hopes to bait us into sin. These traps, nets, and snares look different in each of our lives. These are the things we hold onto white knuckled , that we idolize, and look to to tell us our worth.
David’s response to this stress is prayer and communication with God. David isn’t seeking to be right, he is seeking righteousness. He is striving for the enemy to be defeated, not for his own gain or self-preservation, but for the Kingdom of God to be advanced. In verse 9 and 10 we see how seriously he takes his opponent and how desperately David desires for evil to be demolished. In today’s world we often tolerate or minimize the work of the evil one. Our prayer should be the same as David- that evil would be defeated and that justice would prevail. David was confident that the Lord would defend His people who were being afflicted.
We try to manipulate God into aligning Him with our political party or supporting our social justice agenda, when, in reality, the battle belongs to God and justice is His. He is righteous, and just, and we’d be wise to align our hearts with His rather than trying to manipulate Him into our small offenses and entitlements.
Imagine what our world would look like if our posture was the same as David’s. Our hearts would be surrendered to the only One who sits on a throne of righteousness and justice (Psalm 89:14). Our minds would be committed to memorizing His words (Psalm 119:110). Our wills would be submitted to His agenda and plan (Romans 12:2).
- In what ways are you attempting to be the judge of others’ lives? How could you approach them (in thought or deed) more graciously this week?
- What are the traps, nets and snares in your life? How do you actively fight the enemy?
- Psalm 119:11 says “I have stored up your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” What Scripture have you written on your heart to combat the lies the enemy feeds you?
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