Scripture reading – (Psalm 140)


The title of Psalm 140 identified David as the author. Though not given, its occasion was most likely when he fled from King Saul and became a fugitive in the wilderness. This is the second of two devotions for today, and our primary focus is the first five verses of David’s prayer (Psalm 140:1-5). The words in brackets are the word amplifications by this author and are suggested for clarity.


David’s Prayer and Depiction of the Wicked (Psalm 140:1-3).


Psalm 140:1-3– “Deliver me, O LORD, from the evil man [who is wicked and immoral]: preserve me from the violent man [who is unjust, cruel and malicious];

Which imagine [devise; plot; purpose] mischiefs [evil] in their heart; continually are they gathered together forwar [assembled for battle and fighting].

3 They have sharpened their tongues [talk; speech] like a serpent; adders’ [viper’s] poison is under their lips. Selah.” [The wicked are full of fury; wrath; rage; indignation]


David understood the sinful character of his enemy (“evil, violent, wicked, and proud”). He did not underestimate the malicious ways or evil intent of his adversaries (140:1). He comprehended that the wicked “imagine mischiefs” and plot and plan evil (140:2). They threaten, and their tongues pierce the soul like the poison of vipers (140:3).


David’s Petition (Psalm 140:4)


Psalm 140:4 – “4 Keep me, O LORD, from the hands of the wicked; preserve me from the violent man; who have purposed [devised; plotted] to overthrow [cast down; i.e., with intent to harm; to drive away] my goings [steps].”


David looked to the LORD for protection. He knew the wicked would not be satisfied until good men were cast down (140:4). Driven by pride, they set traps to ensnare the righteous (140:5).

David’s Suspicion of the Ways of the Wicked (Psalm 140:5)


Psalm 140:5 – “5 The proud [arrogant] have hid a snare [trap] for me, and cords [a noose]; they have spread a net [i.e., a trap for catching animals] by the wayside; they have set gins [traps] for me. Selah.”


David’s Affirmation of the LORD and Prophecy Concerning His Judgment (140:6-12)

In the closing verses of Psalm 140, David affirmed the LORD was his God and petitioned Him to “hear the voice of [his] supplications [pleads]” (140:6). He did not minimize his enemy’s desire to destroy him (140:8). He prayed his foes would fall victim to their slanders and snares (140:9-11).


Though David bore the sorrows of betrayal, he remained confident that the LORD was just and protected those who trusted Him (140:12).


Closing thoughts:


Please take a moment and review David’s portrayal of his enemy: Evil; Violent; Wicked; and Proud. He was not naive or deluded concerning the character of his enemies. His portrayal of his enemy might shock the sensibilities of some. However, we must be wise and discerning regarding the character of the wicked and their sinful ways.


Lesson: Dismissing or minimizing the character of an enemy is foolish and dangerous. 


A personal observation: We live in a day that has embraced “political correctness” at the sacrifice of principle. Sadly, among believers and churches, there is a growing reticence to confront the sinfulness of society. Believer, it is not enough to identify the enemies of Christ and His people. Nor is it enough to define what manner of people the enemies of God and Truth are, for they are evil, wicked, violent, and proud.  I urge you to embrace Paul’s challenge to Timothy as your summons to duty:


2 Timothy 4:2, 5 – Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine…5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.

Copyright © 2023 – Travis D. Smith

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