Scripture reading – Psalm 7


Scholars believe David wrote Psalm 7 as a reflection of a time he had become the object of slander and lies. The occasion of the psalm is stated in its title, revealing it was composed regarding the attacks of one Cush, the Benjamite. Who he was, or the reason for his malicious attack is unknown. Yet, considering King Saul was a Benjamite, Cush’s motive for slandering David might have been fueled by his jealousy for the king’s sake. Perhaps Cush’s proximity to the king gave credence to his slanders against David and subtly undermined his strained relationship with Saul. 


Slandered and accused of disloyalty, David appealed to the LORD for justice and vindication in the psalm. (Author’s note: The words in brackets are my amplification of word meanings.)


David Appealed to the LORD (7:1-2)


Psalm 7:1-2 – “O LORD my God, in thee do I put my trust [hope]: save [deliver; help; preserve] me from all them that persecute [pursue; chase] me, and deliver me: 2  Lest he tear my soul like a lion, rending it in pieces, while there is none to deliver [save].


Notice that it was not David’s body but his soul that endured the attacks on his character and reputation (7:2).  Leaders know the attacks of an enemy are often deep and personal, leaving them feeling alone and vulnerable. In his sorrow, David cried to the LORD, “In thee do I put my trust” (7:1).

David Pleaded for Justice and Vindication (7:3-9)


Psalm 7:3-5 – “O LORD my God, if I have done this [the wrong for which he was accused]; if there be iniquity [wickedness] in my hands; 4  If I have rewarded evil unto him that was at peace with me; (yea, I have delivered [plundered] him that without cause is mine enemy:) 5  Let the enemy persecute my soul, and take it; yea, let him tread down [oppress; trample] my life upon the earth, and lay mine honour [glory; reputation] in the dust. Selah.”


David confessed what I have learned: that the protestations of one’s innocence to an enemy are usually to no avail. Sadly, many will believe the slander of a leader rather than give weight and credence to a lifetime of faithfulness.  Slanderers will attack one’s character and assault his reputation. The righteous, however, must determine to trust the Lord for vindication. Of course, vindication is often a process of years, not days or months. 


Psalm 7:6-8 – “Arise, O LORD, in thine anger, lift up [go forth, as one to meet an enemy] thyself because of the rage of mine enemies: and awake [stir up] for me to the judgment [to execute justice] that thou hast commanded [charged; appointed]. 7 So shall the congregation of the people compass thee [the LORD] about: for their sakes [the sake of the people] therefore return [again] thou on high [to dispense justice]. 8  The LORD shall judge [plead the cause; execute judgment] the people: judge [plead; avenge; vindicate] me, O LORD, according to my righteousness [rightness before the law], and according to mine integrity [innocence]that is in me.”


With humility and confidence in God’s justice, David appealed to the LORD to be the judge of his enemies and the vindicator of his rightness and integrity.

Psalm 7:9 – “Oh let the wickedness [sin; evil] of the wicked [ungodly; guilty] come to an end [cease; fail]; but establish [confirm] the just: for the righteous [just; lawful] God trieth [proves; tests; examines] the hearts and reins [i.e., mind; inward parts].” *


Note in verse 9 that David made two requests: The first was that the wicked would fail in their desire and schemes to destroy him. Secondly, the LORD, knowing his heart, would affirm his integrity and establish his testimony.


God is Just! (7:10-17)


Psalm 7:10-11 – My defence [shield] is of God, which saveth [delivers; preserve] the upright [righteous; just]in heart [mind; understanding]. 11 God judgeth [pleads the cause; vindicates] the righteous [lawful; innocent], and God is angry [enraged; indignant] with the wicked every day.


David was reminded that God is always Just in His dealings.  He hears the cry of the upright and comes to the defense of the righteous. The LORD is a shield and deliverer for the righteous (7:10).  He vindicates their cause, but the wicked provoke his anger (7:11). Indeed, let the wicked be forewarned: God is angry with them every day!

Psalm 7:12-13 – If he [the wicked] turn not [do not repent], he [God] will whet [sharpen] his sword; he [God]hath bent [draw; bend; string the bow] his bow, and made it ready [prepared]13 He [God] hath also prepared for him [the wicked] the instruments [weapons; vessels] of death; he [God] ordaineth [prepares] his arrows against the persecutors [i.e., those in pursuit].


David warned: Should the wicked continue in their sinful ways and refuse to repent; God would act as their judge and executioner (7:12-13). They would suffer the consequences of their sin (7:14-16).


Psalm 7:14-16 – Behold, he [the wicked] travaileth [struggles; labors] with iniquity [wickedness; sorrow], and hath conceived [i.e., planned; plotted] mischief [sin; trouble; sorrow], and brought forth [given birth to]falsehood [untruth; lies; untruths]. 15 He [the wicked] made [digged] a pit [trap; hole], and digged [search out; pry; explore] it, and is fallen [cast down; abandon] into the ditch [pit; grave] which he [the wicked] made. 16 His [the wicked] mischief [sin; iniquity; wickedness] shall return upon his own head, and his violent [cruel; wrong] dealing shall come down [descend] upon his own pate [scalp; the crown of his head].


Closing thoughts: The wicked take pleasure in sin for a season; however, choices have consequences! 


The wicked reject God, despise His Word, and scorn His people. They plot against God’s people and assert their sinful ways and philosophies through lies, deceit, and wickedness. They are spiritually blind to the reality that a just God will not withhold His judgment forever.  In the words of Moses to Israel, the wicked can be assured, “Your sin will find you out” (Number 32:23).


Psalm 7 concluded with a doxology of praise and thanksgiving that the LORD is always just!

Psalm 7:17I will praise [give thanks] the LORD [Yahweh; Jehovah; Eternal God] according to his righteousness [justice; righteous cause]: and will sing praise [sing psalms] to the name [reputation; memory]of the LORD most high [Supreme; i.e., in the highest].


Questions to consider:


  • Remembering his years as a shepherd, how did David describe his fears concerning the slander of his enemy? (7:1-2)


  • What did David pray would become of the plots and schemes of his enemy? (7:15-16)

Copyright © 2023 – Travis D. Smith

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