Sunday, April 4, 2010 pm
The psalm has also been compared to the plotting against Mordecai by Haman in the book of Esther or Daniel by his enemies who plotted against him to have him cast into the den of lions. On that vein, we could find many examples, most prominent being our Lord as they plotted against Him to kill Him, including Judas plotting to betray Him.
Our comfort in this psalm is that when our enemies plot against us, we know that God knows and is STILL in control, as always!
a. David begins with prayer – typical. Note the word “meditation”. NASU – “complaint”, KJV, “prayer”
my life – typical of his requests, BUT note the wording, “Preserve my
life from fear of the enemy.”
David wants to be protected, not just his life, but from fear or
dread of the enemy. In other
words, David did NOT want to be afraid of his enemy.
LESSON: Do we fear our enemies? Note that God has no use for cowards – Rev. 21:8, 1 Peter 3:14-15 – do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled; but sanctify the Lord God in your hearts…
That is not to say we should not be alert or cautious or diplomatic in dealing with our enemies. (1 Peter 5:8, 1 Thess. 5:8) But do we let them stop us from doing what is right?
c. Their secret plots (2)
i. David begins by praying, “Hide me from their secret plots” – while we seek to not fear our enemies in a cowardly way, we realize that the enemy devises evil schemes that we need to be aware. We have the responsibility to keep our eyes open. Consider especially the schemes of the devil himself – do not be ignorant of his devices (2 Cor. 2:11).
ii. Often the work of the enemy is done with scheming. They chose their words and actions carefully, as is described throughout this psalm.
iii. Rebellion – of those doing iniquity (wickedness). Whatever this is, it is a clear attempt to subvert.
use words (2-3)
– yet another example of the power of words.
Words can do GREAT harm and sometimes they are all that is needed to destroy something. Churches have divided, trust has been lost, problems caused or increased, Christians persecuted, all over words.
Outside of Christ, words have divided nations, caused wars, destroyed homes and friendships, caused great misery, cost time and resources and countless other evils in society. Often the FIRST weapon used of an enemy is words.
Just this past week the news reported a young lady committing suicide because she was bullied, which included malicious words against her. Sadly that is NOT an isolated incident.
IN OUR TEXT, their arrows are – bitter words.
1. Such were used by Absalom to turn the people against David.
2. Such were used by Haman against Mordecai, against Daniel by his enemies,
3. And against our Lord in their efforts to discredit and kill Him.
4. Prov. 30:14 says, “There is a generation whose teeth are like swords, and whose fangs are like knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from among men.”
v. Let us never forget the dangers of the tongue – James 3:5-9, Psalm 141:3, “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips.” James 1:26, “If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this one’s religion is useless.”
vi. They shoot in secret at the blameless (4) – still dealing with words, he now specifies that their words are NOT direct, but behind the back. Words that do the worst kind of damage because often the innocent is unaware of what is being said and they are spoken in malice.
not fear (4) – 3 times in this
chapter we read of fear.
David prays that God will protect him from fearing his enemies.
HERE, we find the enemies of David (and God) do not fear Him.
That is, they act without fear in their for the consequences of
Friends, there is NO bigger error that one can commit than to fail to adequately fear God! Matt. 10:28, Luke 12:5.
encourage themselves (5) –
encouraging themselves in an evil matter to me means they lie to
themselves to justify their wicked conduct.
How many today act against the godly in total delusion.
They have lied to themselves.
This applies to our worldly enemies who want to destroy the Christian faith AND even among brethren, there are those who seek to portray themselves in the best light which portraying their brethren who oppose them in the worst possible light.
Before you say “amen” to this, realize there are two sides to an issue and often BOTH sides are guilty of this justification.
Friends, this is why the ONLY foundation that will resolve problems is TOTAL HONESTY!
set traps – The idea of traps
indicates evil motives within itself.
Just as the enemies of Jesus sought to set traps against Him
(Luke 6:7, 20:20).
THE TRAPS they set, they think are fool proof, “who will see them” or they think they have covered every option. HAVE YOU ever thought you covered every angle only to be blindsided? For example: Have you ever played chess and make a move thinking it is the best move only to be beaten in the next round?
ANOTHER thought here is how enemies band together to do their work. Seldom is all the damage that takes place done by an individual person. Enemies often plot!
x. They devise iniquities and say “we have perfected a shrewd scheme” – the enemy is ALWAYS plotting and seeking some new way to attack. Be aware. They will use everything they have at their disposal. Therefore, we need to put on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-13).
a. The rest of this chapter is typical Davidic writing, discussed before. The point: In the end, God will win and His followers will prevail. However, there are always lessons worth mentioning.
Vs. 7, “God
shall shoot them with an arrow.
Suddenly they are wounded.”
Man often shoots and misses (see above verses), but not so with God. His aim is perfect.
I think of David and his sling against Goliath – ONE stone between the eyes! (1 Kings 17:25-31)
I think of how Absalom was caught in a tree as he pursued David. (2 Sam. 18:9-15).
I think of Ahab who tried to escape God in battle by wearing a disguise, but a lone bowman drew his bow and fatally wounded him between the seams of his armor. (1 Kings 22:34-36).
That is why Paul could say with total confidence, “If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Rom. 8:31)
Vs. 8 –
God will cause them to be caught by their own words.
How often do we find one’s own words being their undoing? Like Haman who was hung on his own gallows and the enemies of Daniel who were cast into the den of lions that Daniel was delivered from.
Vs. 9 –
All men shall fear –
WHEN God establishes His greatness, men will fear Him. This is the 3rd mention of fear in this psalm. It is the result of God’s victory. You cannot fight against God and win! NOTE that all WILL fear God – the only question is WHEN? Philippians 2:9-11, Romans 14:10-11, Isa. 45:22-25
All will declare His work, wisely consider His doings – that last expression in being descriptive of the enemies of God notes that they WILL acknowledge Him whether they want to or not. As one commentator described this, “For they shall understand His operation.” (Pulpit Commentary)
RIGHTEOUS will be glad and trust in Him.
The upright in heart will glory.
This will ultimately be fulfilled when our Lord returns, but even in this life, the righteous RECOGNIZE and GLORIFY God in all that happens.
And thus we see another psalm of David. Again we see the confidence we need in our God as we deal with those of this world, especially when they are oppose Him and us in Him. Never give up!