The Book of Psalms Chapter Seven Commentary by
Pastor Ron Beckham
He Is Wonderful
Verses 1-2: “O Lord my God, in You I have taken refuge; Save me from all those who pursue me, and deliver me, 2 Or he will tear my soul like a lion, dragging me away, while there is none to deliver." David, the author of Psalm 7, knew that arriving into this world is not unlike being birthed into a wilderness, a place of desperate fear. We were dropped onto the edge of a jungle swamp as a juvenile predator or prey, escorted for a while by the mother who bore us, but all too soon we're on our own. We find that the peaceful seeming "waters" of this world are like a cover for crocodiles and there are lions looming nearby. We must escape in order to survive. And so David, who was often surrounded by enemies, cried out, "O Lord my God," as we all should, to the Lord who brought us into this world. Faithfully turn to Him and trust Him, for He is the One who gives "refuge," not only to David, but for you, too.
Verses 3-5: "O Lord my God, if I have done this, if there is injustice in my hands, 4 If I have rewarded evil to my friend, or have plundered him who without cause was my adversary, 5 Let the enemy pursue my soul and overtake it; and let him trample my life down to the ground and lay my glory in the dust. Selah." Notice David's awareness that he was not necessarily the "good guy" in all that was happening to him... to always think we are right is a form of self-centeredness. When we were babies, we wanted everything, and we EXPECTED it. We felt ENTITLED to the extent that we thought it all was ours. That's one problem, and the second problem is when we discover that our caregivers aren't really so good at what they do. You yelled and they were slow to feed you. The blanket slipped off, you were cold, and worse yet, the diaper was full... there was a noise outside and it woke you up... they were slow to make it all better. The real source of our anger has a basis that existed long ago. That unsatisfied child wants what it did not have and that scream of rage, though perhaps outwardly silent, still shouts within. We don't admit it, even to ourselves, but so many of our problems are because we feel deprived at the level of the soul. If our parents were not there for us as quickly as we wanted, will God, who is our true Father, be there? We are to examine ourselves as David did. Have I been unjust? Have I sought revenge? Have I taken from others just because I wanted what they had? And if I find that I am the problem, what will I do? We start by telling the Lord.
Verses 6-8: "Arise, O Lord, in Your anger; Lift up Yourself against the rage of my adversaries, and arouse Yourself for me; You have appointed judgment. 7 Let the assembly of the peoples encompass You, and over them return on high. 8 The Lord judges the peoples; vindicate me, O Lord, according to my righteousness and my integrity that is in me." There are striking similarities between our life in humanity here on earth, and a classroom. One interesting aspect of our earthly school is how we are graded. God is our Teacher and He gives only a Pass or Fail—no other grades are awarded. King David, the author of this song of Israel we call "Psalm 7," didn't get everything right in the "school" we view as "life," but he passed the course. That was because he believed, he trusted in the Great Instructor, the One he called, as others often do: The "Lord." It is actually more correct to say that, yes, we are in attendance at school, but it is our Instructor who has passed the course—you and I simply share in His great Victory by our faith in Him and what He has done. Paul the Apostle, later in time from this Psalm, passed the course also because of his discovery that, "the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23). We succeed when we place our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. The "adversaries" here are those who choose to remain in unbelief, the "assembly of the peoples" are those who come to the Lord in faith, and "righteousness" along with "integrity" become ours when we let the Lord into our heart and life.
Verses 9-10: "O let the evil of the wicked come to an end, but establish the righteous; for the righteous God tries the hearts and minds. 10 My shield is with God, who saves the upright in heart." Our focus in life tends to be all wrong. People become incessantly "busy" in order to avoid confronting our own inadequacies. The result is that we do not live in an upright world. All this so-called "music," all the fervor about sports, the wars and rumors of war that surround us, the lies and all kinds of sin—what's it all about? There is something wrong! And we're all part of the problem. The good news is that the "evil of the wicked" ends for us personally when we decide with David: "My shield is with God." We take ourselves to Him just as we are and let "the righteous God (try our) hearts and minds." It's being "born again," as Jesus taught in John 3:3, and life changes for the good as we discover: "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come" (2 Corinthians 5:17). You and I are not righteous in ourselves, but instead God Himself establishes HIS righteousness in us. He does what we could not do.
Verses 11-13: "God is a righteous judge, and a God who has indignation every day. 12 If a man does not repent, He will sharpen His sword; He has bent His bow and made it ready. 13 He has also prepared for Himself deadly weapons; He makes His arrows fiery shafts." Why is life so hard, we might ask? Are we indignant about the events that surround us? God Himself is more indignant than we can imagine. We are concerned about outward events and their effect on our nation, our family, ourselves... He looks at our thoughts, even when we repress our feelings and pretend we did not have them. And here in Verse 12 is the dividing point for humanity—which road will we choose? It all starts with repentance. We must stop what we are and become what God wants... but we can't fully accomplish it and we know it. We sense that judgment is ahead—and we need help! We can't pass the course, but God has done it, and through repentance, through His grace, operative through faith in the Lord, we find He is "patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should seek repentance" (2 Peter 3:9). Repent of unbelief and you will find faith in Him.
Verses 14-16: "Behold, he travails with wickedness, and he conceives mischief and brings forth falsehood. 15 He has dug a pit and hollowed it out, and has fallen into the hole which he made. 16 His mischief will return upon his own head, and his violence will descend upon his own pate." The "wickedness" of this world is summed up by the words of the Tenth Commandment: "You shall not covet" (Deuteronomy 5:21). When you burn with desire for something or someone that does not belong to you, it's called covetousness. In Matthew 5:22 and 28, the Lord reveals that to think it is the same as doing it in the sight of God. "Wickedness... mischief and... falsehood" fill this world and humanity has no solution to the problem. And notice that we often create our own problems in life through participation in all this. It's like digging a pit for someone else and falling into it ourselves. Our thoughts, our actions bring consequences that are like boomerangs we launch and then watch them turn around and hit us in the face. But God Himself has the Solution, and His Name is Jesus Christ.
Verse 17: "I will give thanks to the Lord according to His righteousness and will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High." You may or may not like your body, but it is God's gift to you. Even its shortcomings were carefully designed to bring you to the highest possible outcome, which is faith in the Lord. Your abilities or lack of them, your wealth or poverty, sickness or health, your family if you have one—all of it, "good" or "bad" from our perspective, is God's careful workmanship designed to unite you with Him who loves you. And you know you've got it right when you "give thanks to the Lord," no matter what the circumstances. You recognize that "righteousness" is an aspect of God Himself and if you find righteousness growing with you, it's His work in you. Instead of always lapsing into depression or anger, you find yourself singing "praise" to "the Lord Most High," just because He is Wonderful. God heals, God helps, God saves; He is “Wonderful” as the prophet said in Isaiah 9:6. And He is Yours—forever.
Lord, I have been dissatisfied and I have complained. My response has been unbelief instead of faith. I confess my sin and I trust in You. I am Yours, Lord. Please forgive me and heal me. Thank You. In Jesus Name. Amen.