Deliver Me, O Lord, from Evil Men
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.
140 Deliver me, O LORD, from evil men;
preserve me from violent men,
who plan evil things in their heart
and stir up wars continually.
They make their tongue sharp as a serpent’s,
and under their lips is the venom of asps. Selah
Guard me, O LORD, from the hands of the wicked;
preserve me from violent men,
who have planned to trip up my feet.
The arrogant have hidden a trap for me,
and with cords they have spread a net;
beside the way they have set snares for me. Selah
I say to the LORD, You are my God;
give ear to the voice of my pleas for mercy, O LORD!
O LORD, my Lord, the strength of my salvation,
you have covered my head in the day of battle.
Grant not, O LORD, the desires of the wicked;
do not further their evil plot, or they will be exalted! Selah
As for the head of those who surround me,
let the mischief of their lips overwhelm them!
Let burning coals fall upon them!
Let them be cast into fire,
into miry pits, no more to rise!
Let not the slanderer be established in the land;
let evil hunt down the violent man speedily!
I know that the LORD will maintain the cause of the afflicted,
and will execute justice for the needy.
Surely the righteous shall give thanks to your name;
the upright shall dwell in your presence.
Psalm 140 Commentary
by Hank Workman
“The ‘wicked’ may arrogantly desire, plan, and execute; but the Master of the universe cannot tolerate anarchy for long. To this end the plea changes into an imprecatory prayer.”VanGemeren
David had been hit again by terrible slander and threats. Note he does not go into a time of praise or contemplation, he went straight for his plea. He suffered greatly under the pressure and presence of evil and violent men who would not stop at anything in their attempts to bring him down. David was seeking relief that only God could bring.
The reality was these who were against him were taking actions which were evil, revealing the true nature of their soul. People can dress up their hearts all they want but the truth of who they are shows no matter what they may do. They can quote scripture, and make statements with ‘God-themed’ basis but the truth will show itself. God always reveals this in His timing. Yet, there is something very powerful in stepping back and looking at the fruit in such times of those who have come against. Even with their charade of being faithful, the mask of commitment to the true nature of their hearts and fruit of their lives is on display.
Before we consider the words or statements coming against, we must look at the source. We must investigate through the Holy Spirit, as hard as that may be, to see if anything they say is of validity. This is something only God can reveal. It is the enemy’s plan to get us to buy the lie and become more insecure in who we are in Christ.
Once a conclusion has come – if we are at fault or there is validity, the response on our part is seeking forgiveness, however, that looks. But if there is nothing of truth even to be found in their attacks, we must move on and away from those who are bent on destruction and who love to hear themselves speak. We must let the peace of Christ rule and live in us.
The truth of the matter is only God can help us get through such a hurdle in particular when the words and actions of another have been so destructive. David felt the poison of their words and so do we. David prayed for God to keep him from their hands and sought His protection. And so must we. He recognized the evil nature within these men and could not afford any more exposure to them and their ways.
Sometimes we too must make drastic decisions to cut off those who bring such horror to our lives. He also knew that God’s justice would prevail. It may not be immediate but he rested in the fact his heart had sought truth and in His timing, He would deal with them. His prayers bold, in the end, he trusted his God to act and deliver. This is where his strength would come and this is where ours is found.
Psalm 140 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
When we go to God in our afflictions, we can rest knowing that He hears us. We can find peace with the fact that we are exactly where we need to be in such a situation. Instead of harboring bitterness and anger toward our enemies, we bring it to God. Instead of gossiping and demonizing this enemy of ours, we plead with God for intervention.
This is an important concept to grasp for the praying Christian. Don’t make change the primary reason for praying. Saturate yourself in communion with God in such a way that He will know us and we will know Him.
There is nothing wrong with venting to God. This seems to be exactly what David is doing. The difference, however, is that scattered within this prayer we find flashes of a deep, trusting relationship.
“Protect me, Lord.”
“You are my God.”
“I know that the Lord defends the poor and needy.”
These are peace-producing affirmations that fill David’s heart. He knows God protects. He knows God is His Father. He knows God will defend those in need.
When my daughter falls down and hurts herself, she runs to me with tears in her eyes. She tells me exactly what happened and how much it hurt her. She knows deep down that she can find peace, encouragement, and guidance by coming to me. In some ways, it would make sense for her not to come to me because the damage has already been done. The consequences have already occurred. But this is not our nature as humans. We long to find comfort in our afflictions by resting in the arms of another who loves us, knows us, and will protect us.
Sometimes I speak to her and sometimes I just hold her. God does the same. The point is, some of us do not run to God in these times. We run to food, or relationships, or sex, or money to bring us comfort. We run to our friends and gossip about the person who has wronged us so we can hear them say just how horribly we were mistreated.
Go to Your Father and sit on his lap. Tell Him how you feel and what’s troubling you. Rest in the peace of the One who knows you better than anyone else in the universe. Today, take a step toward deeper intimacy with God.