1 Hear my voice, O God, in my complaint;
preserve my life from dread of the enemy.
2 Hide me from the secret plots of the wicked,
from the throng of evildoers,
3 who whet their tongues like swords,
who aim bitter words like arrows,
4 shooting from ambush at the blameless,
shooting at him suddenly and without fear.
5 They hold fast to their evil purpose;
they talk of laying snares secretly,
thinking, “Who can see them?”
6 They search out injustice,
saying, “We have accomplished a diligent search.”
For the inward mind and heart of a man are deep.
7 But God shoots his arrow at them;
they are wounded suddenly.
8 They are brought to ruin, with their own tongues turned against them;
all who see them will wag their heads.
9 Then all mankind fears;
they tell what God has brought about
and ponder what he has done.
10 Let the righteous one rejoice in the Lord
and take refuge in him!
Let all the upright in heart exult!
In studying this passage, David was pleading with God to keep him safe from the throng of evildoers. The Hebrew word for throng is rigshâh, which means noisy crowd or a multitude. As David says in the Psalm, the evildoers lay snares in secret. They have persuaded themselves that God does not exists, and cannot see what they do. And so they say “who can see us?” (vs. 5). This is at the bottom of wickedness, persuading oneself that there is either no God, or that God does not see evil. But God does see and David knows this. So he rejoices in the Lord, even when these evildoers wound him. They will be brought to ruin by their own tongues (vs.8). They will be held accountable for their sins against David. And David says “rejoice in the LORD and take refuge in Him!” (v. 10).
It’s no coincidence that this mirrors Jesus’ persecution, death and resurrection. Jesus was slandered, and plotted against by a noisy crowd. He was persecuted and crucified by a people that did not believe Jesus was not the Messiah. Just as snares were planned for David in secret, Jesus had them too. Even within His community, snares were laid in secret when Jesus is betrayed by Judas. And Jesus cries out many times to God to deliver him (Heb. 5:7) as David does. Jesus’ enemies are ultimately brought to ruin by their own words (that he was not the Messiah) at the Resurrection. When Jesus emerges from the tomb, mankind fears (vs. 9) and they tell what God has done.
I take comfort in this passage. I know that even when the slanderers and noisy crowds come, laying snares in secret to destroy me - God will provide justice. I can take refuge in the LORD, just as David and Jesus did.
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