|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
7:1-9 David flees to God for succour. But Christ alone could call on Heaven to attest his uprightness in all things. All His works were wrought in righteousness; and the prince of this world found nothing whereof justly to accuse him. Yet for our sakes, submitting to be charged as guilty, he suffered all evils, but, being innocent, he triumphed over them all. The plea is, For the righteous God trieth the hearts and the reins. He knows the secret wickedness of the wicked, and how to bring it to an end; he is witness to the secret sincerity of the just, and has ways of establishing it. When a man has made peace with God about all his sins, upon the terms of grace and mercy, through the sacrifice of the Mediator, he may, in comparison with his enemies, appeal to God's justice to decide.
Verse 3. - O Lord my God, if I have done this; i.e. "this which is laid to my charge." The general charge against David in Saul's lifetime was that he "sought the king's hurt" (1 Samuel 24:9). Afterwards he was accused of being "a bloody man" (2 Samuel 16:8) - the death of Ishbosheth, and perhaps of others, being regarded as his work. If there be iniquity in my hands. If, i.e., I have committed any criminal act, if any definite offence can be charged against me. Human weakness and imperfection David does not mean to deny, but, like Job, he maintains in a certain qualified sense his righteousness.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
O Lord my God, if I have done this. The crime which Saul and his courtiers charged him with, and which was made so public that every body knew it; and therefore it was needless particularly to mention it; namely, that he lay in wait for Saul, and sought his life to take it away, 1 Samuel 24:9. The Targum interprets it of this psalm, paraphrasing it, "if I have made this song with an evil intention"; to give an ill character of any, and lead them with false charges;
if there be iniquity in my hands; not that he was without sin, he had it in his heart; nor that he lived without the actual commission of sin: but his sense is, that there was no iniquity, as not in his heart, purpose, and design, so not in his hand, nor attempted by him, of the kind he was accused of, 1 Samuel 24:11. Otherwise, we often hear him complaining of the depravity of his nature, and acknowledging his sins and transgressions, Psalm 32:5.
The Treasury of David
3 O Lord my God, if I have done this; if there be iniquity in my hands;
4 If I have rewarded evil unto him that was at peace with me; (yea, I have delivered him that without cause is mine enemy:)
5 Let the enemy persecute my soul, and take it; yea, let him tread down my life upon the earth, and lay mine honour in the dust. Selah.
The second part of this wandering hymn contains a protestation of innocence, and an invocation of wrath upon his own head, if he were not clear from the evil imputed to him. So far from hiding treasonable intentions in his hands, or ungratefully requiting the peaceful deeds of a friend, he had even suffered his enemy to escape when he had him completely in his power. Twice had he spared Saul's life; once in the cave of Adullam, and again when he found him sleeping in the midst of his slumbering camp; he could, therefore, with a clear conscience, make his appeal to heaven. He needs not fear the curse whose soul is clear of guilt. Yet is the imprecation a most solemn one, and only justifiable through the extremity of the occasion, and the nature of the dispensation under which the Psalmist lived. We are commanded by our Lord Jesus to let our yea be yea, and our nay, nay; "for whatsoever is more than this cometh of evil." If we cannot be believed on our word, we are surely not to be trusted on our oath; for to a true Christian his simple word is as binding as another man's oath. Especially beware, O unconverted men! of trifling with solemn imprecations. Remember the woman at Devizes, Who wished she might die if she had not paid her share in a joint purchase, and who fell dead there and then with the money in her hand.
Selah. David enhances the solemnity of this appeal to the dread tribunal of God by the use of the usual pause.
From these verses we may learn that no innocence can shield a man from the calumnies of the wicked. David had been scrupulously careful to avoid any appearance of rebellion against Saul, whom he constantly styled "the Lord's anointed;" but all this could not protect him from lying tongues. As the shadow follows the substance, so envy pursues goodness. It is only at the tree laden with fruit that men throw stones. If we would live without being slandered we must wait till we get to heaven. Let us be very heedful not to believe the flying rumours which are always harassing gracious men. If there are no believers in lies there will be but a dull market in falsehood, and good men's characters will be safe. Ill-will never spoke well. Sinners have an ill-will to saints, and therefore, be sure they will not speak well of them.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
3. if I have done this—that is, the crime charged in the "words of Cush" (compare 1Sa 24:9).
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