O LORD my God, in you do I put my trust: save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)In thee do I put my trust.—Or, in thee have I taken refuge.Psalm 7:1. In thee do I put my trust — All my hope and confidence are in thy favour, and faithfulness to fulfil thy promise made to me. Save me from all them that persecute me — “To a tender and ingenuous spirit,” says Dr. Horne, “the persecution of the tongue is worse than that of the sword, and with more difficulty submitted to; as, indeed, a good name is more precious than bodily life. Believers in every age have been persecuted in this way; and the King of saints often mentions it as one of the most bitter ingredients in his cup of sorrows. Faith and prayer are the arms with which this formidable temptation must be encountered, and may be overcome. The former assures us, that God can ‘save and deliver’ us from it; the latter induces him so to do.”Judges 9:15; Isaiah 30:2; Psalm 57:1; Psalm 61:4. The idea here is, that in his troubles he fled to God as a refuge, and felt safe under his protection.
Save me from all them that persecute me - That is, protect my life; rescue me from their power. The word "persecute" here refers to those who sought his life, who endeavored to deprive him of his rights. The language would apply to many occasions in the life of David - to the persecutions which he endured by Saul, by Absalom, etc. In this case the language was suggested by the opposition of Cush the Benjamite; and it was this that David had particularly in view. It is probable, however, that, whoever Cush was, he was not alone, but that others were associated with him in his opposition to David; and it was natural also that, in circumstances like these, David should remember his other persecutors, and pray that he might be delivered from them all. The prayer, therefore, has a general form, and the desire expressed is that which we all naturally have, that we may be delivered from all that troubles us.
And deliver me - Rescue me. It would seem from this expression, and from the following verse, that there was more to be apprehended in the case than mere reproachful words, and that his life was actually in danger.
Ps 7:1-17. Shiggaion—a plaintive song or elegy. Though obscure in details, this title seems to intimate that the occasion of this Psalm was some event in David's persecution by Saul. He prays for relief because he is innocent, and God will be glorified in his vindication. He thus passes to the celebration of God's righteous government, in defending the upright and punishing the wicked, whose malignant devices will result in their own ruin; and, confident of God's aid, he closes with rejoicing.
2 Lest he tear my soul like a lion, rending it in pieces, while there is none to deliver.
David appears before God to plead with him against the Accuser, who had charged him with treason and treachery. The case is here opened with an avowal of confidence in God. Whatever may be the emergency of our condition we shall never find it amiss to retain our reliance upon our God. "O Lord my God," mine by a special covenant, sealed by Jesus' blood, and ratified in my own soul by a sense of union to thee; "in thee," and in thee only, "do I put my trust," even now in my sore distress. I shake, but my rock moves not. It is never right to distrust God, and never vain to trust him. And now, with both divine relationship and holy trust to strengthen him, David utters the burden of his desire - "save me from all them that persecute me." His pursuers were very many, and any one of them cruel enough to devour him; he cries, therefore, for salvation from them all. We should never think our prayers complete until we ask for preservation from all sin, and all enemies. "And deliver me," extricate me from their snares, acquit me of their accusations, give a true and just deliverance in this trial of my injured character. See how clearly his case is stated; let us see to it, that we know what we would have when we are come to the throne of mercy. Pause a little while before you pray, that you may not offer the sacrifice of fools. Get a distinct idea of your need, and then you can pray with the more fluency of fervency.
"Lest he tear my soul." Here is the plea of fear co-working with the plea of faith. There was one among David's foes mightier than the rest, who had both dignity, strength, and ferocity, and was, therefore, "like a lion." From this foe he urgently seeks deliverance. Perhaps this was Saul, his royal enemy; but in our own case there is one who goes about like a lion, seeking whom he may devour, concerning whom we should ever cry, "Deliver us from the Evil One." Notice the rigour of the description - "rending it in pieces, while there is none to deliver." It is a picture from the shepherd-life of David. When the fierce lion had pounced upon the defenceless lamb, and had made it his prey, he would rend the victim in pieces, break all the bones, and devour all, because no shepherd was near to protect the lamb or rescue it from the ravenous beast. This is a soul-moving portrait of a saint delivered over to the will of Satan. This will make the bowels of Jehovah yearn. A father cannot be silent when a child is in such peril. No, he will not endure the thought of his darling in the jaws of a lion, he will arise and deliver his persecuted one. Our God is very pitiful, and he will surely rescue his people from so desperate a destruction. It will be well for us here to remember that this is a description of the danger to which the Psalmist was exposed from slanderous tongues. Verily this is not an overdrawn picture, for the wounds of a sword will heal, but the wounds of the tongue cut deeper than the flesh, and are not soon cured. Slander leaves a slur, even if it be wholly disproved. Common fame, although notoriously a common liar, has very many believers. Once let an ill word get into men's mouths, and it is not easy to get it fully out again. The Italians say that good repute is like the cypress, once cut, it never puts forth leaf again; this is not true if our character be cut by a stranger's hand, but even then it will not soon regain its former verdure. Oh, 'tis a meanness most detestable to stab a good man in his reputation, but diabolical hatred observes no nobility in its mode of warfare. We must be ready for this trial, for it will surely come upon us. If God was slandered in Eden, we shall surely be maligned in this land of sinners. Gird up your loins, ye children of the resurrection, for this fiery trial awaits you all. Shiggaion: this seems to be the name of a certain kind either of song, or tune, or instrument, which then was very well known, but now is only matter of conjecture; wherewith I think it not fit to trouble the unlearned reader; and the learned may consult my Latin Synopsis.
save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me; persecution is no new thing to the people of God; David had his persecutors, and many of them; the Church, in Jeremiah's time, had hers; the saints, in the times of the apostles, and in all ages since, have had theirs. Every one that will live godly in Christ Jesus must expect persecution in one shape or another; and there is none can save and deliver from it but God, and he can and will in his own time, 2 Corinthians 1:10. David was sensible of this, and therefore applies to him, and him only; and not to an arm of flesh, to his friends, or to neighbouring princes and powers.O LORD my God, in thee do I put my trust: save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)1. in thee do I put my trust] In thee have I taken refuge. See note on Psalm 2:12, and comp. the opening words of Psalms 11, 16, 31, 57, 71; and Psalm 141:8. David has put himself under Jehovah’s protection, and appeals to Him on the ground of this covenant relationship between them. In thee is emphatic.
all them that persecute me] R.V., all them that pursue me. Saul and his followers. Cp. 1 Samuel 23:28; 1 Samuel 24:14; 1 Samuel 25:29; 1 Samuel 26:18.
1, 2. The Psalmist’s cry for help, based on Jehovah’s relation to him.Verse 1. - O Lord my God, in thee do I put my trust (compare the openings of Psalm 11, 31, and 71.). When David is most sorely pressed by persecution and danger, then is his faith and trust in God mast plainly apparent. Save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me. The Revised Version has, "from all them that pursue me;" but "persecute" is better. Hengstenberg and Kay have, "from all my persecutors." So also French and Skinner. The persecutors are such men as the Ziphites and others, who encouraged Saul in his attempts to take David's life (1 Samuel 26:1, 19). Psalm 3:8). May God turn to him again, rescue (חלּץ from חלץ, which is transitive in Hebr. and Aram., to free, expedire, exuere, Arab. chalaṣa, to be pure, prop. to be loose, free) his soul, in which his affliction has taken deep root, from this affliction, and extend to him salvation on the ground of His mercy towards sinners. He founds this cry for help upon his yearning to be able still longer to praise God, - a happy employ, the possibility of which would be cut off from him if he should die. זכר, as frequently הזכּיר, is used of remembering one with reverence and honour; הודה (from ודה) has the dat. honoris after it. שׁאול, Psalm 6:6, ἅδης (Revelation 20:13), alternates with מות. Such is the name of the grave, the yawning abyss, into which everything mortal descends (from שׁאל equals שׁוּל Arab. sâl, to be loose, relaxed, to hang down, sink down: a sinking in, that which is sunken in,
(Note: The form corresponds to the Arabic form fi‛âlun, which, though originally a verbal abstract, has carried over the passive meaning into the province of the concrete, e.g., kitâb equals maktûb and ilâh, אלוהּ equals ma‛lûh equals ma‛bûd (the feared, revered One).)
a depth). The writers of the Psalms all (which is no small objection against Maccabean Psalms) know only of one single gathering-place of the dead in the depth of the earth, where they indeed live, but it is only a quasi life, because they are secluded from the light of this world and, what is the most lamentable, from the light of God's presence. Hence the Christian can only join in the prayer of v. 6 of this Psalm and similar passages (Psalm 30:10; Psalm 88:11-13; Psalm 115:17; Isaiah 38:18.) so far as he transfers the notion of hades to that of gehenna.
(Note: An adumbration of this relationship of Christianity to the religion of the Old Testament is the relationship of Islam to the religion of the Arab wandering tribes, which is called the "religion of Abraham" (Din Ibrâhim), and knows no life after death; while Islam has taken from the later Judaism and from Christianity the hope of a resurrection and heavenly blessedness.)
In hell there is really no remembrance and no praising of God. David's fear of death as something in itself unhappy, is also, according to its ultimate ground, nothing but the fear of an unhappy death. In these "pains of hell" he is wearied with (בּ as in Psalm 69:4) groaning, and bedews his couch every night with a river of tears. Just as the Hiph. השׂחה signifies to cause to swim from שׂחה to swim, so the Hiph. המסה signifies to dissolve, cause to melt, from מסה (cogn. מסס) to melt. דּמעה, in Arabic a nom. unit. a tear, is in Hebrew a flood of tears.
In Psalm 6:8 עיני does not signify my "appearance" (Numbers 11:7), but, as becomes clear from Psalm 31:10; Psalm 88:10, Job 17:7, "my eye;" the eye reflects the whole state of a man's health. The verb עשׁשׁ appears to be a denominative from עשׁ: to be moth-eaten.
(Note: Reuchlin in his grammatical analysis of the seven Penitential Psalms, which he published in 1512 after his Ll. III de Rudimentis Hebraicis (1506), explains it thus: עשׁשׁה Verminavit. Sic a vermibus dictum qui turbant res claras puras et nitidas, and in the Rudim. p. 412: Turbatus est a furore oculus meus, corrosus et obfuscatus, quasi vitro laternae obductus.)
The signification senescere for the verb עתק is more certain. The closing words בּכל־צוררי (cf. Numbers 10:9 הצּר הצּרר the oppressing oppressor, from the root צר Arab. tsr, to press, squeeze, and especially to bind together, constringere, coartare
(Note: In Arabic ציר dir is the word for a step-mother as the oppressor of the step-children; and צרר dirr, a concubine as the oppressor of her rival.)),
in which the writer indicates, partially at least, the cause of his grief (כּעס, in Job 18:7 כּעשׁ), are as it were the socket into which the following strophe is inserted.
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