David prayed this psalm when Saul and others, including his own son Absalom, declared their loyalty to David yet their hearts were set on destroying him. This psalm continues the theme from Psalm 26 and Psalm 27 in prayer to the Lord for deliverance. David once again follows his petition with praise to God for answering his prayer. David knew how to reach Yahweh.
A Psalm of David.
My rock, do not be deaf to me,
For if You are silent to me,
I will become like those who go down to the pit.
Hear the voice of my supplications when I cry to You for help,
When I lift up my hands toward Your holy sanctuary. (vv. 1-20)
(Hebrews 4:16) Don’t forget the sanctuary, run to God and as you lift your hands in worship ~ like David ~ you, too, will find the grace you need. God has manifested himself to man in His word, so when we are afflicted we can fix our hearts on Him. God should be the object of our faith, hope, and prayer. The Lord encourages us through His servant the prophet: Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know… (Jeremiah 33: 3) He is our Rock ~ there is no rock like our God…
(1 Samuel 2:2)
Do not drag me away with the wicked
And with those who work iniquity,
Who speak peace with their neighbors,
While evil is in their hearts.
Requite them according to their work
and according to the evil of their practices;
Requite them according to the deeds of their hands;
Repay them their recompense.
Because they do not regard the works of the Lord
Nor the deeds of His hands,
He will tear them down and not build them up. (vv. 3-5)
We all have people who say they love us. They promise to be our friend for life ~ that they have our back ~ only to find that they stab us in the back when it serves their purpose. David experienced many such people. He knew their actions to be wicked and he prayed that he would not be swept away with them and suffer their punishment. He didn’t want to be punished along with them and I think, he also did not want to get swept away by the same behavior. He did not want to love people to their face yet turn his back on them when it served him. He knows the Lord warns against being double minded and unstable. (James 1:5-8)
Blessed be the Lord,
Because He has heard the voice of my supplication.
The Lord is my strength and my shield;
My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped;
Therefore my heart exults,
And with my song I shall thank Him.
The Lord is their strength,
And He is a saving defense to His anointed.
Save Your people and bless Your inheritance;
Be their shepherd also, and carry them forever. (vv. 6-9)
David always follows his prayers with praise to God knowing that He will answer. Yahweh is faithful to him. Yahweh is always faithful when we pray. The outcome may not be what we asked for, but He will always answer with exactly what we need.
David declares that the Lord is His strength and shield. Strength is often associated with the Ark of the Covenant, the pure gold ark symbolized the presence of God. It was also a reminder that He is the covenant-keeping God. The cherubim who adorned the lid of the ark symbolized strength and power. They were assigned to guard the Garden of Eden with flaming swords after Adam and Eve were exiled. The glorious sound of their wings is likened to the voice of God Almighty when He speaks. (Ezekiel10:5) A sound so loud and marvelous it was heard in the outer court of the temple. They surround the throne of God in Revelation. They bring fear and awe and yet they are not as strong and powerful as Yahweh. The Lord is David’s strength and He is our strength as well. He is a strong tower for us to run and find refuge. God is not only David’s strength, He is also a refuge. He is a fortress of salvation for His anointed ~ here it is referring to David or one of the priests ~ now it is for all of us. Salvation is available to all who will run to Him.
The Tabernacle in the wilderness had many covers of protection. They protected from storms and weather. They protected from wild animals and intruders. This represents God protecting His anointed people. We can run to Him for protection and safety. He is faithful and trustworthy. He will never leave us or forsake us. Don’t be complacent in your relationship with the Lord, though. David worshiped Him and trusted and believed in Him. He promises to be with us always, but we must do our part. Worship is the key to God moving in your life. Cultivate a life of prayer and a life of worship. He is our Shepherd and will give us rest.