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Bible Commentaries

The Church Pulpit Commentary

Psalms 64

Verse 1


‘Preserve my life.’

Psalms 64:1

I. This is the cry of distress, and yet not of despair.—The Psalmist is beset by wily enemies who plan and plot against him with malicious and persistent determination. In great detail he describes their method. It is that of secret counsel and studied cruelty. They have one object, that of harming the righteous by shooting at him from secret places. They strengthen themselves by declaring that none can see them. This is his distress. The warfare is unequal. His foes are not in the open, but under cover. At verse seven we have the beginning of his account of the reason why his distress is not despair. Over against their evil determination to shoot at the righteous is the fact that God shall shoot at them. That is the security of the trusting soul.

II. In New Testament times the truth is expressed differently, but the principle abides, ‘If God be for us, who can be against us?’—The practical application of this to the righteous is that there is no need for them to attempt to take vengeance on their enemies. Their one care is to trust in God. Such trust will issue in gladness, and the inevitable vindication of their faith. In order to this we ever need to pray, as the Psalmist does, not so much for deliverance from enemies as for deliverance from fear of them.


‘The Divine deed, patent to all, of judicial retribution, becomes a blessing to humanity. Passed on from mouth to mouth it becomes a warning. For the righteous in particular it becomes a consoling and joyous confirmation of faith. The righteous rejoices in his God, Who by judging and redeeming in this fashion makes history the history of redemption; with so much the more confidence he hides himself in Him; and all the upright glory in God, Who looks into the heart, and in deeds acknowledges those whose hearts are conformed to Him.’

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Bibliographical Information
Nisbet, James. "Commentary on Psalms 64". The Church Pulpit Commentary. 1876.