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Bible Commentaries

Kingcomments on the Whole Bible

Psalms 7

Verses 1-2


In Psalm 7, David, and with him the God-fearing Jew in the end times, when everything is jet black because of the rule of the antichrist, looks forward to God’s judgment on the wicked. He shares in God’s feelings about evil and expects this judgment to come. We, Christians, also expect this judgment. We know that it is righteous and that it is coming.

However, there is a difference. The God-fearing Jew looks forward to the judgment on the wicked because this judgment frees him from his enemies who oppress him. The Christian or New Testament believer also suffers through wickedness, but endures the suffering. He suffers for and with Christ in order to be glorified together with Him afterwards. He does not look forward to Christ’s coming in judgment, but to Christ’s coming to take him up to Himself.

Prayer for God’s Intervention

Psalm 7 is “of David” (Psalms 7:1). The psalm is called a “Shiggaion”. The word occurs one more time, in Habakkuk, but in the plural, “Shigionoth” (Habakkuk 3:1). Habakkuk speaks of “according to Shigionoth”, from which we can infer that it is a music term. The term seems to indicate a song sung in great excitement, with rapidly changing emotions. We see that in this psalm.

Like in the heading of Psalm 3, we find in the heading of this psalm its reason (Psalms 3:1). David sang this song “to the LORD concerning [or: concerning the words of] Cush, a Benjamite”. Who Cush – means ‘black’ – was, we do not know. Because he is a Benjaminite, it is obvious to connect him with Saul, who is also from the tribe of Benjamin, perhaps a relative, but in any case a kindred spirit.

Cush’s words, the song reveals, contained gross accusations that deeply affected David. It is possible that Cush had slandered David with Saul’s (1 Samuel 24:10). David in his distress seeks refuge with the LORD and brings the burden of his heart to Him in a song. He expresses his confidence in God’s righteousness (cf. 1 Peter 2:23), allowing him to conclude the psalm with a giving thanks to the Lord (Psalms 7:17).

David’s response to the slander of Cush is the only correct one: he takes refuge in Him Whom he calls “LORD my God” (Psalms 7:1). This God is his refuge and protection. With Him he feels secure. He does this again and again. Never does he knock on the door of God, Who is faithful, in vain, when he is in need.

We may do this too. God brings us into situations that lead us to seek our refuge in Him. What a great blessing it is that we can take refuge in God and that we can tell Him everything that concerns us.

David asks God to save him from all his persecutors and to deliver him. His persecutors want to seize and kill him. Therefore, he asks for salvation from them. Salvation has more do with the circumstances that oppress him and from which he is saved by the judgment of the persecutors. Deliverance refers more at what happens to him when salvation comes: he is rescued from the distress, by being pulled out of the oppression and brought to safety.

The need is huge. David compares his persecutors to a lion (Psalms 7:2). The lion is a picture of Satan, who is out to devour the faithful (1 Peter 5:8). David acknowledges his powerlessness in the face of his powerful enemies who want to tear his soul, his life. He envisions himself being mercilessly dragged away by them and no one standing up for him. In so doing, he explains why he takes refuge in his God.

Verses 3-5

Declaration of Innocence

In Psalms 7:1 he addressed God as “LORD my God” and he does so again in Psalms 7:3. Now he wants to focus God’s attention on his innocence. There is a lot of slander being spread around about him. Nabal once called him a “servant … breaking away from his master” (1 Samuel 25:10). There have been more such totally unjustified accusations. Absalom, for example, has suggested that you should not be with David but with him to get your justice (2 Samuel 15:3-Numbers :). That has also done its pernicious work in people’s minds.

Of all the allegations, nothing is true. David pleads in a penetrating and convincing way that he is innocent. He lists some things that show what he is accused of (Psalms 7:4). The first is that injustice would be in his hands. Indeed, he has sinned. He committed adultery with Bathsheba and he had Uriah killed. But he has confessed that and he is undergoing the punishment that God has imposed on it. Therefore, there is no ground for accusation, neither by evil speakers nor by his own conscience.

Another accusation is that he has rewarded evil to his friend [friend is literally: to him who was at peace with him] (cf. Psalms 41:9; Jeremiah 38:22). But it is precisely the other way around. Someone who made his life difficult for no reason, he saved from distress. If any of the accusation were true, yes, let God give the enemy a free hand.

David says that the enemy, in case he were guilty, may do with him what he intends (Psalms 7:5). Let him successfully “pursue” him and “overtake” him and seize him. His life he may “trample down to the ground”, that is, he may kill him in a vile manner (cf. 2 Kings 7:17). He may also lay his honor, that is all that has given his life value and meaning, in the dust, that is, he may shower him with disgrace even after his death.

David is here also a picture of the believing remnant who have confessed their share of the people of Israel’s sin – the rejection of Christ and the acceptance of the antichrist (John 5:43). This brings the remnant to self-examination and the question to God: “Search me, O God, and know my heart” (Psalms 139:23).

Verses 6-9

Demand for Justice

Because all the accusations are false, David asks the LORD to arise now and stand up for him (Psalms 7:6). It is the picture of a court hearing. The LORD must now arise as the Chief Judge. Let Him do that in His anger. David knows that the LORD is angry about false accusations. Let Him show that then by lifting up Himself in His full stature against the rage of his adversaries.

He, David, is His chosen king, isn’t he? Let the LORD not then keep himself asleep, but awake for his sake. Surely He cannot look upon this unrighteousness with impunity, can He? After all, He Himself has “appointed judgment”! Then He must judge and act in his favor. Hence his request to the LORD, which he repeats in all kinds of tones, to “arise”: “lift up Yourself” and “arouse Yourself”.

David holds out to God that He lets “the assembly of the peoples encompass” Him (Psalms 7:7). By this he is saying that the peoples will be present at His trial and then see how God judges and acts. They will see that the supreme Judge has ruled against the accusers who have sued David in vain. Then He will take a seat “on high” above them and will declare the accusers guilty. Thus the LORD will “judge the peoples” (Psalms 7:8). After all, the judgment that He has appointed applies to the peoples as well.

Now the point is that God is doing justice to David. David boldly asks for that-because he knows he is “righteous”. He has done nothing against God nor against people that gives his persecutors the right to hunt him down like that. There is nothing wrong in his motives either. He has examined himself, with the result that he can say without any presumption that his “integrity” is in him.

On this basis he calls upon God to put an end to “the evil of the wicked” (Psalms 7:9). As for himself, “the righteous”, he appeals to God to let him stand. His exclamation “righteous God” expresses full conviction. God is “the righteous judge” (2 Timothy 4:8), the just God, who knows the difference between the wicked and the just.

After all, He tries “hearts and minds”. Minds is literally kidneys, figurative for inner man. Heart and kidneys refer to the most inward part of man (Jeremiah 11:20; Jeremiah 17:10Jeremiah 20:12). In a spiritual sense, it refers to the hidden deliberations of the heart and the conscience. As David says, God knows the deepest motivations of both the wicked and the righteous.

Verses 10-13

God Is a Righteous Judge

In these verses, David has come to rest. He has grown in his faith and can now say, without a shadow of doubt, that God is standing up for him. His “shield”, that is, his protection, “is with God” (Psalms 7:10). Of this he is certain. God is the God “who saves the upright in heart”. And he, David, is such an upright in heart. Therefore, he counts on God to save him.

“God is a righteous Judge” (Psalms 7:11), which He shows and makes heard every day in the preaching of the gospel. His indignation or wrath is on every man who disobeys the Son (John 3:36). The wrath of God is public to all who will see it. Those who keep their eyes closed, those who “do not repent” (Psalms 7:12), have themselves to blame if God actually pours out His wrath on them.

God is not mocked. He sharpens His sword to judge. He also bents His bow, makes it ready and aims it at those who deserve His judgment. In doing so, there is no room for error; He hits only the wicked. No righteous person is hit by it. He has prepared for Himself His sword and His arrows, His “deadly weapons”, which He makes fiery shafts (Psalms 7:13).

Verses 14-16

The Antichrist

In these verses the wicked is spoken of in the singular. Here we are talking about the personification of evil, about the man of sin, the man in whom sin takes shape in its fullness. We recognize this person in the antichrist. He is filled with evil, there is not a trace of goodness in him. The evil done by him is expressed in him like a woman who is pregnant, travails and gives birth to a child (Psalms 7:14).

The antichrist is out to catch others in the snare of his lie. It is compared to digging a pit for someone to catch him in it (Psalms 7:15). But the pit he has dug will be his own grave. He will fall into it and perish. Thus he receives retribution for the evil he has done to others. Examples of this are Saul and Haman, both of whom are pictures of the antichrist. Saul wanted to kill David by means of the Philistines and was himself killed by them (1 Samuel 18:17; 1 Samuel 31:1-Joshua :). Haman is hanged on the gallows he had erected for Mordecai (Esther 7:9-2 Samuel :).

In Psalms 7:16, David expresses the same thought in other words (cf. Proverbs 26:27). The trouble the antichrist inflicts on others “will return upon his own head” (cf. Judges 9:56-Philemon :). It works like a boomerang. This also applies to the violence he has committed, for “his violence will descend upon his own pate”. How that will happen, David leaves to God (1 Samuel 26:10). We see here the principle of the government of God: “Whatever a man sows, this he will also reap” (Galatians 6:7).

Verse 17

Praise to the LORD Most High

David has now grown so much in his trust in the LORD that he “gives thanks” to Him “according to His righteousness”. Thus, the remnant begins to sing praises before the enemy is actually destroyed (cf. 2 Chronicles 20:21-Jeremiah :; Acts 16:25-Ezekiel :). During his prayer, he has grown more and more in the awareness that God is a righteous Judge. In His righteousness, He punishes the wicked and saves and protects the righteous. His despair has turned to firm confidence, which leads him to a song of praise for God’s justice.

The hope of the righteous is that God will eventually remove all evil from creation. He will do that through His Christ. John testifies to this when he says of the Lord Jesus: “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). This will be started in the realm of peace. The full result will be seen and enjoyed when there is a new heaven and a new earth and eternity has begun.

David sings praise “to the name of the LORD Most High”. Here, for the first time, the name “Most High” appears in Psalms. This name of God is particularly associated with the realm of peace. We can derive this from the first time this name appears in the Bible. It occurs in a history that is a picture of the realm of peace.

It concerns Abraham’s encounter with Melchizedek after he delivered Lot and before he meets the king of Sodom (Genesis 14:17-Song of Solomon :). Melchizedek is called “a priest of God Most High”. He blesses Abraham because of “God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth” and praises “God Most High”. Immediately thereafter, when Abraham meets the king of Sodom, who wants to bargain with him, Abraham swears “to the LORD God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth”.

The name “Most High” says that God is exalted above all people and the whole of creation. This will be seen openly in the realm of peace, when He will put all things under the feet of the Son of Man. The Lord Jesus, as the true Melchizedek, will then bring blessing upon the earth. In the following psalm, David sings of that situation.

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Kingcomments on the Whole Bible © 2021 Author: G. de Koning. All rights reserved. Used with the permission of the author
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Bibliographical Information
de Koning, Ger. Commentaar op Psalms 7". "Kingcomments on the Whole Bible". 'Stichting Titus' / 'Stichting Uitgeverij Daniël', Zwolle, Nederland. 2021.