– Either when Saul was trying to catch him
– Or when David's son Absalom was fighting him
Saul was king of Israel before David. Absalom was David's son, who wanted to be king in David's place. In the psalm, David asks God to fight for him. He asks God to take Saul (or Absalom) away from the earth. To us the language is not very nice, but they would not think this 3,000 years ago. It is the language of war.
War is when countries fight each other. David sees God as a soldier, fighting for him with shields and spears. This is what we call a ‘human picture’ of God. We believe that God sends people or angels to do his work for him. In the psalm the angel is probably one that the Jews called Michael.
The important thing to learn from this psalm is this: David does not try to kill his enemies himself. He wants God to do it in God's way. When we have enemies, we must ask God to do something. We must not try to hurt them ourselves. Look at Psalm 5.
God Help Me
This is for David.
Get up and give me help.
Use them against the people that are running after me.
Say to me. ‘I will make you safe.’
I hope that they will become ashamed.
I hope that everyone else will think that they are very bad.
Some people are planning to destroy me.
Turn them back and confuse them.
Let the angel of the Lord be unkind to them.
There was no reason for it.
For no reason they dug a hole to catch me.
Catch him in the trap that he hid! Let him die in his own deep hole!
I will be happy when the Lord has made me safe.
You take the poor man away from the man that is too strong for him.
You take the people that need help away from those that hurt them.’
What did David do wrong? Nothing (verse 7)
What did David's enemies do? They wanted to kill him (verse 4)
What will David do when God sends help? He will be very happy (verses 9-10)
‘All my bones’ means ‘all of me’ (verse 10).
They asked me about it, but I knew nothing.
I felt as if my children had died.
I hurt myself by not eating food.
I lived as though my friend or my brother or even my mother was ill.
They all met together. They came together against me.
I did not know the people that were attacking me.
They would not stop hurting me.
They showed their teeth like a wild animal.
Take me away from the people that are destroying me.
What did David do wrong? Nothing (verses 12-14)
What did David's enemies do? They mocked him, and did evil things to him (verses 12, 15-16)
What will David do when God sends help? Thank and praise God (verse 18)
Do not let them
They say false things about people who want peace in the land.
They say, ‘
Lord do not remain
Argue for me against them, my Lord and my God.
Give me justice, my God. Do not let them laugh at me.
Do not let them say, ‘We have eaten him up!’
· make them ashamed and confused at the same time,
· make them sorry that they said that they were greater than me,
· make them feel that they are wearing
They will shout out in their pleasure.
They will always say, ‘The Lord is great!
He loves it when his servant has peace!’
I will praise you all day long.
What did David do wrong? Nothing (verse 19)
What did David's enemies do? They say lies (verses 20-21)
What will David do when God sends help? Praise God all day (verse 28)
Some of the ideas are a bit strange to us, but they are how the Jews thought.