64:0People were saying bad things about King David. The things that they said hurt David inside as arrows and swords would hurt his body. Arrows and swords were what people used then to kill their enemies. Their words were like arrows and swords. They hurt his soul or spirit. We use ‘soul’ and ‘spirit’ for words to describe the part of us that lives when our bodies die. So David told God about his troubles. He said what these bad people were doing. At the end of the psalm he said what God would do. This would make good people be very happy, and trust God and praise him. ‘Trust’ means ‘believe that God would do good things for them.’
Words Like Arrows
This is for the music leader.
It is a song that David wrote.
1-2 God, hear my voice as I tell you my troubles. Then:
· you will make me safe from the enemy that I am afraid of
· you will hide me from the secret ideas of bad people
· you will keep me from noisy crowds of evil people.
64:1-2Verses 1 and 2: David tells God to ‘hear my voice.’ In Hebrew, the word ‘hear’ also means ‘listen and do something.’ Because David thought this, he then said what God would do. He would make David safe from the bad people. David was afraid of these people until he prayed to God. After that, he waited for God to shoot back! (See verse 7.)
Some translations leave out the ‘you will’ in verses 1b and 2 but we translate what the Hebrew Bible says.
3 These evil people:
· make their tongues sharp like swords
· shoot words that hurt like arrows
4 · shoot from secret places at good people
· shoot when people do not think it will happen
5 · are not afraid when they have done it
· will not change their evil ideas
· talk about hiding traps and say, ‘Who will see them?’
6 · say ‘Who will find out the crimes that we have done?’
· say ‘We have made a plan that nobody will discover!’
What men think in their hearts is very deep.
64:6Verses 3-6: David gives us a picture of the bad men. They hide so nobody can see them. They shoot arrows at people to hurt them. They think that nobody will ever find out what they have done. They did not shoot real arrows.
‘Very deep’ at the end of verse 6 probably means ‘hard to understand.’ Bible students are not sure if evil people or David said it. The bad words that they said about David and his friends were like arrows that hurt him. But they made sure that nobody knew who said these hurting things! Some translations have ‘Who will see us’ in verse 5. The Hebrew has ‘Who will see them’, meaning the traps they had hidden to catch good men in.
7 But God will shoot an arrow at them when they do not think it will happen.
It will hurt them a lot.
8 Really, they will destroy themselves with their tongues!
All the people that see it will shake their heads.
9 Everyone will be afraid and talk about what God has done.
They will understand what has happened.
10 Good people will be very happy with the Lord.
They will trust in him.
Everybody with an honest heart will praise God!
64:10Verses 7-10: Again, shooting with a bow and arrow is only a picture. We must not think of God shooting these evil men with his bow and arrow! Just as their arrows are words, so God's arrows are words. But because God is so powerful, what God says will happen. He does not need arrows. As Luke said about Jesus, ‘His word was with power’ (Luke 4:32). The Hebrew word in verse 10 is not ‘good people’ but ‘righteous people.’ They are the people that love, serve and obey God. You can read about what ‘righteous’ means after Psalm 5.