Another appeal to God for righteous judgment and deliverance from enemies, this psalm is dated in the time of Saul’s persecution of David. The preface refers to Cush the Benjamite, likely one associated with Saul’s effort to kill David. Saul himself was a Benjamite and he had fanatical followers. Later in life David would commit sins that called for God’s punishment, but Saul’s violent intent toward David was wholly unjustified. David did not raise his hand against Saul but committed the case to God for judgment.
The psalmist pleads for deliverance lest the mob of pursuers tear him like a lion. David was a shepherd in his young days, and he experienced attacks from lions and bears (1 Sam. 17:34-35). The Old Testament makes frequent use of wild beasts to describe vengeful attackers. Peter also indicates that Satan pursues Christians like a roaring lion (1 Pet. 5:8). David was delivered from vicious animals, a crazed king, and a giant. He states his willingness to be punished by the righteous judge if he is guilty, but in this instance he is not.
God is the righteous judge who searches minds and hearts. He will take vengeance on the unjust, both for the sake of their victims and for the sake of his righteous cause. God is pictured as sharpening his sword and stringing his bow. The flaming arrows of divine justice will settle the matter. The unjust will be on the receiving end of God’s wrath. David refers to those who hatch evil plots as being pregnant with evil and conceiving trouble. It seems that Saul was such a man, and his insane jealousy got the best of him. Poetic justice decrees that “He who digs a hole and scoops it out falls into the pit he has made. The trouble he causes recoils on himself” (Psa. 7:15-16).
David closes the psalm with thanks to the Lord. We wonder how often David sang these words, and how many times the people of Israel repeated them. God is to be praised and thanked because he is God and because he is good.
My comments are not an inspired commentary, but rather a few words to draw attention to the background, context, and dynamic situation of the book of Psalms. May God bless your reading of His Word. T.C.