Today: [Psalm 140] Your Father is Your Defender. In Psalm 140 we find David struggling with the words of deceitful men against. If you purpose in your life to do anything in God you will be criticized and vilified. If you go out in your day to seek first the kingdom there will be those (sometimes closer to you than you think) who will not be excited about your testimony in God. In Psalm 140 we find David’s example of trusting God in the midst of the assaults of faithless men and maintaining your focus during such times on obedience to God.
[Psa 140:1-13 KJV] 1 [[To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.]] Deliver me, O LORD, from the evil man: preserve me from the violent man; 2 Which imagine mischiefs in [their] heart; continually are they gathered together [for] war. 3 They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent; adders’ poison [is] under their lips. Selah. 4 Keep me, O LORD, from the hands of the wicked; preserve me from the violent man; who have purposed to overthrow my goings. 5 The proud have hid a snare for me, and cords; they have spread a net by the wayside; they have set gins for me. Selah. 6 I said unto the LORD, Thou [art] my God: hear the voice of my supplications, O LORD. 7 O GOD the Lord, the strength of my salvation, thou hast covered my head in the day of battle. 8 Grant not, O LORD, the desires of the wicked: further not his wicked device; [lest] they exalt themselves. Selah. 9 [As for] the head of those that compass me about, let the mischief of their own lips cover them. 10 Let burning coals fall upon them: let them be cast into the fire; into deep pits, that they rise not up again. 11 Let not an evil speaker be established in the earth: evil shall hunt the violent man to overthrow [him]. 12 I know that the LORD will maintain the cause of the afflicted, [and] the right of the poor. 13 Surely the righteous shall give thanks unto thy name: the upright shall dwell in thy presence.
Psalm 140 is believed by Jewish sources to be composed by David before he was king. The suggestion is that it speaks of Doeg and the Ziphites, who slandered him to Saul. In verse 1 David cries out to be delivered from evil men. Do you feel you have ever been assaulted by evil people bent on slandering your character or assassinating your reputation. David went in and out wisely among the people yet Doeg and the Ziphites sought occasion against David for their own gain. If in your life you determine to seek first the kingdom above all else you will be slandered and made a mockery by those who seek to advance themselves over the ashes of your reputation which they delight to sully.
Verse 2 speaks of the mischiefs and imaginations of David’s enemies. Who are your enemies? Jesus told us plainly that there would be adversaries. Sometimes our enemies are closer in proximity to us than our friends. They smile to our face and go to the altar of communion with us but their hearts are for war. This is a matter for discernment. One of David’s greatest enemies was Joab – his right hand man in times of war. When Solomon took the throne David instructed him to execute Joab as Solomon’s first official act. The devil’s name means adversary. If you want to identify your enemy look where adversity is arising from in your life. The source may surprise you.
Verse 3 speaks of the tongue of the adversary being as sharp as a serpent’s. Some serpent’s tongues are as fine as a strand of hair yet capable of sharply piercing the skin to deliver their venom. Many times the tongue of the adder in your life will begin to penetrate your heart by begin with words such as “now I love you … but….” This is the serpent’s preamble to an assault on your person. Learn not to listen to those who come to you speaking flatteries only to get you to open up for the spewing of poison and vitriol slanted to discourage and disparage your testimony.
In verse 3 we see the reference to the tongues of deceitful men. In verse 4 David cries out to be delivered from their hands. It is not only the words but the actions of our detractors that work against us. Sometimes the greatest wound against us comes by the folding of the hands and people who claim to be our allies and advocates who simply withdraw from us in a time of trouble and perch like vultures waiting to see if we survive or not. Sometimes our enemies are identified not only by what they do but also by what they refrain from doing. Their goal is through inactivity as David says, to overthrow your goings or your purposes in God.
Verse 5 speaks of nets laid by our enemies to catch our feet and gins that they have set in our path. What is a gin? A gin is a noose made of horse hair or wire to capture a prey on its path. Have you ever been ambushed by so-called friends? David commits these things to prayer. It is naïve to believe that everyone around you is as excited about what God is doing in your life as you are. Skepticism and criticism can follow you like a toxic cloud to surround you with discouragement and argument in order to distract you from obedience to the Father. If a gin is made of horsehair what does that speak of? Horses in the bible represent ego and the pride of men. If our enemies cannot outright being a halt to our plans in God they will seek to provoke us to sin like Balaam did who could not curse the people of God but advised that their enemies seduce them with idols so that God Himself would curse them. Beware the influence of those who like Jezebel pandered to Ahab’s pride and ego to bring about the northern king’s downfall.
We see then in verses 1-5 David describing all the various ways in which he had been assaulted and lobbied against by his detractors. Remember that this is more than complaint. It is David committing these matters to prayer. Before you consider taking matters into your own hands to defend yourself in a time of enmity – lay these things before the Lord. You may not have all your facts and the enemy can be very subtle but go to the Father and appeal to His clemency to preserve you and defend you in times of increasing pressure from those around you who are walking contrary to your understanding of what God has called you to do.
Verse 7 speaks of the salvation of God covering David’s head in a time of battle. This may be where Paul in Ephesians 6 conceived of the armor of God:
[Eph 6:13-18 KJV] 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
The helmet is something that protects your head where the seat of thinking is. You have to wrap your mind and insulate your thoughts with the word of God and what God says about your life and situation. People will come at you quoting scripture and making the case for violating your peace but what does God word say? God is your salvation. He makes His thoughts in your mind to be an impenetrable armor that will not relinquish the promise of God over your life no matter what.
Verse 12 assures us that God will maintain your cause and defend you against every assault of the wicked one. Attacks come in various ways and unfortunately many times from those who think they are acting in God’s name to rake you with their criticisms. The lesson of Psalm 140 is take all such matters before the Lord in prayer. Refuse to defend yourself or to engage the adversary on a human level. You can’t solve the problem on the level of the problem. You have to take it to the Lord in prayer as David does in Psalm 140 and rest your case in Him and trust the Father to be your defender.
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