Bible: What Does Psalms 140-145 Teach Us About the LORD's Character?
Psalms 140-145: The LORD, the Strong Protector of His People
David asks for deliverance from wicked men who
(1) do violence (vv. 1, 4),
(2) plan evil (v. 1)
(3) gather for war (v. 2)
(4) slander him (v. 3; cf. Rom. 3:13), and
(5) seek his capture (v. 5).
He reiterates his prayer, acknowledging God's protection in previous battles, and pleads that the LORD might prevent his enemies from experiencing victory over him (vv. 6-8).
David suggests some ways that God might judge the adversaries (vv. 9-11), yet rests assured that the LORD would set things aright and cause the just to live in peace (vv. 12-13).
[David remembered how God won his battles in the past, and concluded that He would also save him in his present struggles].
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In distress David again cries out, wanting God to receive his prayer (“as incense”) and worship (“the lifting up of my hands”) as though he had offered them in the sanctuary (vv. 1-2).
He requests protection in his speech (v. 3), prevention from fellowshipping with evil companions (v. 4), and grace to accept discipline from the righteous (v. 5).
As he considers the injustices of the wicked, he relies on God to deliver him and return the disasters upon the perpetrators' heads (vv. 6-10).
[David desires that the LORD enable him to speak and act wisely, and protect him from evildoers].
The superscription reports that David hid in a cave when he composed this psalm.
Accordingly, he is complaining to the LORD about his situation in life (vv. 1-2).
Lonely and depressed, the psalmist exclaims, “No one cares for my soul” (vv. 3-4); therefore, he cries out to his “portion” to save him from powerful persecutors (vv. 5-6).
Once the LORD delivers him, David promises to praise Him; afterwards, other righteous ones will join him (v. 7).
[During dark times, the saint must find that God is his portion in life].
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David looks to his faithful and righteous God for mercy in the midst of persecution (vv. 1-3; cf. Lam. 3:6).
While under stress, he thinks about the past deeds of the LORD and longs for His help again, asking Him for deliverance before his enemy triumphs (vv. 4-7).
Trusting in Yahweh, David expects covenant love to comfort him, guide him (v. 8), deliver him (v. 9), and teach him His will (v. 10).
He depends upon the LORD to revive and rescue him (v. 11), but destroy his enemies (v. 12).
[Knowing (like Paul) that in his flesh “nothing good dwells,” David fully expected God to save him based on His covenant faithfulness].
An elaborate description of how David viewed the LORD serves as the introduction to this song of praise.
To the psalmist, God is his strength and protection (“my Rock,” “my lovingkindness,” “my fortress,” “my high tower,” “my deliverer,” “my shield,” “”the One in whom I take refuge,” “Who subdues the peoples/my people under me”) [vv. 1-2].
As he meditates upon how these truths relate to his relationship with God, he wonders why the LORD yet bothers with mankind (vv. 3, 4; cf. Ps. 8:4; 39:5, 6).
Immediately after considering this thought, he calls upon the LORD to "move heaven and earth" to save him from his enemies (vv. 5-8), and promises to praise Him when He does so (vv. 9-10).
After repeating verses 7b-8 (which described his prayer for deliverance from the deceit of certain foreigners), David cites several reasons why God should rescue him.
In short, he wishes that the LORD might fully bless Israel in every way—strong children, plentiful produce and livestock, freedom from invasion (vv. 11-15).
[David realized that the God who was on his side was also on Israel's side, and that He would shake the earth to rescue His own].
Thanksgiving for God's Goodness
David vows always to praise the LORD for His greatness as manifested in His mighty works (vv. 1-5), and reports that other men will proclaim His greatness, goodness, and righteousness from generation to generation (vv. 6-7).
He further extols the moral character of God (vv. 8-9), the glory of His eternal kingdom (vv. 11-13), the generosity of His providence (vv. 14-16), and the totality of the salvation of His own (vv. 17-20).
Verse 21 promises an eternity of both personal and universal praise.
[David had a God-centered perspective regarding the majesty of the LORD and the end to which He is taking His world.
Oh, for the grace to sustain such a view of life]!
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