Daily Family Worship

Psalm 64: A Prayer for Preservation

by | May 14, 2024

psalm 64

This Psalm is a most ardent prayer – full of the feelings of a heart under great difficulties from the unceasing and infinite malice of the devil, the deceit of men, and the ingratitude of the world. Here David cries unto the Lord, on account of having experienced so much treachery – even from members of his own household. He cries to the Lord against his betrayers and his most virulent slanderers – those vipers who, by wicked speeches and all the arts of lying and malice, did not cease to plot against him. Among this evil gang was David’s own son Absalom; his most trusted counselor, Ahithophel; and many others like them.

He continues, however, to perseveringly comfort and console himself with the assurance that by the just judgment of God, these same enemies would bring evil upon their own heads. Those base and viperous tongues which would not cease their lying and slandering would end up wounding themselves – which is exactly what happened, in the end, with Absalom and Ahithophel. Like David, we also ought to pray against all those spiritual serpents that creep into the halls of kings, presidents, and governments; for they attack the people of God with satanic craft and hatred, and with all the arts of wickedness. But they themselves shall fall into the snares which they have laid, as the records of history illustrate in numberless instances. The mischief that they plan shall fall upon their own heads; and all who see this shall openly behold the works of God, and acknowledge that He Himself has visited them with the justice and judgment that they deserve.

Let us take a closer look at the content of this Psalm. In the first six verses, the Psalmist earnestly begs the Lord to preserve him from disquieting fear because of the plots and words of the wicked. The tongue is a little member, but it boasts great things. And the upright man is the mark at which evil persons aim; they cannot speak peaceably either of him or to him. Alas! There is no guard against a false tongue. It is bad to do wrong, but it is even worse to use the words of our mouth to encourage ourselves and others in the deeds of wickedness. It is a sign that the heart is hardened to the greatest degree when it is thus fully set to do evil. And verse 5 shows us how these evil plotters promise themselves success in their wretched undertakings, because they are certain that no one will see them in their crafty works that they do in secret. A practical disbelief of God’s knowledge of all things is at the bottom of every wickedness.

But the good news for the people of God is that He will not permit these despicable characters to go on doing this forever without being punished! He “shall shoot at them with an arrow; suddenly shall they be wounded. So they shall make their own tongue to fall upon themselves” (verses 7-8). When God brings upon men the mischiefs which they planned to execute upon others, it is weight enough to sink a person to the lowest hell. Those who love cursing shall have it come back upon their own heads. Those who behold this shall understand and observe God’s hand in it all (verses 9-10). The righteous shall be glad in the Lord – not glad over the misery and ruin of their fellow-creatures; but glad that God is glorified, and His Word fulfilled, and the cause of injured innocence pleaded effectually. God’s people do not rejoice or glory in men, nor in themselves, nor in any creature, nor in their wisdom or strength or riches or righteousness; but only in Christ – in Whom, all His people are justified and glorified!

Lord! How we give You many thanks that we have our covenant-God to fly unto amidst all the reproaches of our spiritual enemies, and when all the malice of every deadly spiritual foe lies in wait to deceive us! Amen.

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