Daily Family Worship

Psalm 7: The Song of a Slandered Saint

by | Apr 4, 2024

psalm 7

There is something like excitement in the style of this Psalm. We do not find in it the calm, deep cries of one who is in anguish; but rather, the earnest – and almost indignant – appeals of one whose righteous soul is exasperated by the world’s opposition. It is the voice of one who betakes himself to Jehovah as his only shelter, and who makes his cave of refuge ring with his vehement appeals. One person has remarked that here we find complaint, supplication, prediction, crimination, judgment, and thanksgiving. The Holy Spirit made use of some special attack of Cush the Benjamite as the opportunity for conveying this song to His servant David. And herein He has also given to His Church a song which every succeeding generation has felt appropriate to use in a world that lies in wickedness – and it was never more appropriate to sing it now than in our own times! No doubt, David’s greater Son took up the words of this song during the days of His earthly ministry; He may have often used it as part of His own personal devotions when He was alone in the hills of Galilee.

In verses 1-5, innocence is pleaded against those who are adversaries “without a cause.” This feature of enmity “without a cause” seems to have wounded the tender heart of our Savior very deeply; for in John 15:25, we find Him quoting another Psalm where the same words occur – and where the emphasis lies on “without a cause.” The world has hated Him because it hated the holiness that could give no cause of accusation against Him; and in the same way, it has hated His people because of the resemblance which they bear to their unblemished Head. The world’s enmity is always directed against the saints, whom they are sure that the Lord loves; and so each child of God can appeal, along with his or her Savior, against “him that without cause is mine enemy” (verse 4). 

After a Selah-pause, the tone changes; from verse 6 onward, the future day of retribution comes into view. Jehovah has appointed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness. In verse 7, we see all the tribes of the earth being gathered round the Lord’s tribunal; and over that assembly, the Lord takes His throne – as if they had come together there to await the arrival of the Judge, Who at last appears and walks up to His seat in the view of all. And now, in verse 8, “the Lord judges the nations” – fulfilling all the duties of the Judge’s office that was held in Old Testament times by men like Othniel, Ehud, Gideon, and Samson. As to right and wrong, He is the ultimate Standard; every guilty person makes shipwreck on that rock. But He is also a ruler – putting earth in order. And when the greater Son of David used this prayer, He was expressly asking for the day of His own glory – when the Father shall be the Judge, by committing all judgment to the Son (John 5:22, 27).

The remainder of this Judgment Day Psalm presents us with views of the fearful overthrow of the ungodly. Whether we apply these verses to each individual sinner, or use them of the great united forces of the Antichrist, the words are so constructed as to apply in terrible grandeur. We see Jehovah’s daily anger (verse 11) and hatred of sin. We hear Him say that if the sinner does not return and repent (verse 12), then there is prepared for him the sword and the bow. The arrow from the bow is aimed at his heart to lay him low, like Goliath was brought down by the pebble in his forehead; and then the sword is used to complete the work of death. Let no one think of recovering from this wound, for the instruments of the Righteous Judge are “instruments of death” against those who rebel against Him.

But in verse 17, we conclude with a joyful contrast: “I will praise the Lord according to his righteousness: and will sing praise to the name of the Lord most high!” In this Psalm, like so many others, the blessedness of the righteous is contrasted with the curses on the wicked. The colors of the former’s happiness glow brighter and brighter by contrasting them with the black miseries of the wicked; the bright jewel sparkles all the more because of the black cloth behind it. Praise is the occupation of the Godly; it is their eternal work and their present pleasure. Singing is the very fitting embodiment for praise; and therefore, the saints make melody before the Lord Most High. The slandered one is now a singer; his harp was unstrung for a little season, but now we leave him sweeping its harmonious chords – and flying, on their music, to the third heaven of adoring praise!

Thank You, Lord, that when we are falsely accused by the people of this world, and when we are persecuted without a cause, we may yet take ourselves to You in prayer! Amen.

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