David was being hunted by Saul’s men. He asks God for protection. He affirms his innocence and asks God to judge them.
A meditation by David, which he sang to the LORD, concerning the words of Cush, the Benjamite.
VERSE 1. LORD, my God, I take refuge in you. Save me from all those who pursue me, and deliver me,
I take refuge in you. That is, “I come to you for protection” (NLT translation).
VERSE 2. lest they tear apart my soul like a lion, ripping it in pieces, while there is no one to deliver.
VERSE 3. LORD, my God, if I have done this, if there is iniquity in my hands,
VERSE 4. if I have rewarded evil to him who was at peace with me (yes, I have delivered him who without cause was my adversary),
VERSE 5. let the enemy pursue my soul, and overtake it; yes, let him tread my life down to the earth, and lay my glory in the dust. Selah.
VERSE 6. Arise, LORD, in your anger. Lift up yourself against the rage of my adversaries. Awake for me. You have commanded judgment.
Awake for me. David seems to be assuming that God is asleep.
You have commanded judgment. That is, “Wake to judge as you have decreed” (NLT translation). King David is asking a negative thing against his enemies. This is sometimes called “imprecatory prayer.” The Bible accurately records it without necessarily approving or disproving of it.
VERSE 7. Let the congregation of the peoples surround you. Rule over them on high.
VERSE 8. The LORD administers judgment to the peoples. Judge me, LORD, according to my righteousness, and to my integrity that is in me.
VERSE 9. Oh let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end, but establish the righteous; their minds and hearts are searched by the righteous God.
VERSE 10. My shield is with God, who saves the upright in heart.
VERSE 11. God is a righteous judge, yes, a God who has indignation every day.
VERSE 12. If a man doesn’t repent, he will sharpen his sword; he has bent and strung his bow.
VERSE 13. He has also prepared for himself the instruments of death. He makes ready his flaming arrows.
VERSE 14. Behold, he travails with iniquity. Yes, he has conceived mischief, and brought out falsehood.
VERSE 15. He has dug a hole, and has fallen into the pit which he made.
VERSE 16. The trouble he causes shall return to his own head. His violence shall come down on the crown of his own head.
VERSE 17. I will give thanks to the LORD according to his righteousness, and will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.