Psalm 140 Commentary
This psalm is titled, “Prayer for protection against the Wicked” in the Amplified Bible. You would think David was part of the class, together with Peter, when the LORD Jesus Christ taught his disciples how to pray. An important part of the lecture was the saint’s request to be ‘delivered’ from the evil one.
While David’s petition is about deliverance from wicked men and women, the Lord’s Prayer is about protection from the wicked one, otherwise called the evil one. It is singular. The picture is that the evil one of the New Testament is behind the many evildoers of David’s time. He is their father.
He is the factory of violence, evil plans, arrogance, war, evil snares, and deadly poison. The imagery is powerful and instructive.
David cries out to God because he is unable to guard himself against the evil one. The LORD Jesus Christ teaches his disciples how to ask for protection against the evil one. Simply ask. But the saint must understand the dangers out there. There is war but there is also a trap. The battle is often physical and the army is physically engaged. Traps are hidden. The dangers are real. No wonder the LORD Jesus Christ wants the saint to ask for protection.
Evil plans are devised; it is never a thoughtless eruption of wickedness.
Because we know so much about David, it is easy for us to understand this psalm. We are hearing from a highly skilled military general. Was he flattered by his exploits with Goliath, a lion, or a bear? No. We know the Spirit of the LORD came upon him in power in the manner of Samson or Gideon. But who was going to blame David for an inflated ego based on these epic moments of superhuman achievements?
Yet the David we see here is completely dependent on the LORD God. It wasn’t about human resolve or new-year resolutions. It wasn’t about mental strength or the quality of one’s morality. Against the enemy in question, all these tools are all useless. Let the saint know that it is only by asking God for help that one can find real protection – God’s protection.
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