Psalm 140 - Awareness Of The Danger Around Us
Updated: Aug 26, 2019
Rescue me, Lord, from evildoers; protect me from the violent,
who devise evil plans in their hearts and stir up war every day.
They make their tongues as sharp as a serpent's; the poison of vipers is on their lips.
Keep me safe, Lord, from the hands of the wicked; protect me from the violent, who devise ways to trip my feet.
The arrogant have hidden a snare for me; they have spread out the cords of their net and have set traps for me along my path.
I say to the Lord, “You are my God.” Hear, Lord, my cry for mercy.
Sovereign Lord, my strong deliverer, you shield my head in the day of battle.
Do not grant the wicked their desires, Lord; do not let their plans succeed.
Those who surround me proudly rear their heads; may the mischief of their lips engulf them.
May burning coals fall on them; may they be thrown into the fire, into miry pits, never to rise.
May slanderers not be established in the land; may disaster hunt down the violent.
I know that the Lord secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy.
Surely the righteous will praise your name, and the upright will live in your presence.
This is a psalm with a strong attitude, almost like modern day rap music with a message. David took a stab at writing how he felt about the issues he was facing then. He had a strong awareness of the evil around him because of his close proximity to God. As God has given us the Spirit, seeking out the truth is easy.
Evildoers will be inclined towards evil instead of good, that’s what they do. They “devise evil plans in their hearts and stir up war every day”. We need God to protect and rescue us.
The tongues of the evil are “as sharp as a serpent’s” and their lips bear the “poison of vipers”. On May 2019, a 16-year-old Malaysian girl committed suicide after posting a poll on her Instagram, asking her followers if she should kill herself. 69% of the respondents said she should, and she did it. Words are deadly, penetrating the mind to cause long lasting emotional damage. But, as sharp as the tongue of the evil is, we have a weapon that’s even sharper – the Bible.
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)
The Bible can heal the hurts that the sharp tongues of evil cause. Do we look to God's word for healing? Do you use the Bible to heal others as well?
David asked of God, “Keep me safe” and “protect me from the wicked”. We must not become careless and think there are no wicked people around us. We live in a world that is full of sin and danger.
The arrogant are listed as wicked in this psalm, and David was aware that they “have hidden a snare for me”. He recognised that traps were everywhere, and he cried to God for mercy. He was confident that God, his “strong deliver” will “shield my head in the day of battle”. We need to battle the proud and the wicked daily. Are we even aware of them? Satan’s plan is to normalise sin, and get society used to them. He wants us to become insensitive to their dangers and forget our need to turn to God.
David asked God not to “grant the wicked their desires” or “let their plans succeed”. We cannot be apathetic, we need to desire for more righteousness in the world than wickedness.
But do we only pray for the God to oppose the wicked? Or do we pray for them to change too? Jesus did not come to eradicate the sinners, but to save them. We must not fall into self-righteousness and forget that we too are sinners in need of God’s grace.
David wrote that he knew that God “secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy”. He also wrote that “Surely, the righteous will praise your name”. He showed a lot of confidence in God despite the struggles he faced. Do difficulties shake your faith that God cares for you? Do you grow impatient with God and start doubting Him?
Our Lord Jesus is here to secure justice for us and to care for our need. We are the needy and the poor ones in spirit. Let’s stand upright together as God is in our presence, let us praise God’s Holy Name
Andy is the head of compliance for an international bank and is happily married, with three daughters. He became a disciple of Christ three decades ago, and studies God's Word passionately. He desires to be constantly led by the Spirit.