Psalms · Psalms Book 1

When in doubt, start with God

Psalm 7 has unsettled me somehow the past couple of weeks. I have struggled to write the many things I have thought about as I have read and reread this psalm. So to begin, I have copied it here below for you to read. Don’t forget to take a breath and consider what you have read when you come to “Selah” at the end of verse 5.

Psalm 7 (NRSV)
A Shiggaion of David, which he sang to the Lord concerning Cush, a Benjaminite.

O Lord my God, in you I take refuge;
    save me from all my pursuers, and deliver me,
or like a lion they will tear me apart;
    they will drag me away, with no one to rescue.

O Lord my God, if I have done this,
    if there is wrong in my hands,
if I have repaid my ally with harm
    or plundered my foe without cause,
then let the enemy pursue and overtake me,
    trample my life to the ground,
    and lay my soul in the dust. Selah

Rise up, O Lord, in your anger;
    lift yourself up against the fury of my enemies;
    awake, O my God; you have appointed a judgment.
Let the assembly of the peoples be gathered around you,
    and over it take your seat on high.
The Lord judges the peoples;
    judge me, O Lord, according to my righteousness
    and according to the integrity that is in me.

O let the evil of the wicked come to an end,
    but establish the righteous,
you who test the minds and hearts,
    O righteous God.
10 God is my shield,
    who saves the upright in heart.
11 God is a righteous judge,
    and a God who has indignation every day.

12 If one does not repent, God will whet his sword;
    he has bent and strung his bow;
13 he has prepared his deadly weapons,
    making his arrows fiery shafts.
14 See how they conceive evil,
    and are pregnant with mischief,
    and bring forth lies.
15 They make a pit, digging it out,
    and fall into the hole that they have made.
16 Their mischief returns upon their own heads,
    and on their own heads their violence descends.

17 I will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness,
    and sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High.

The first question I ask is: Who is God in this psalm? What do we learn about Him?

  • The psalmist’s refuge
  • One who is able to save and deliver
  • The only one who can rescue
  • The one who hears our confessions and judges our actions and allows consequences
  • One who is angered
  • One who rises and awakes to defend
  • The one who has appointed judgment
  • The one who sits on high
  • The judge of all people according to his righteousness
  • The one who brings the evil of the wicked to an end
  • The one who establishes the righteous
  • The one who tests our minds and our hearts (not just our actions)
  • Righteous
  • Our shield
  • Savior of the upright in heart
  • Righteous judge
  • God is angry (indignant, full of wrath) every day (at what? evil, injustice, sin)
  • God is preparing his deadly weapons against those who don’t repent, but the psalmist doesn’t say He uses them.
  • God is not the source of evil and lies, nor is He always the source of the consequences.
  • God is worthy of our thanks for His righteousness
  • God is worthy of our singing and praise to His name
  • He is Lord
  • He is the Most High

O Lord my God, in you I take refuge;…God is my shield, who saves…, a righteous judge….I will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness, and sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High.

Amen and Amen.

I am in awe of the Lord, the Most High God who is all of that and cares for each of us individually and cares about how we treat others in this world. And that brings me to tears and leaves me without words.

May you be blessed by God’s word today.

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