There is nothing like trials to drive us to our knees in prayer. And no prayers are as earnest and meaningful as those brought out by distress. The candid outpouring of the heart in this psalm of prayer is almost palpable. The darts of the evil one were being hurled at David by the basketful.
I O LORD my God, in Thee I have taken refuge; Save me from all those who pursue me, and deliver me, 2 Lest he tear my soul like a lion, Dragging me away, while there is none to deliver. 3 0 LORD my God, if I have done this, If there is injustice in my hands, 4 If I have rewarded evil to my friend, Or have plundered him who without cause was my adversary, 5 Let the enemy pursue my soul and overtake it; And let him trample my life down to the ground, And lay my glory in the dust. Selah.
Fierce enemies were raging against David, slandering him. The same thing happens to righteous men today. Unfortunately, even though such charges are false, they are still vexing since we know that weak-minded, naive or uniformed individuals will certainly believe them. Many innocent men are distressed in such cases because it is nearly impossible to disprove slander. How can you convince all who heard that those evil juicy tales aren't so? Reputations are ruined as the victim can only protest his innocence. But a man must be able to do more than that, mustn't he? Yet as much as we might wish, slaying the enemies and cutting out their tongues is not an option, not even if you are the king.
David did the only thing that can offer hope to help — he went to God in prayer. As verse 1 said, "In Thee I have taken refuge...save me...deliver me..." David knew that the Lord will help because He knew the nature of the Lord. The Lord judges all things with righteous judgment and will uphold justice.
8 The LORD judges the peoples; vindicate me, O LORD, according to my righteousness and my integrity that is in me. 9 0 let the evil of the wicked come to an end, but establish the righteous; For the righteous God tries the hearts and minds. 10 My shield is with God, Who saves the upright in heart. 11 God is a righteous judge, And a God who has indignation every day. The great of hope of all the distressed is that sooner of later God will set all things right. Eventually, what should be, will be. We often must suffer greatly while waiting for things to be set right, but we know the character of God and know that He will make it right. It is His nature. One of the ways that God sets things right is to have the wickedness of the wicked come back on them. The comes to them is the evil that he started. 14 Behold, he travails with wickedness, And he conceives mischief, and brings forth falsehood. 15 He has dug a pit and hollowed it out, And has fallen into the hole which he made. 16 His mischief will return upon his own head, And his violence will descend upon his own pate. What he did will come back to him. The weapons used on him are the weapons that he made. The pit he falls in will be his own. The Lord has made a universal rule —you will reap as you have sown. This is the great hope of the righteous and a terrible threat to those who do wickedness.
Before leaving this subject let us note that those who go to God in prayer for relief have a much better case to make when they are innocent themselves. Read verses 3-5 again. David was able to assert his innocence as a challenge his enemies to show what evil he had done. If he did, it let all that they wanted to do and more come on him. David was truly innocent. However we must note that many make great protestations of innocence either cynically - as disguise for their evil, or inconsistently - constantly seeing every little evil others but taking no note of their own. If either of these would make a plaintive cry to God for relieve, we doubt that much would be accomplished. David could pray that God would "Vindicate me, O LORD, according to my righteousness and my integrity that is in me." Some who would bring their up lives and sufferings to God for relief could not stand the examination.
Yet for those who do suffer by evil hands and tongues, let them (having considered themselves first), go to God in prayer. We have confidence that they shall have the same blessed result as David did. "l will give thanks to the LORD according to His righteousness, And will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High." (vs. 17)