A Psalm of David.

This is the second Psalm speaking prophetically of David’s plight during the events taking place in the future Kingdom trial described in Psalm 2.  It was no doubt also written at the time of his flight from Absalom, as was Psalm 3.

1.  Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness!

Hearing indicates answering.  David calls upon God to answer his cry for help.  “God of my righteousness” sounds confusing to us.  A bit clearer (but less poetic) would be “my righteous God,” which is what this means.  David calls upon his righteous God to answer his call in his time of distress.

You have relieved me when I was in distress;

Apparently this Psalm is written after the relief God gave him in Psalm 3.  Now David is his trials and calling upon God for His continued aid.

Have mercy on me, and hear my prayer.

David realizes that the calamity that has come upon him is the fulfillment of God’s prophecy of judgment upon him for his sin with Bathsheba.  As such he does not deserve God’s help in this time of calamity, but can only request that God will give it to him through His grace.  For “mercy” here is grace, that blessed grace of God upon which we are all dependent for our salvation.

2.  How long, O you sons of men,

David asks how long these wicked men will be allowed to continue.  We know that Absalom’s time was short.  The same will be true of the wicked men who rise up in that future day.

Will you turn my glory to shame?

One’s glory is that which one holds in the highest regard or esteem.  It may be that David is speaking here of the government which God gave him which is in such disarray at this time of turmoil.  Surely it was a shame to David to see his glorious realm in such chaos!  But I am not certain if this is exactly what he is talking about here.

How long will you love worthlessness

Worthlessness is put for things that are worthless.  The men who had rebelled and overthrown David’s rule did it for things that are ultimately worthless.  Those who rebel against God’s Kingdom in the future do so for the sake of sinful pleasures and getting their own selfish ways.  Never did they think of the God Whom David held so dear.  What worthless things they chose as being worthier than the God of Israel!

And seek falsehood?

Lies are ever the close companions of those who seek to overthrow righteous governments.

Selah.

This word contrasts the godless actions of these wicked men with the actions of God in this matter.

3.  But know that the LORD has set apart for Himself him who is godly;

David is confident for he knows that, unlike these wicked men who loved worthless things, he had the one thing that was most worthwhile: the support of his LORD.  This was because he knew that the LORD would be gracious to him, and by this means only could he call himself godly.  David was a recipient of God’s grace, and as such could boast before his enemies.

The LORD will hear when I call to Him.

Because of His grace toward David, God will hear him in his time of trouble.

4.  Be angry, and do not sin.

David’s call now goes out to those who have not joined his enemies in the day of trouble.  He tells them how to behave in this dark day.  The original KJV has here “Stand in awe, and sin not,” which is perhaps more appropriate.  Those living at that future time should remember God and Who He is, and this should be enough to keep them from joining the rebels who turn against God for worthless things.

Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still.

Their stillness and meditation upon their beds will help them avoid the confusion that might cause them to do wrong.  When they meditate on the LORD and all the wondrous things He has done for them, they will realize the foolishness of rebellion and so avoid this horrible sin.

Selah.

This word connects the meditations of those who choose to fear Yahweh by shunning rebellion, and the actions that result from the meditations.

5.  Offer the sacrifices of righteousness,

These would be the righteous sacrifices.  They were righteous because they were the ones ordained by God.  This would indicate religious purity in this time of turmoil.  Many in that future day will be turned aside unto false religion, as many are in our day.

And put your trust in the LORD.

Refusing to join the general revolt will put them in danger, but David gives them the advice here that should allow them to overcome their fear.  By putting their trust in Yahweh as he has they will be able to stand even the harshest of trials.

6.  There are many who say,

This is the complaint of David’s companions.

“Who will show us any good?”

They are starting to despair due to their desperate circumstances.  This is because they are not trusting completely in the LORD as David is.

LORD, lift up the light of Your countenance upon us.

David prays for the LORD’s blessing to encourage his weary companions.

7.  You have put gladness in my heart,

This was a gladness that did not originate in David’s circumstances, which were bleak.  This was instead a gladness that flowed from his confidence in his God.

More than in the season that their grain and wine increased.

In other words, more than in times when gladness would naturally flow out of happy circumstances.  David boldly declares that the gladness he has received from the LORD in his bitter trial is even better than the gladness he experienced during times of great good!  Yea, may the LORD give us this same gladness in our times of need, and even when we are not in need.  His gladness is far greater than that which comes from natural causes.

8.  I will both lie down in peace, and sleep;

This indicates a sleep that comes on immediately.  During such a time of great distress it would seem that such an untroubled sleep would be impossible.  David, however, was able to sleep this untroubled sleep due to his confidence in his God.  Let us pray that God would likewise give us the confidence in Him that would allow us to have such peaceful sleep in our times of trouble.

For You alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.

The verb here is future, stating that the LORD will make David dwell in safety.  In the time of his distress David is confident that God will yet deliver him and make him to dwell safely as he had done in the past.

To the Chief Musician.

Again a public Psalm to help the people in this time of distress.  No doubt many will again sing these Psalms in the future Kingdom day of trouble.

With flutes.

This is again a silly rendering of the word nehiloth which has no meaning or significance.  Nehiloth speaks of the boring of holes, and thus our modern translators see flutes.  It is likely, however, that the ancient texts read nehaloth, which would make this to be “concerning inheritances.”  The LORD is the inheritance of His people, and they can trust in that inheritance even when they have lost everything else to the sons of rebellion.  Let us likewise trust in the LORD, for He has become our inheritance as well.

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