As we read and pray the Psalms, it often feels as if we are looking in a mirror. They so often reflect the various emotional states of our being, like fear, anger, and desperation. However, they also reflect the positive side of our emotions, things like hope and joy. The emotions of the Psalmist are much like our own. Every day we can and do exhibit such a roller coaster of feelings.
Seeing ourselves in the Psalms is important. The prayers for protection and deliverance balanced with praise, thanksgiving, and hope are spiritually forming ones, that lead us into righteous living. In Psalm 7, David is writing his feelings in response to a Benjamite, named Cush, who is most likely a servant of King Saul (from the tribe of Benjamin). Cush has apparently been persecuting David for things from which he feels innocent. David thus cries out to the Lord for deliverance.
While it is good for us to see ourselves in the Psalms, their real gift to us is to see Jesus Christ exalted in them. In Psalm 7, David’s claim of righteousness in verse 8 should make us feel uncomfortable. “8 The LORD judges the peoples; judge me, O LORD, according to my righteousness and according to the integrity that is in me.” Who of us cries out to God to judge us according to our righteousness? Not me. Rather we cry out to the Lord to judge us with mercy for our sinfulness. Yet, there is one who is Righteous in all his ways. One who did not deserve the persecution that befell him – Jesus Christ.
Christ is the true voice of Psalm 7. When we read it, we should remember the many ways Jesus’ enemies hunted Him like a lion, until they finally struck Him down. Even from the cross, Jesus knew his Father would be faithful to save him. We can hear the echo of verse 10, “My shield is with God, who saves the upright in heart.”, in Jesus final words as he gave up His spirit into the hands of His Father.
Where are you today in your journey of life? Are there enemies pursuing you? Are you feeling depressed from a shroud of darkness in the way things seem to be going. All these things were common to David as he wrote, and we can take comfort that they were felt by Jesus as well. But we need not fall to our dark feelings, for Christ is our shield. He will save those who hide themselves in Him and His righteousness. Our prayer in faith should always be, “Libera me, Domine”, deliver me, O Lord!