psalm vii – questionable request

Lord if I have done this, may my enemy destroy me. Doesn’t David realise to Whom he is praying? What kind of person prays for judgement on themself from the God who can really deliver? Who would make such a questionable request?

The one who most understands to Whom they are praying.

What is David thinking about when he makes that prayer? God alone. How surrendered is his will to God, that he would invite his own destruction if he had defied Him?

How beautiful is the creature who asserts no will of its own apart from God, and desires only to obey and receive what God has for it?

There is no greater surrender than to come to God concerned only for His concerns. That is what heaven will be like, a lock step of our will with God’s.

Now, this is not the whole of the Psalm, because then David does start asking for good things for himself. Protection and deliverance. Yet he prays this in the context of what he prayed at the start. It is not wrong in the slightest to ask God for provision, for He is the only Provider. But the perfect prayer only asks for what God would will to give. No more or less. And the perfect prayer requests what God would deem best, not demand what we think best.

God has no will to vanquish you. He seeks you in His Word with the Gospel of Christ by the supernatural work of His Spirit. You don’t need to pray for destruction like David does, because you know that an eternal stream of forgiveness now flows from Christ along the channel of faith. But David is willing to suffer what would destroy him for the sake of God’s purpose. His will was matched to God’s will.

How does that make you feel? If you despair, lean on Christ. David did not cultivate that attitude in himself apart from God’s inner working and neither can you. Wait and serve patiently and God will give you what you need.

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

Lord my God, if I have done this,
if there is injustice on my hands,
if I have done harm to one at peace with me
or have plundered my adversary without cause,
may an enemy pursue and overtake me;
may he trample me to the ground
and leave my honor in the dust.

Rise up, Lord, in your anger;
lift yourself up against the fury of my adversaries;
awake for me;
you have ordained a judgment.
Let the assembly of peoples gather around you;
take your seat on high over it.
The Lord judges the peoples;
vindicate me, Lord,
according to my righteousness and my integrity.

Let the evil of the wicked come to an end,
but establish the righteous.
The one who examines the thoughts and emotions
is a righteous God.
My shield is with God,
who saves the upright in heart.
God is a righteous judge
and a God who shows his wrath every day.

If anyone does not repent,
he will sharpen his sword;
he has strung his bow and made it ready.
He has prepared his deadly weapons;
he tips his arrows with fire.

See, the wicked one is pregnant with evil,
conceives trouble, and gives birth to deceit.
He dug a pit and hollowed it out
but fell into the hole he had made.
His trouble comes back on his own head;
his own violence comes down on top of his head.

I will thank the Lord for his righteousness;
I will sing about the name of the Lord Most High.

psalm vii (csb)

<— psalm vi psalm viii —>