From the days of Cain and Abel to the end of time, all who desire to live godly lives will suffer persecution and mistreatment from the ungodly. Psalms 140-144 are five psalms ascribed to David; each is written while he was in the crucible of evil treatment. The underlying reason for this is found in David’s righteous abomination of evil, as described in Psalm 139:19-22. Here, it is written, “Oh, that You would slay the wicked, O God! Depart from me, therefore, you bloodthirsty men. For they speak against You wickedly; Your enemies take Your name in vain. Do I not hate them, O Lord, who hate You? And do I not loathe those who rise up against You? I hate them with perfect hatred; I count them my enemies.”
Because David sought to abhor evil and cling to what is good,
- Violent men planned evil things against him, sharpening their tongues like a serpent, the poison of asps under their lips (140:1-3);
- Wicked, violent men purposed to make him stumble (140:4);
- Proud enemies had hidden a snare for him, spreading a net by the wayside, setting traps for him (140:5);
- Workers of iniquity had laid snares for him, seeking to trap him in their nets (141:9-10);
- Persecutors stronger than he had secretly set a snare for him (142:3, 6);
- His enemy had persecuted his soul, crushing his life to the ground, filling his heart with distress (143:3);
- Foreigners had spoken lying words about him (144:7, 11).
In response to these situations, David beseeched God for deliverance (140:1); he cried out to the Lord to make haste (141:1); he desired for his prayer to be set before Jehovah as incense (141:2); he sought refuge in God the Lord (Psalm 141:8, 142:5); he poured out his complaint and declared his trouble before Jehovah (142:2); he entreated the Lord to hear his prayer, give ear to his supplications and answer him in faithfulness and righteousness (143:1); he sought a speedy answer from Jehovah, delivering him from his enemies (143:7, 9); he asked the Lord to revive him for his name’s sake, bringing his soul out of trouble for His righteousness’ sake (143:11); he requested, “Bow down Your heavens, O Lord, and come down; touch the mountains, and they shall smoke. Flash forth lightning and scatter them; shoot out Your arrows and destroy them. Stretch out Your hand from above; rescue me and deliver me out of great waters, from the hand of foreigners” (144:5-7).
The final psalm of David in the Psalter concludes with these thrilling words: “The Lord is righteous in all His ways, gracious in all His works. The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He also will hear their cry and save them. The Lord preserves all who love Him, but all the wicked He will destroy. My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord, and all flesh shall bless His holy name forever and ever” (145:17-21).
Truly, “the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment” (2 Peter 2:9).
Do NOT stop striving to live a godly life.