Main Point: David is trusting in God to deliver him, and deal with him as a faithful servant. He calls upon God to act as the righteous Judge that he is; to save him from his friend who is accusing him of betraying him. David then takes comfort in God’s protection, and warns the wicked what will happen if they continue to rebel against God. David finishes off by thanking God for his faithfulness, and singing of the name of the Lord.
Interesting Points: David makes copious use of metaphors in this psalm, whether it is in reference to God or his enemies (his enemies are like lions, God is described as a shield and later as a warrior). He shows us how drawing upon the world around us we can speak truths that are spiritual. Many times when we use metaphors to describe God in our prayers it can help us feel a connection that can often escape us.
We also don’t have to stick to the metaphors that the scriptures supply, as all of the world speaks God’s truth. Having lived in the hot summers of the south, I know what protection and comfort the shade of a tree provides. When I think about it, I can feel the coolness and my body relaxes. It has a calming effect on my body. When I remind myself that much like the shade of that tree God protects me from the heat and trails of my own life, I feel a closeness and thankfulness to him that I would have missed.
When David asks the Lord to deal with him according to his righteousness, David is not making a claim of sinlessness. He is speaking about his innocence in this particular incident.
Verses 12-16 certainly are different here from what we have seen so far in the petition psalms of David. He breaks off into a warning that is more reminiscent of Proverbs 1, than the petitionary psalms that have just proceeded it. It is certainly a reminder that Sin has deadly consequences, consequences that the new testament teaches us ultimately was taken on for us by Jesus. This is the reason that God can relent on those who do repent and still be a righteous Judge.
Emotional Reactions: I have to say that for me, not being a place that resonates with this psalm I am having a hard time syncing with it emotionally. However, I can take comfort in the words of verse 11, “My shield is with God, who saves the upright in Heart.”