Song for the Slandered Soul
David’s passionate song # 7 The inscription reads “shiggaion,” which means “a loud cry” and is taken from a Hebrew word that means “roar.” It is a wild and passionate song. Have you ever been under such pressure that you felt like roaring? That is a “shiggaion.” Some scholars believe the central thought of the word is that of wandering. It may also indicate the style of music to which the song was written. to Yahweh
To the tune of “Breaking the Curse of Cush, the Benjamite” # 7 The name Cush means “firelike,” “burned,” or “blackened.” This person’s identity is not definite, but some believe this is an oblique reference to Saul, whose heart was burned and blackened by his sin and whose character was “firelike.” Saul was a Benjamite.
1Yahweh, my God, I turn to hide my soul in you.
Save me from all those who pursue and persecute me.
2There is none to deliver me but you!
Don’t let my foes fall upon me like fierce lions with teeth bared.
Can’t you see how they want to rip my soul to shreds?
3Yahweh, my God, if I have done evil like they say I have,
and my hands are guilty,
4if I have wronged someone at peace with me,
if I have betrayed a friend, repaying evil for good,
or if I have unjustly harmed my enemy,
5Then let my enemy pursue and overtake me.
Let them grind me into the ground.
Let them take my life from me and drag my dignity through the dust!
Pause in his presence
6Yahweh, arise in your anger against the anger # 7:6 Or “outrages (plural).” of my enemies.
Awaken your fury and stand up for me!
Execute the judgment # 7:6 Or “Command justice!” It is in God’s hands alone to bring true justice to the earth, for he is the Righteous Judge. you have decreed against them.
7All the people gather around you.
Return to your place on high to preside over them. # 7:7 There is at least a hint here of the resurrection and ascension of Jesus, who had all authority to judge given to him and now rules from on high.
8You are Yahweh who judges the people.
Vindicate me publicly, Yahweh, and restore my honor and integrity. # 7:8 Augustine, an early church father, translates this word as “harmlessness.” David saw himself as harmless to his enemies. This is what integrity is all about. We maintain our character even when misunderstood or persecuted. Are you like this?
Declare me innocent.
9Once and for all, bring to an end the evil tactics of the wicked!
Establish the cause of the righteous,
for you are the righteous God, the soul searcher,
who tests every heart
to examine the thoughts and motives. # 7:9 Or “hearts and kidneys,” which is a Hebraic way of saying all of human nature, including our thoughts, motives, and feelings.
10God, your wraparound presence is my shield.
You bring victory to all who are pure in heart.
11God, your righteousness is revealed when you judge.
Because of the strength of your forgiveness,
your anger does not break out every day. # 7:11 As translated from the Septuagint. Although the Hebrew is “God is angry during all the day,” this verse has other possible translations. The Latin Vulgate: “God is a judge, righteous, strong, and patient. Will he be angry every day?” The Septuagint: “not bringing forth his anger every day.” The Syriac: “he is not angry every day.” In other words, even though God judges righteously, his anger does not break out every day. There are over ten words in Hebrew that can be translated “anger.” The word used in this verse is za’am and comes from a word that means the “roar” or “groan” of a camel.
God’s Lethal Weapons
12-13Yet if one does not repent,
you will not relent to sharpen # 7:12–13 The Hebrew word for “sharpen” can also be translated “brighten.” God will make bright his sword of truth for the righteous and to the ungodly. God’s Word is a sword to bring light and judgment to the heart. your shining sword.
You have an arsenal of lethal weapons
that you’ve prepared for them.
You have bent and strung your bow,
making your judgment-arrows shafts of burning fire.
14Look how the wicked conceive their evil schemes.
They go into labor with their lies and give birth to trouble.
15They dig a pit for others to fall into,
not knowing that they will be the very ones
who will fall into it.
16Every pit-digger who works to trap and harm others
will be trapped by his own treachery.
17But I will give my thanks to you, Yahweh,
for you make everything right in the end.
I will sing my highest praise to the God of the Highest Place!