This Psalm is not one of excitement or joy, rather it is the song of lament sung by the psalmist as he was overwhelmed by his enemies. He speaks of the accusations and hateful words they hurl at him as he attempts to show them love. It’s a dark scene of sorrow for this innocent man, but he responds with a powerful statement in verse 4, “In return for my love they accuse me, but I give myself to prayer.” At this point it would be very easy for him to vent his anger to a friend or try to get revenge on his enemies. However, that isn’t the choice he made. He chose to go to God in prayer. He pleads for God’s help, for God to avenge the evil of his enemies, and then he gives thanks to the Lord in praise.
In today’s world of constant connection through social media and texting, it’s far too easy to rush to our phone or computer when we are in despair. In a matter of minutes we can type up a hateful post to “get it off our chest” or to “rant for a minute.” We can easily rattle off a heated text to a friend bemoaning the ways we’ve been wronged, seeking justification for our attitude and anger. The psalmist here provides a clear example of what our reaction should be. We should head straight to God in prayer. He is the only one who can bring us peace and the only one worthy of our praise. And yes, He’s worthy of our praise even when our circumstances seem unfair or people are treating us poorly.
So I challenge you to read this Psalm again. As you do, think of Jesus in the midst of His enemies. Remember His response and notice the parallel with that of the psalmist. No doubt you will frequently encounter a time of despair, turmoil, or division in this broken world. When you do, simply stop. Put your phone down. Leave your computer. Seek the Lord and His guidance, asking Him to help you and bring you peace in the midst of the turmoil. Finally, praise Him for His faithfulness.