Psalm 140

Those are safe whom God preserves.
In Him believers may count upon security against all real enemies.

1 Deliver me, O LORD, from the evil man: preserve me from the violent man;

2 Which imagine mischiefs in their heart; continually are they gathered together for war.

3 They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent; adders’ poison is under their lips. Selah.

4 Keep me, O LORD, from the hands of the wicked; preserve me from the violent man; who have purposed to overthrow my goings.

5 The proud have hid a snare for me, and cords; they have spread a net by the wayside; they have set gins for me. Selah.

6 I said unto the LORD, Thou art my God: hear the voice of my supplications, O LORD.

7 O GOD the Lord, the strength of my salvation, thou hast covered my head in the day of battle.

8 Grant not, O LORD, the desires of the wicked: further not his wicked device; lest they exalt themselves. Selah.

9 As for the head of those that compass me about, let the mischief of their own lips cover them.

10 Let burning coals fall upon them: let them be cast into the fire; into deep pits, that they rise not up again.

11 Let not an evil speaker be established in the earth: evil shall hunt the violent man to overthrow him.

12 I know that the LORD will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and the right of the poor.

13 Surely the righteous shall give thanks unto thy name: the upright shall dwell in thy presence.

Psalm 140 – Confidence in God’s Protection

   Here is a picture of a man who is beset by foes. Around are slander and hatred; at his feet stratagems and traps. There is no help save in Him who alone can cover the head in the day of battle. Similar experiences befall God’s people still. Some are hunted by earthly enemies; others are stung by the fiery darts of the wicked. In Psalm 140:1-5 life is like a path through a forest, where adders hide and where gins are laid. At any moment the foe may break from his ambush. In Psalm 140:6-7 faith discovers God, at such a time, as strength, salvation, and protection.
   There follows, in Psalm 140:8-12, a terrible outburst. Instead of the let of the imperative, many read the shall of prediction. We belong to the kingdom of Christ, the teachings of which are given in Matthew 5. The only coals of fire that we can deal with are those of love and mercy, which we heap on the heads of our enemies. The least in the kingdom of love stands on a higher plane than the greatest in the kingdom of law. But let the wicked remember Romans 2:5. The psalm ends in a gladder strain, Psalm 140:13. There is an inner sanctuary where we shall be safe! —Through the Bible Day by Day

Psalm 140:7—O GOD the Lord, the strength of my salvation, Thou hast covered my head in the day of battle.

​   All day long the fight has waxed fierce against the hardly-pressed soldier. The very sky has seemed darkened with flights of arrows, and the enemy has raged like a tornado amid the reeds on the river’s brink. The fiery darts of venomous sarcasm have been like a storm of hail, and yet the lonely warrior has not succumbed. To himself, and to all others, his escape has been marvellous. How could it be accounted for, except that an unseen shield had been around him, covering his head in the day of battle.
   Ah, beloved soul, God is not only the strength of thy salvation, but He is also the covert, the panoply, the shield on which the malice of the foe expends itself in vain. Be quiet. Let not thy heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper. There is but one matter for which thou needest to care. Always be sure that you are ranged on God’s side.
   As David anticipated the mischief of violent men who gathered themselves together for war, and sharpened their tongues like a serpent, it was a consolation to look back upon past deliverances. What God had done He would do again, so that the righteous might give thanks, and the upright dwell in his presence. God’s covering in the day of battle makes a temple amid its tumult, and the soul dwells there as in the Divine Presence Chamber.

       “O Holy Lord, who with the children three
          Didst walk the piercing flame,
       Help! in these trial hours, which, save to Thee,
          I dare not name;
       Nor let these quivering eyes and sickening heart
          Crumble to dust beneath the tempter’s dart!” —Our Daily Homily