Psalm 140 (NRSV)
Prayer for Deliverance from Enemies
This psalm is a complaint, which characteristically turns to the Lord at the end with confidence. (The Reformation Bible)
To the leader. A Psalm of David.
1 Deliver me, O Lord, from evildoers;
protect me from those who are violent,
2 who plan evil things in their minds
and stir up wars continually.
“The singer was being slandered by evil and violent men, who were prepared if occasion offered to add actual violence to their lying speech.”
–J. Campbell Morgan
“The persecuted man turns to God in prayer; he could not do a wiser thing. Who can meet the evil man and defeat him save Jehovah himself, whose infinite goodness is more than a match for all the evil in the universe?”
–Charles Haddon Spurgeon
3 They make their tongue sharp as a snake’s,
and under their lips is the venom of vipers. Selah
James 3:8 (NIV)
No human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
4 Guard me, O Lord, from the hands of the wicked;
protect me from the violent
who have planned my downfall.
5 The arrogant have hidden a trap for me,
and with cords they have spread a net,
along the road they have set snares for me. Selah
6 I say to the Lord, “You are my God;
give ear, O Lord, to the voice of my supplications.”
7 O Lord, my Lord, my strong deliverer,
you have covered my head in the day of battle.
The CEV (Contemporary English Version) puts it: You have the power to save me, and you keep me safe in every battle. What is it that faces you as an enemy today? Finances? Loneliness? Problems with a child? A tough boss? Uncertainty about your future? Health issues? Do not try to handle it by yourself! Go to the Lord, who is your strength and your ever-present help! Pour out your heart to Jesus! Remind God of this very verse and his promise to fight for you and deliver you! Your Savior is faithful to his word and faithful to you. In his power he will keep you safe and bring you through.
8 Do not grant, O Lord, the desires of the wicked;
do not further their evil plot. Selah
9 Those who surround me lift up their heads;
let the mischief of their lips overwhelm them!
10 Let burning coals fall on them!
Let them be flung into pits, no more to rise!
11 Do not let the slanderer be established in the land;
let evil speedily hunt down the violent!
12 I know that the Lord maintains the cause of the needy,
and executes justice for the poor.
Willem A. VanGemeren remarked that the verb form of I know is “expressive of a present condition… a victory cry.”
13 Surely the righteous shall give thanks to your name;
the upright shall live in your presence.
This is true thanksgiving, even thanks-living; and this use we should make of all our deliverance, that we should serve God the more closely and cheerfully.
Released in 2011, this contemporary Christian song has been hugely popular. HERE is “10,000 Reasons” by Matt Redman.