Psalm 7

O Lord my God, in you I take refuge;
save me from all my pursuers, and deliver me …

O Lord my God, if I have done this,
if there is wrong in my hands,
if I have repaid my ally with harm
or plundered my foe without cause,
then let the enemy pursue and overtake me …

Our psalmist in Psalm 7 stands boldly before the LORD his God and proclaims his righteousness in this situation. He prays for vindication, for God to keep the promise of protection and rescue in the face of unjust persecution.

 Awake, O my God; you have appointed a judgment …

O let the evil of the wicked come to an end,
but establish the righteous,
you who test the minds and hearts,
O righteous God.

Many of the psalms confess sin and acknowledge God’s right to judge and punish. But many others poems call out injustice and petition God to keep faithfulness to covenant by protecting the righteous and hindering those who practice unrighteousness.

There is a sense in which the psalmist seeks protection and celebrates that “God is my refuge, my shield.” But in another sense, the yearning of the poet is that God’s own righteousness will be vindicated in the earth. That “the wicked” will come to know beyond any doubt that God’s righteousness and integrity will triumph and reign throughout the world.

See how they conceive evil,
and are pregnant with mischief,
and bring forth lies.
They make a pit, digging it out,
and fall into the hole that they have made.
Their mischief returns upon their own heads,
and on their own heads their violence descends.

Look here at the images of conception, pregnancy and delivery. The poet’s brilliance allows us to see clearly how wickedness develops from thought to action.

Also see the karmic wisdom of the psalmist: “they fall into the hole they have made…” Yes, he calls for God to judge but he also considers that judgment upon wickedness may happen within the normal workings of the cosmos.

Barbara Taylor says it this way:

God’s judgment is not so much some kind of extra punishment God dumps on [us] as it is God’s announcement that we have abandoned the way of life. Like some divine jiu-jitsu master, God simply spins the rejection of life around so that we can feel the full force of it for ourselves.

Many of the psalms are eschatological: that is they trust in an ultimate judgment and vindication and they articulate a hope that is much larger than the reality of their current circumstances.

Awake, O my God; you have appointed a judgment …

O let the evil of the wicked come to an end…

Whatever that may actually, ultimately look like, here is the constant hope of all people of faith.


See Charlotte’s Living in The Story blog on Sin: the Lost Language of Salvation.


Published by

Charlotte Vaughan Coyle

Charlotte Vaughan Coyle

Charlotte lives and blogs in Paris TX. She is ordained within the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and a graduate of Brite Divinity School in Ft. Worth.

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