Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Psalms To See Me Through: Psalm 7—Sing A Song To Jehovah

A Shiggaion of David, which he sang to the Lord concerning Cush, a Benjamite.

A Shiggaion is a song. This song and Habakkuk 3:1 are the two that bear the description. Most scholarly sources teach that a Shiggaion was set to wild, irregular music, and triumphant music. 

“Shiggaion is interpreted variously to mean ‘mournful erratic, a song of trouble.’ Shiggaion is interpreted to mean ‘wanderings: according to variable tunes.’ For the Church triumphant there will be times when music is exciting, enthusiastic and triumphant because of the work of the Lord in behalf of His people. The Church has had plenty of plaintive and mournful dirgy songs in her history. But victory is God’s ultimate for the Church.”[1] 

Whatever battle we are facing, whatever trouble is hunting us down, the Lord is our refuge. David left his prose and poetry—his songs to instruct us in our trials, so that we learn to trust in our God and take refuge in Him.

 O Lord my God, in You I have taken refuge; Save me from all those who pursue me, and deliver me, or he will tear my soul like a lion, Dragging me away, while there is none to deliver. O Lordmy God, if I have done this, If there is injustice in my hands, If I have rewarded evil to my friend, Or have plundered him who without cause was my adversary, Let the enemy pursue my soul and overtake it; And let him trample my life down to the ground And lay my glory in the dust. Selah {vs. 1-5}.

David calls out to God in mourning and a plaintive song. Mourning for the trouble that he is facing, and plaintive as he establishes his case before the court of heaven. First, he entreats God to search his heart for any sin that resides that allowed this trouble to come to him; then he is able to confess and be forgiven. Because David has sought refuge in God, he reminds God of his promise to protect him. God promises that the righteous can run to Him as a refuge and will be saved. 

The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold {Psalm 18:2}.

The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous runs into it and is safe {Prov. 18:10}.

Arise, O Lord, in Your anger; Lift up Yourself against the rage of my adversaries, and arouse Yourself for me; You have appointed judgment. Let the assembly of the peoples encompass You, and over them return on high. The Lord judges the peoples; vindicate me, O Lord, according to my righteousness and my integrity that is in me. O let the evil of the wicked come to an end, but establish the righteous; for the righteous God tries the hearts and minds {vs. 6-9}.

The Hebrew word for Lord here in verse 6 is Jehovah. David calls on Jehovah, the Eternal, Ever-Loving One. 

“Rabbinical writings have distinguished Jehovah by various names and euphemistic expressions as ‘The Name,’ ‘The Great and Terrible Name,’ ‘The Peculiar Name,’ ‘The Separate Name,’ ‘The Unutterable Name,’ ‘The Ineffable Name,’ ‘The Incommunicate Name,’ ‘The Holy Name,’ ‘The Distinguished Name.’ It was also known as the ‘Name of Four Letters’ because from the Hebrew it spelled YHVH, in English…Such is Jewish reverence for this august name that even today they refrain as much from writing it, or pronouncing it.”[2]

The name Jehovah appears in the Old Testament seven-thousand times, and in the Psalms alone, seven-hundred times. The Name must not be underestimated, it is so great. The Name of Jehovah causes the heavens and earth to shake. He is the Ever-Existing One, and His character is unchangeable. David was not calling on just any god, He was calling on the God of the righteous. Jehovah is the covenant God, and made a covenant with Israel, and David reminds God of His covenant with His covenant people to rescue him. God has promised the righteous that He will judge the unrighteous, and David calls out to God to make true on His Word—His covenant. 

My shield is with God, Who saves the upright in heart.  God is a righteous judge, And a God who has indignation every day.  If a man does not repent, He will sharpen His sword; He has bent His bow and made it ready. He has also prepared for Himself deadly weapons; He makes His arrows fiery shafts.  Behold, he travails with wickedness, and he conceives mischief and brings forth falsehood.  He has dug a pit and hollowed it out, and has fallen into the hole which he made.  His mischief will return upon his own head, and his violence will descend upon his own pate.  I will give thanks to the Lordaccording to His righteousness and will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High {vs. 10-17}.

David has prayed, poured out his heart to God; reminded Him of His covenant with the righteous, and plead his case before heaven. Now he makes a declaration of faith; My shield is with God who saves…God is a righteous judge…he pleads his innocence before God and declares what God will do to the unrighteous if they do not repent; their evil ways will come back onto their own head. 

David then sets the pattern for us….he has prayed his pray of faith and trusts in Jehovah, the Ever-Existing God, reminding Him of His Word. Once his declaration of faith is settled in his heart, he begins to thank God for performing His Word. David’s pattern—his habit—was to offer thanksgiving to God, knowing that what God promised to perform, is accomplished. The word praise here in verse 17 is the word zamar in Strong’s and it carries the idea of giving praise; to sing praises forth while touching or playing an instrument. Thanksgiving is the key into God’s presence. Enter His gates with thanksgiving And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name, Psalm 100 instructs; this is the way into His presence. This is why the Lord said of David, He is a man after My Heart {1 Sam. 13:14}. 

David spent a long time in the pasture guarding sheep, and he learned how to be in the presence of God; know Him intimately. This served David well through his life, as he drew near to God in every circumstance he faced, even in the face of his sin, David repented and worshiped God. It all comes back to thankfulness; God wants to cultivate in us a heart of thanksgiving, so that we can trust in Him no matter what trials we face. He is Jehovah the Eternal, Ever-Loving One, and He bids us come and cry out to Him, have faith in Him, and praise His Name forever—that He be magnified in the earth.

[1] Kevin J. Connor, The Tabernacle of David, (Portland: City Bible Publishing, 1976), 191.

[2]Herbert Lockyer, All The Divine Names and Titles in The Bible,(Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1979), 17.

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