1 Save me, O God, by thy name, and judge me by thy strength.
2 Hear my prayer, O God; give ear to the words of my mouth.
3 For strangers are risen up against me, and oppressors seek after my soul: they have not set God before them. Selah.
David started this psalm by asking God for 3 different things. First he asked him to save him by his name. This is an interesting request. I have to wonder what name David was appealing to. In the Old Testament God had three primary names. Yahweh, Adonai and Elohim.
Yahweh typically is seen as drawing special emphasis to the covenant nature of God. Adonai usually translate “Lord” and has an emphasis on God’s ownership and sovereignty over all things. Elohim is a means of showing honor. My best guess in this situation is that David is calling out to Yahweh because he knows that God will keep His Covenant. The second request is that God will judge him by His strength, not by David’s strength. This is a different request than the previous times David has asked God to judge him. For God to judge him by His strength means that God will take into consideration the strength that He has, not the strength of David. This puts David in a much better position to be judged.
The third request is that God will hear his prayer, that He’ll give ear to the words of his mouth. David is the one who penned the words “if I regard iniquity in my heart the Lord will not hear me” (Psalm 66:18). David must have had a clean conscience when he asked God to hear his prayer. He knew that God was listening. So he tells God that the enemy is rising up against them and they’re seeking his soul. He reminds God that they do not honor Him. This is the reason David believes that God will hear him. David honors God the enemy did not. God will always come to my defense when I honor him.
4 Behold, God is mine helper: the Lord is with them that uphold my soul.
5 He shall reward evil unto mine enemies: cut them off in thy truth.
Isn’t it nice to know that God is our helper? I don’t know about you but I need all the help I can get. I need help when my finances get low. I need help when my joy is lacking. I need help when I can’t find peace. I need help when I don’t feel so loving. But God is my helper. And He also is with those people who helped me along. He is with the people you lift me up when I’m down. He is there with those people who encourage me in my walk with the Lord. I’m so glad I can count on him as my helper
We can rest assured that God will reward evil unto our enemies. We always have to remember that vengeance belongs to God (Deut 32:35). We do not have to take out revenge on people who oppose us. We just need to take them before the Lord and let Him take care of them. David asked God to cut them off – we can ask the same
6 I will freely sacrifice unto thee: I will praise thy name, O Lord; for it is good.
7 For he hath delivered me out of all trouble: and mine eye hath seen his desire upon mine enemies.
David now gets into the typical praise that we see at the end of this psalm. He will freely sacrifice and praise His name. We have to be in a position at all times to freely give a sacrifice of praise to the Lord. And sometimes it is a sacrifice. Sometimes it takes everything we have within us to lift our voice to God because things aren’t going well. When these moments come we have to remember that we praise Him for His name – because it is good. There might not be any other reason to praise Him, but the fact that Gis name is good should be enough for us to lift His name.
And then another reason to praise Him is to look back over your life and see how many times He has delivered you in the past. How many times has God taken out your enemy? How many times has He healed your sickness? How many times has He come to your financial aid? How many times has He brought peace in the midst of a storm or jov in the midst of a battle? Looking back on our past, our victory through Christ should always give us reason to praise. Let’s really give that sacrifice of praise to the Lord. He deserves it