PSALM 7 OVERVIEW
Title. "Shiggaion of David, which he sang unto the Lord, concerning the word of Cush the Benjamite." -- "Shiggaion of David." As far as we can gather from the observations of learned men, and from a comparison of this Psalm with the only other Shiggaion in the Word of God, ( Habakkuk 3:1 ), this title seems to mean "variable songs," with which also the idea of solace and pleasure is associated. Truly our life psalm is composed of variable verses; one stanza rolls along with the sublime metre of triumph, but another limps with the broken rhythm of complaint. There is much bass in the saint's music here below. Our experience is as variable as the weather in England.
From the title we learn the occasion of the composition of this song. It appears probable that Cush the Benjamite had accused David to Saul of treasonable conspiracy against his royal authority. This the king would be ready enough to credit, both from his jealousy of David, and from the relation which most probably existed between himself, the son of Kish, and this Cush, or Kish, the Benjamite. He who is near the throne can do more injury to a subject than an ordinary slanderer.
This may be called the SONG OF THE SLANDERED SAINT. Even this sorest of evils may furnish occasion for a Psalm. What a blessing it would be if we could turn even the most disastrous event into a theme for song, and so turn the tables upon our great enemy. Let us learn a lesson from Luther, who once said, "David made Psalms; we also will make Psalms, and sing them as well as we can to the honour of our Lord, and to spite and mock the devil."
Division. In the first and second verses the danger is stated, and prayer offered. Then the Psalmist most solemnly avows his innocence. ( Psalms 7:3-5 ). The Lord is pleaded with to arise to judgment ( Psalms 7:6-7 ). The Lord, sitting upon his throne, hears the renewed appeal of the Slandered Supplicant ( Psalms 7:8-9 ). The Lord clears his servant, and threatens the wicked ( Psalms 7:10-13 ). The slanderer is seen in vision bringing a curse upon his own head, (Psalms 14-16), while David retires from trial singing a hymn of praise to his righteous God. We have here a noble sermon upon that text: "No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper, and every tongue that riseth against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn."
Verse 1. David appears before God to plead with him against the Accuser, who had charged him with treason and treachery. The case is here opened with an avowal of confidence in God. Whatever may be the emergency of our condition we shall never find it amiss to retain our reliance upon our God.
O Lord my God, mine by a special covenant, sealed by Jesus' blood, and ratified in my own soul by a sense of union to thee; in thee, and in thee only, do I put my trust, even now in my sore distress. I shake, but my rock moves not. It is never right to distrust God, and never vain to trust him. And now, with both divine relationship and holy trust to strengthen him, David utters the burden of his desire -- save me from all them that persecute me. His pursuers were very many, and any one of them cruel enough to devour him; he cries, therefore, for salvation from them all. We should never think our prayers complete until we ask for preservation from all sin, and all enemies.
And deliver me, extricate me from their snares, acquit me of their accusations, give a true and just deliverance in this trial of my injured character. See how clearly his case is stated; let us see to it, that we know what we would have when we are come to the throne of mercy. Pause a little while before you pray, that you may not offer the sacrifice of fools. Get a distinct idea of your need, and then you can pray with the more fluency of fervency.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Title. "Shiggaion," though some have attempted to fix on it a reference to the moral aspect of the world as depicted in this Psalm, is in all probability to be taken as expressing the nature of the composition. It conveys the idea of something erratic (hgv, to wander) in the style; something not so calm as other Psalms; and hence Ewald suggests, that it might be rendered, "a confused ode," a Dithyramb. This characteristic of excitement in the style, and a kind of disorder in the sense, suits Habakkuk 3:1 , the only other place where the word occurs. Andrew A. Bonar.
Whole Psalm. Whatever might be the occasion of the Psalm, the real subject seems to be the Messiah's appeal to God against the false accusations of his enemies; and the predictions which it contains of the final conversion of the whole world, and of the future judgment, are clear and explicit. Samuel Horsley, L.L.D., 1733-1806.
Verse 1. O Lord, my God, in thee do I put my trust. This is the first instance in the Psalms where David addresses the Almighty by the united names Jehovah and my God. No more suitable words can be placed at the beginning of any act of prayer or praise. These names show the ground of the confidence afterward expressed. They "denote at once supreme reverence and the most endearing confidence. They convey a recognition of God's infinite perfections, and of his covenanted and gracious relations." William S. Plumer.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 1. The necessity of faith when we address ourselves to God. Show the worthlessness of prayer without trust in the Lord.
Verse 1-2. Viewed as a prayer for deliverance from all enemies, especially Satan the lion.