Psalm 28 - With wicked draw me not away
I love this short psalm because the calling and crying to the Lord releases my spirit. The turnaround from distress to praise is quick. It seems there is not physical suffering here, but danger of being led away with the wicked.
I think David wrote this psalm when he was young and 1st became a part of King Saul's administration and was promoted very quickly, and encountered the politics there (v3
, 1Sam 18:20-23
). He was under pressure to conform to those men-pleasers seeking advancement, so he prayed this.
- "my Rock" is the unchangeable God. No matter how my situation changes, God is still the same.
David's prayer not to be like those who are descending into the pit is for the Lord to keep him from being like the wicked or the lawless workers surrounding him.
David prays for the Lord to hear him, but then says that if you are silent to me, then I will be like those descending to the pit. I need the Lord's speaking to me or I will be like them. The Lord's speaking empowers us and makes us different from the crowd.
- The Hebrew word for "cry" is shua
, which means to cry for help (HALOT).
It is good to sing the rest of this psalm with your hands lifted up to God's holy oracle, expecting and needing the Lord's sanctifying speaking.
The oracle is the place of God's speaking. God's speaking is holy and makes us holy (Jn 17:17-19; Eph 5:26-27
). Holiness makes us different from the world and from the common.
This is the only usage of the word "oracle" outside of 1 Kings 6-8 and 2 Chron 3-5 which describe Solomon's building of the temple, where it is used for the holy of holies. It is never used to refer to the holy of holies in the tabernacle. David must have lifted up his hands to God's holy oracle in heaven because the earthly one had not been built yet.
As in v1, David also prays for the Lord to hear him, and he lifts up his hands unto the Lord's holy oracle to receive some speaking from the Lord.
- We should pray as David did, for the Lord to not draw us off to be conformed to others even if they are Christians. We do not know what is in others' hearts, but we should pray to not be like this, because the tendency is in us. If we think it would never happen to us, then we are defenseless against it.
Lawless workers, or workers of iniquity, refers especially to religious workers (Mt 7:22-23
) as evidenced in v5
- "as they dealt with others
" is literally "as they dealt wickedly with others
". The "with others" is implied because the verb has to do with relationships (TWOT
- "works" is the same word as in v3 & v4
. To serve the Lord, we must have faith to discern His works and what He is doing. The lawless workers think everything depends on their doing instead of seeking the Lord's blessing and the Lord's discipline.
Why would it say "He will not build them up" regarding evil workers? It should be more than obvious that the Lord would not build up evil workers. It is because they appear to be righteous, and they and others think that the Lord will build up their work for Him (1 Cor 3:12-21
"entreaty with my voice" is the same phrase as in v1.
This is my favorite verse in this psalm. I like the abrupt change from the previous verse. It seems that discerning the Lord's hand and working turned David around.
- "In Thee" is literally "In Him".
"In Him my heart trusts" and "My heart exults" means that his inner person does this without trying or willing to do so.
This was one of George Beverly Shea's favorite verses. He often signed this verse with his autograph. This verse reference was inscribed on his wedding ring.
From the Hebrew structure of this verse, the 1st 3 are in sequence: My heart trusts Him -> I am helped -> My heart exults. The last one "and from my song I will praise Him" is joined differently such that it is not in sequence, but occurs simultaneously with the previous 3. In the case of the 1st 3, the "and" is attached to the verb, but in the last phrase, the "and" is attached to "from my song".
"His people's strength" comes from the LXX. MT says "their strength". The words "His people's" and "their" are both pronounced lamo
in Hebrew, but spelled differently. I think the LXX is correct because there is no antecedent for "their". In either case, the meaning is "His people" according to v9.
The Lord is His people's strength, but not their strength to save, because we cannot save ourselves. We need the Lord's Messiah to save us.
At this time David knew he was the Lord's anointed, and thus needed the Lord to be his strength to deliver the Lord's people.
- 4 prayers for the Lord's people connected by "and" meaning that they all go together. In this sequence the verbs are all imperative, so they are not necessarily sequential, but could be simultaneous.
David experienced the Lord's saving, blessing, shepherding and lifting up in this psalm, so he prayed it for God's people whom he served.
-copyright Steve Miller 2010
Psalm 28 through David
O LORD, my Rock, I call to Thee,
Refuse not to hear me.
Lest if You be silent to me
like the pit-bound I'll be.
Hear the voice of my entreaty,
as I cry unto Thee,
as I lift up my hands unto
Thy oracle holy.
With wicked, draw me not away,
nor with lawless workers,
While mischief in their hearts holds sway,
they speak peace with neighbors.
According to their works give them,
as they dealt with others.
As their hands did, so You give them.
Render them their desert,
for the LORD's works they discern not,
nor doing of His hands.
He will throw down and build up not
what they have built on sand
Bless'd be the LORD for He heard my
voice in my entreaty.
The LORD's my strength, and shield of mine,
and my heart trusts in Thee.
And helped am I, my heart exults,
from my song Him I'll praise.
The LORD, He
is His people's strength,
and His Christ's strength to save
Save Your people, and bless Your own
and shepherd them, and bear them up
Jn 17:14 I have given them Your word, and the world has hated them , because they are not of the world even as I am not of the world. 15 I do not ask that You would take them out of the world, but that You would keep them out of the hands of the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. 18 As you have sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sake I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth.
Eph 5:26 That He might sanctify her , cleansing her by the washing of the water in the word, 27 That He might present the church to Himself glorious, not having spot or wrinkle or any such things, but that she would be holy and without blemish.
Mt 7:22 Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, was it not in Your name that we prophesied, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name did many works of power? 23 And then I will declare to them: I never knew you. Depart from Me, you workers of lawlessness .
1 Cor 3:12 But if anyone builds upon the foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, grass, stubble, 13 The work of each will become manifest; for the day will declare it, because it is revealed by fire, and the fire itself will prove each one's work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone's work which he has built upon the foundation remains, he will receive a reward; 15 If anyone's work is consumed, he will suffer loss, but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. 16 Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If anyone destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him; for the temple of God is holy, and such are you. 18 Let no one deceive himself; if anyone thinks that he is wise among you in this age, let him become foolish that he may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God; for it is written, ``He grasps the wise in their craftiness''; 20 And again, ``The Lord knows the reasonings of the wise, that they are vain.'' 21 So then let no one boast in men, for all things are yours, 22 Whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or things present or things to come; all are yours,
1Sam 18:20 And Michal Saulís daughter loved David: and they told Saul, and the thing pleased him.
21 And Saul said, I will give him her, that she may be a snare to him, and that the hand of the Philistines may be against him. Wherefore Saul said to David, Thou shalt this day be my son in law in the one of the twain.
22 And Saul commanded his servants, saying, Commune with David secretly, and say, Behold, the king hath delight in thee, and all his servants love thee: now therefore be the kingís son in law.
23 And Saulís servants spake those words in the ears of David. And David said, Seemeth it to you a light thing to be a kingís son in law, seeing that I am a poor man, and lightly esteemed?
-copyright Steve Miller 2010