Another Psalm begins with David in trouble, railing against his enemies [this time we more specifically know they are men who have been sent by Saul to watch his house] and what is great again is that we see where David turns to:
1 Deliver me from my enemies, O God;
be my fortress against those who are attacking me.
2 Deliver me from evildoers
and save me from those who are after my blood.
We don’t know it’s his first point of turning [for most of us it rarely is, right?] but whether it is or not, we get the sense of his trust and reliance on God with terms like ‘fortress’ and phrases like ‘deliver me’. David always seems to end up at the feet of God when he has trouble [and fortunately when he is full of praise] as opposed to letting trouble in his life send him running away from God. If we only draw close to God when things are going well, that says a lot about our relationship with God. In the same way, if we only draw close to God when things go badly, that also says a lot. A good relationship stays consistent through good and bad. Whatever comes my way I will face it knowing God is with me.
What is great about this psalm [as it is with so many of them] is the honesty. This is not great theology David is throwing out here, it is human emotion in whatever words he has at his disposal. We can see this as he goes from show no mercy to wicked traitors [verse 5] to But do not kill them, Lord our shield, or my people will forget [verse 11] and then to consume them in your wrath, consume them till they are no more so a little bit of contradiction happening here which just gives an indication that this is more an expression of how David is feeling right now, than an accurate portrayal of what he actually thinks God is going to do. We see this later when David has at least two opportunities in caves to kill Saul and chooses not to.
What is particularly great about this psalm is that David starts and ends with God. There appears to be a danger of him losing it during the piece and getting caught up in the enemy-bashing but it’s almost as if he checks himself and ends once more with a focus on who God is and what He will do. Reminding himself why he ended up there again.
16 But I will sing of your strength,
in the morning I will sing of your love;
for you are my fortress,
my refuge in times of trouble.
17 You are my strength, I sing praise to you;
you, God, are my fortress,
my God on whom I can rely.