1 To you, Lord, I call;
you are my Rock,
do not turn a deaf ear to me.
For if you remain silent,
I will be like those who go down to the pit.
2 Hear my cry for mercy
as I call to you for help,
as I lift up my hands
toward your Most Holy Place.
3 Do not drag me away with the wicked,
with those who do evil,
who speak cordially with their neighbors
but harbor malice in their hearts.
4 Repay them for their deeds
and for their evil work;
repay them for what their hands have done
and bring back on them what they deserve.
5 Because they have no regard for the deeds of the Lord
and what his hands have done,
he will tear them down
and never build them up again.
6 Praise be to the Lord,
for he has heard my cry for mercy.
7 The Lord is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.
My heart leaps for joy,
and with my song I praise him.
8 The Lord is the strength of his people,
a fortress of salvation for his anointed one.
9 Save your people and bless your inheritance;
be their shepherd and carry them forever.
(Psalm 28:1-9 NIV)
King David begins this psalm with a heartfelt cry to the Lord for help. David’s psalm splits into two parts:
- Petition – Asking God for help (vv. 1-5)
- Praise – Thanking God for His answer (vv. 6-9)
David begins by calling to God for help. When David refers to “the pit”, that speaks of death. David was not afraid of someone trying to kill him. Rather, David was concerned with spiritually dying by being disconnected in his relationship with the Lord. When a branch is cut from its vine, it will die. David’s life centered on his abiding connection with the Lord. Anything or anyone that threatened to sever that relationship between David and the Lord felt like death to David (v. 1).
As David begged God to hear his requests, David was not outside the Temple looking in, wishing he was inside God’s dwelling place among His people. Rather, David was already inside the Temple, crying out to God, lifting his hands and voice toward God’s residence inside the Temple, the Holy of Holies. David was a close as he could be to where God resided on earth (v. 2).
David sought to be authentic in all his relationships – he knows that God sees the heart and judges based on what is inside a person rather than what they present on the outside. David knows God’s justice and asks God to see him for who he is on the inside, as that is what distinguishes him from the wicked (v. 3).
David relies on God to bring justice, to judge rightly (vv. 4 – 5). David does not seek revenge or retribution or try to bring justice himself. He is the king, and yet he relies on God to take care of the wicked in God’s way and timing.
Starting in verse 6, David praises the Lord, as the Lord has heard his prayers. Notice that is enough for David that God has simply heard his prayers (v. 6). David knows God’s heart, and trusts in God to be his protector and provider (v. 7). As David reaffirms his trust in the Lord, this leads David to worship God.
David then extends this confidence in God’s promise and ability to care for all who follow the Lord. While David wrote this psalm for God’s people Israel, we know from many New Testament scriptures that God offers that same protection and provision to us in our day and time and to future generations forever (vv. 8-9).
Like David, we know that we live in a broken world. Like David, we can place our trust in the Lord with our families, our reputations, and our lives.
Jesus is enough.
May we abide and rest and work and live in His reality today.