Throughout September 2022, I managed to read and reflect – briefly – on a Psalm each day. For December 2022, attempted to pick up the discipline. I got part-way through that month, and so after a long hiatus, am determined to get going. I’ll read the Psalm, pray, and then ponder a few questions:
- What is this Psalm about?
- What does this Psalm teach about God?
- How does this Psalm connect to God’s people today?
I’ll close the post with a simple prayer, trying to draw the themes together.
On the 27th of October 2023, here’s Psalm 64:
1 Hear me, my God, as I voice my complaint;
protect my life from the threat of the enemy.
2 Hide me from the conspiracy of the wicked,
from the plots of evildoers.
3 They sharpen their tongues like swords
and aim cruel words like deadly arrows.
4 They shoot from ambush at the innocent;
they shoot suddenly, without fear.
5 They encourage each other in evil plans,
they talk about hiding their snares;
they say, “Who will see it?”
6 They plot injustice and say,
“We have devised a perfect plan!”
Surely the human mind and heart are cunning.
7 But God will shoot them with his arrows;
they will suddenly be struck down.
8 He will turn their own tongues against them
and bring them to ruin;
all who see them will shake their heads in scorn.
9 All people will fear;
they will proclaim the works of God
and ponder what he has done.
10 The righteous will rejoice in the Lord
and take refuge in him;
all the upright in heart will glory in him!
What is this Psalm about?
Psalm 64 is an urgent prayer of protection, a request to God to be preserved from ambush, fear and persecution. In this plea is contained the great truth that God is greater than any enemy, God’s ways bigger and wiser than any plot.
What does this Psalm teach about God?
Verse 1 opens again this Psalm with the truth that God hears and can be spoken to. The rest of the Psalm clearly teaches that God can be asked to act – and the ways in which God does that range from choosing to ‘shoot them with his arrows’ (v. 7), ‘turn their own tongues against them and bring them to ruin’ (v. 8). These actions, among other things, will cause people to fear God, and to ‘proclaim the works of God and ponder what he has done’ (v. 9). Finally we read that God is a God in whom the righteous can take refuge, and the upright in heart can glory in.
How does this Psalm connect to God’s people today?
Psalm 64 offers the practical lesson that we can cry out to God for protection – no matter how urgent the threat or how machiavellian our enemy. Psalm 64 offers us the reassurance that God can and does act to protect his people – and as a result of that, people are persuaded to fear God, to ponder God’s actions, and God’s people are able to rejoice, take refuge in him, and glory in him.
A prayer drawn from Psalm 64
Lord, thank you that you protect your people. Would you intervene today, and remind me in your word that you are the one I can rejoice in, the one I can take refuge in, and glory in. Hear me, O God, amen.