Do not let those gloat over me

    who are my enemies without cause;

do not let those who hate me without reason

    maliciously wink the eye.

20 They do not speak peaceably,

    but devise false accusations

    against those who live quietly in the land.

21 They sneer at me and say, “Aha! Aha!

    With our own eyes we have seen it.”

22 Lord, you have seen this; do not be silent.

    Do not be far from me, Lord.

23 Awake, and rise to my defence!

    Contend for me, my God and Lord.

24 Vindicate me in your righteousness, Lord my God;

    do not let them gloat over me.

25 Do not let them think, “Aha, just what we wanted!”

    or say, “We have swallowed him up.”

26 May all who gloat over my distress

    be put to shame and confusion;

may all who exalt themselves over me

    be clothed with shame and disgrace.

27 May those who delight in my vindication

    shout for joy and gladness;

may they always say, “The Lord be exalted,

    who delights in the well-being of his servant.”

28 My tongue will proclaim your righteousness,

    your praises all day long.

David, who is a ‘type’ (or foreshadowing) of Christ, was Christ-like both in his experience and his response.

  • He was Christ-like in experience in that he was hated “without cause” (19; see also verse 7, Ps.69:4 and John 15:25). ‘Hatred without cause is so basic a response of evil towards good (already emphasised in verse 7) that Jesus saw verse 19 (and 69:4) not as David’s strange misfortune but as his own predestined lot (John 15:25), an authoritative revelation of what must be. The pattern, pure and complete in his case, was recognisable though fragmentary with David, and is appointed for us as well (John 15:18ff.).’ Derek Kidner, p.162.
  • But he was also Christ-like in his response. Have a look at 1 Peter 2:19-23, and note in particular verse 23: “When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.” That is precisely what David does here, however imperfectly. He seeks “vindication” from the Lord (24,27). The word “Contend” (see also verse 1) is a word which applied to law suits. David is asking for right to be done. He has done nothing wrong; he has been slanderously maligned. He is confident he can take his case to the highest court, and there find the Judge who sees all and knows all (22).

In everything, David knows he still has some friends who will be so glad and thankful to see him come through this (27).

Whatever God may allow into our lives, and although we may not understand all of it, let’s remember that He “delights” in our “well-being” (27b), and is working all things for our good (Romans 8:28).

David’s cry in verses 23 does not come from mistaken theology. He doesn’t believe God is asleep, I’m sure. But in the life of faith it sometimes feels like He is, and this is an urgent ‘999’ call in the night.