Hear my voice, O God, in my complaint;Guard my life from the terror of the enemy. Hide me from the secret counsel and conspiracy of the ungodly,From the scheming of those who do wrong, Who have sharpened their tongues like a sword.They aim venomous words as arrows, To shoot from ambush at the blameless [one];Suddenly they shoot at him, without fear. They encourage themselves in [their pursuit of] an evil agenda;They talk of laying snares secretly;They say, “Who will discover us?” They devise acts of injustice, saying,“We are ready with a well-conceived plan.”For the inward thought and the heart of a man are deep (mysterious, unsearchable). But God will shoot them with an [unexpected] arrow;Suddenly they will be wounded. So they will be caused to stumble;Their own tongue is against them;All who gaze at them will shake the head [in scorn]. Then all men will fear [God’s judgment];They will declare the work of God,And they will consider and wisely acknowledge what He has done. The righteous will rejoice in the Lord and take refuge in Him;All the upright in heart will glory and offer praise.
My wife Jewel, stood guard in the square of an old European city over a one-legged pigeon lying on the ground.
I had ventured down a side street and, while waiting for my return, she saw other pigeons ganging up on this injured member of their own species. But for her quick intervention, the poor bird would have been quickly pecked to death.
How like life, I thought. When you are down, others jump on you. Why? Because you are vulnerable- a Latin word whose root, vulner, means “wound.” A wounded person (or pigeon) is much more susceptible to further danger because of an already weakened condition.
David writes this psalm during a season of vulnerability when he feels insecure, unprotected, and exposed to life-threatening enemies. He’s as helpless as a one-legged pigeon.
What can you do when there are no human solutions?
Ask God for His solutions. That’s what David did.
Psalm 64 begins with a passionate outburst, “Hear me….hide me.”(verses 1&2)
Often at the onset of difficult times it is often difficult to believe that what tries to destroy us will itself be destroyed. We then ask God for His protection rather than asking Him to destroy what has come against us. Often, rather than removing the danger, God chooses instead to shelter us from annihilating forces. Often it’s later that God dispatches the enemy.
George Wood asks, “Is it possible the Lord allows our problems to remain just long enough to get a psalm from us, to genuinely shape our character, to forever change us, to provide an occasion of remembrance of His acts on our behalf so we might forever praise Him?”
In Psalm 64, David notes the irony of the conspiracy against him as “from that noisy crowd of evildoers.” Normally such are quiet and secret but this time it is loud and open because those who are plotting feel that the king is powerless and vulnerable- they have nothing to fear.
David reveals the source as those who takes the attitude life would be better for them if you weren’t around. When we feel unwanted, it hurts.
The methods of the conspiracy begins with talk. David describes it this way: “They sharpen their tongues like swords” and their words are carefully targeted arrows designed to hit the center of the bulls-eye.
Innocent ones are ambushed because they never see a conspiracy coming because they genuinely trust people. The conspirators are either one or many steps ahead. Their courses are predetermined and they “shoot….suddenly without fear.” “Their snares” are well hidden.
The attitudes of the conspirators is that they think they will get away with it. “Who will see….We have devised a perfect plan.” The perpetrators of wrong seem so smug and secure. They have thought of every angle, and since they have considered all the option, they now brim with confidence.
They may be people like this in your life. They seem to hold all the cards, are unjust, and have the advantage over you, leaving you to feel discouraged and defeated. When that occurs, keep praying this psalm. Verse 6 isn’t the end.
Let’s be real. Our troubles are very real, but what about our faith? Do we truly think that God will let the evil against us to go unpunished? Do we feel that He’s going to remain entirely on the sidelines and remain passive over injustice? The answer is absolutely no!
If you wonder whether God has good aim, read verse 7 and if you wonder whether there is poetic justice, read verse 8.
If my enemies have arrows, so does God! But they are God’s arrows, not ours. Those who are truly vulnerable are without defense or offense, so we must do nothing except rely on the Lord alone.
Psalm 64 paints a picture of an incredible turnaround. Moments before, the evildoers were on top and winning. But now God has turned the tables on them. Now they have lost respect. “All who see them shake their heads in scorn.” Because they didn’t get away with it after all, shame has replaced pride.
When God finishes with the conspirators, others will fear. We must ask ourselves what status do we seek for ourselves- innocence or conspiracy. The difference between the two is simple: conspirators hide secrets, which if brought to pass, brings destruction or despair to someone else. Those who are innocent hurt none for their goal is to build up and they will sacrifice their own comfort to make that possible.
I’m sure George Wood’s wife protected the pigeon as long as she was there until she had to leave. We don’t know whether another became the protector. But it’s vastly different with the Lord. Whenever we are vulnerable and picked on, He never leaves us because He has no other pressing appointments to keep. In His strength, He watches over us.
Today if you’re feeling especially vulnerable, turn to the Lord and trust His protection.