To the Chief Musician. With stringed instruments. A Contemplation of David when the Ziphites went and said to Saul, “Is David not hiding with us?”
1 Save me, O God, by Your name,
And vindicate me by Your strength.
2 Hear my prayer, O God;
Give ear to the words of my mouth.
3 For strangers have risen up against me,
And oppressors have sought after my life;
They have not set God before them. Selah
4 Behold, God is my helper;
The Lord is with those who uphold my life.
5 He will repay my enemies for their evil.
Cut them off in Your truth.
6 I will freely sacrifice to You;
I will praise Your name, O Lord, for it is good.
7 For He has delivered me out of all trouble;
And my eye has seen its desire upon my enemies.
Ziphites (intro) — The Ziphites were members of the tribe of Judah, as was David. The city of Ziph was four miles south of Hebron. David was hiding in a nearby woods. See 1 Samuel 23:19. A similar occurrence is recorded in 1 Samuel 26:1.
name (v.1) — signifies not merely the collection of “sounds” by which God is known, but His reputation as revealed in who He is and what He does. In this way David is therefore making a concise appeal that God act upon His covenant love as previously affirmed and demonstrated towards him. — Wechsler, page 152
vindicate (v.1) = judge, defend
strangers (v.3) — the Ziphites
oppressors (v.3) = awe-inspiring, striking terror — Saul and his soldiers
not set God before them (v.3) — they have not sought to live their lives in the “fear” (that is, “worship”) of God, in contrast to the righteous who, even if imperfect, “set the LORD continually before” them (Psalm 16:8); by “vindicating” David (v.1), therefore, God will ultimately be vindicating Himself, in the emulation of whose character and obedience to whose laws David lives. — Wechsler, page 152.
uphold (v.4) = sustain, lean, rest, support
David’s confidence (vs. 4-5) — as he affirms so frequently throughout his psalms — is his relationship with God; it is his conviction, based on God’s own words and promises to him, that, whatever may transpire in his role as Israel’s king, God is his helper — the personal intimacy of which notion is indicated both by the use here of a variant form of the same word used for Eve as Adam’s wife (i.e., a helper suitable to him”; Genesis 2:18, 20) as well as by the additional descriptive phrase “sustainer of my soul.” — Wechsler, pages 152-153.
[David] ends this psalm (as he does so many others; cf. Psalms 7:17; 13:6; 26:11-12; etc.) by affirming what he will do (v.6: “I will sacrifice … (and) give thanks”) regardless of how and when God might resolve his present predicament, for ultimately He will deliver (v.7; the use of the past tense “delivered” underscores the certainty of the event) David — as every believer — from all trouble and he will look back upon his enemies (i.e., unbelievers) with the knowledge that God’s name has been eternally vindicated. — Wechsler, page 153.
my eye has seen its desire upon my enemies (v.7) — Psalm 59:10; 92:11