WHO ARE THE WICKED?
“Search me, God, and know my heart… See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me…” (Psa. 139:23,24).
Read Psalm 64
For the director of music. A psalm of David.
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[b]?”
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!
a Psalm 64:1 In Hebrew texts 64:1-10 is numbered 64:2-11.
b Psalm 64:5 Or us
New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica
ReflectDo you match up with the righteous or the wicked in this Psalm?
It would be nice to believe that most people are good and well-intentioned, that given enough love and opportunities they will want to do the right thing. But the evidence is that the wicked are everywhere and the wicked are even sometimes us.
Psalm 64 is a complaint about an extreme set of enemies, but some of their behavior will resonate. The enemy deliberately and carefully plans to do harm (2). They are not just a physical risk—they use their words to great effect. They gather other people around them, recruiting support for their side. And they are careful to hide what they are doing so that they appear innocent to all but their victim (5).
We can read this psalm in two ways. As those Jesus has declared righteous, we can be reassured that God will fight our battles for us, that justice will ultimately be done. But we’d be wise to read it as a salutary warning too. How easy it is to undermine the reputation of one of God’s beloved, to dishonor them, to subtly make their life hard. Perhaps this psalm is also a call to repentance.
Ask God to show you if you are behaving dishonorably towards anyone. Confess the ways you have sinned towards them and receive God’s merciful forgiveness. And consider what you can do to make amends.
My God, open my heart to see others that way You do. Show me how to share Your love with them through my life.