The focus of Psalm 140 is a lament in a time of trouble. David had people who had evil in their hearts who were slandering and endangering him, and he went to God for help. As faithful believers, we are often brought into conflict with evil. Lies, slander, and opposition are as old as sin itself an often lead to outright persecution. The Psalm is a witness to human depravity.
“Selah” appears again for the first time since Psalm 89. There are 40 Psalms in all in which it is used. It indicates some kind of pause, either for a musical expression of thought and meditation or both. These matters are worthy of consideration.
Learn to recognize spiritual opposition if you want to find your confidence in God. Notice the descriptors in the Psalm. The words and phrases evil men, violent men, who plan evil in their hearts, with sharpened tongues like a serpent and the poison of asps under their lips, who have wicked hands and are violent. This is the scale of evil the Psalmist faced. We experience evil from the world, the devil, and our own flesh. Evil was neither created nor intended by God and it comes from spiritual opposition because of the sin in people’s hearts.
Learn to take your crisis to God if you want to find your confidence in God. David asked God for deliverance and preservation. God is able to help us when we face opposition. God will meet us at our point of need in the crisis and act as our Deliverer.
Learn to trust in God if you want to find your confidence in God. The Psalmist said Lord, You are My God, the strength of my salvation, and I know that the Lord will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and justice for the poor. Justice is a term used for what is right or “as it should be.” Justice comes from who God is and his holiness. We cannot understand justice unless we understand sin. Sin is lawlessness, and is contrary to God. God sent Jesus to pay the penalty for our sin and secure salvation. God’s mercy and grace are not in spite of His justice, but because of it. Jesus was our substitute, demonstrating that the justice of God was not violated but instead satisfied. In Christ we long for the justice of God to prevail upon the earth and we have righteous indignation about injustice. As the people of God we live out justice and mercy when we demonstrate Christ and the Gospel with our words and our actions.
v13 Surely the righteous shall give thanks to Your name; the upright will dwell in Your presence. G. Campbell Morgan said, “Psalm 140 begins in great trouble and sorrow, but ends in praise and triumph. If sorrow is a certainty, so also is the action of Jehovah. Sorrow and darkness come to all men, but only those who know God and are sure of Him, make suffering, and the night, occasions of triumph.” In the future all of the righteous will give thanks to God and the upright will dwell in His presence.