Invocation of God against the Deceit of Men.

To the chief musician, a psalm of David, composed at one of the periods of his life when he was annoyed above the ordinary by the trickery of men who professed to be his friends, but secretly sought to do him harm. V. 1. Hear my voice, O God, in my prayer, in his lamentation, in words of pain; preserve my life from fear of the enemy, from the danger producing this terror and from its evil effects upon his body and life. V. 2. Hide me from the secret counsel of the wicked, for that is the manner of the wicked, to conspire in secret, to form alliances of which no one knows anything, instead of fighting in the open; from the insurrection of the workers of iniquity, the noisy crowd of evil-doers, for, having perfected their secret counsels, they suddenly attack, trusting that they will be aided by the element of surprise in gaining their end; v. 3. who whet their tongue like a sword, to cut the reputation of the believers to pieces, and bend their bows to shoot their arrows, even bitter words, for these are like arrows wounding to death, v. 4. that they may shoot in secret at the perfect, those innocent of the charges made against them by the wicked; suddenly do they shoot at him and fear not, refusing to regard God, stifling the voice of their conscience. V. 5. They encourage themselves in an evil matter, using every means to secure their wicked object; they commune of laying snares privily, carefully going over each part of their plans to make them successful. They say, Who shall see them? foolishly believing that their secret scheming is not known to the Lord. V. 6. They search out iniquities, inventing, planning, evil acts; they accomplish a diligent search, completing the plan which they have conceived. Both the inward thought of everyone of them and the heart is deep, literally, ďand the inward part of a man and his heart is deep,Ē the workshop of evil, the place where all the wicked designs are worked out, is hidden from the eves of men like an abyss of dark mystery and brooding wickedness. While, however, they flatter themselves that their scheming is hidden from the eyes of men, the Lord knows their every thought. V. 7. But God shall shoot at them with an arrow, using a weapon like theirs, but with terrible effect; suddenly shall they be wounded, their wounds coming upon them before they are aware of it. V. 8. So they shall make their own tongue to fall upon themselves, they are made to fall, their own tongue overcomes them, the organ of their bodies with which they sought to harm others becomes the instrument bringing on the judgment to their own ruin; all that see them shall flee away, their partners in evil being terrified and others shaking their heads in a gesture indicating their mocking contempt of the wicked. V. 9. And all men, with this evidence of Godís avenging justice before their eyes, shall fear and shall declare the work of God, understanding the punishment of the wicked as the act of God and no longer foolishly regarding it as a misfortune due to chance; for they shall wisely consider of his doing, noting cause and effect with a feeling of awe. V. 10. The righteous shall be glad in the Lord, happy in the knowledge that their trust is safe, and shall trust in Him, seek refuge in Him; and all the upright in heart shall glory, knowing that the shelter and protection of Godís almighty hand are theirs. Every believer may make this fact his proud boast, especially for the purpose of encouraging his own heart over against the enmity of the children of the world.