Greetings! This Psalm was probably written during the time when David was betrayed by Absalom, his son, and Ahithophel. We expect enemies to be against us, but betrayal by friends and family hurt much more.
For the director of music. With stringed instruments. A maskil of David.
1 Listen to my prayer, O God,
do not ignore my plea;
2 hear me and answer me.
My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught
3 at the voice of the enemy,
at the stares of the wicked;
for they bring down suffering upon me
and revile me in their anger.
4 My heart is in anguish within me;
the terrors of death assail me.
5 Fear and trembling have beset me;
horror has overwhelmed me.
6 I said, “Oh, that I had the wings of a dove!
I would fly away and be at rest—
7 I would flee far away
and stay in the desert; Selah
David was a very brave man, so for him to speak so desparately is powerful. Sometimes I think our praise and worship songs at church are too consistently positive. They don’t explore the range of emotions that the Psalms do.
8 I would hurry to my place of shelter,
far from the tempest and storm.”
9 Confuse the wicked, O Lord, confound their speech,
for I see violence and strife in the city.
10 Day and night they prowl about on its walls;
malice and abuse are within it.
11 Destructive forces are at work in the city;
threats and lies never leave its streets.
12 If an enemy were insulting me,
I could endure it;
if a foe were raising himself against me,
I could hide from him.
13 But it is you, a man like myself,
my companion, my close friend,
14 with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship
as we walked with the throng at the house of God.
Verses 12-14 are considered by some to be Messianic, that is, foreshadowing of Jesus. They seem to be describing Judas’ betrayal of Jesus (see Matthew 26).
15 Let death take my enemies by surprise;
let them go down alive to the grave,
for evil finds lodging among them.
16 But I call to God,
and the Lord saves me.
17 Evening, morning and noon
I cry out in distress,
and he hears my voice.
18 He ransoms me unharmed
from the battle waged against me,
even though many oppose me.
19 God, who is enthroned forever,
will hear them and afflict them— Selah
men who never change their ways
and have no fear of God.
We feel this in a tiny way in our culture today. People who will probably never convert oppose us at every turn with their Godless plans. They distort our words and revile us. We should just turn it over to God and continue to speak the truth.
20 My companion attacks his friends;
he violates his covenant.
21 His speech is smooth as butter,
yet war is in his heart;
his words are more soothing than oil,
yet they are drawn swords.
22 Cast your cares on the Lord
and he will sustain you;
he will never let the righteous fall.
23 But you, O God, will bring down the wicked
into the pit of corruption;
bloodthirsty and deceitful men
will not live out half their days.
But as for me, I trust in you.
The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.
Simply put, God wins in the end. We can trust in that.