For the director of music. To the tune of “A Dove on Distant Oaks.” Of David. A miktam. When the Philistines had seized him in Gath.
1 Be merciful to me, O God, for men hotly pursue me;
all day long they press their attack.
2 My slanderers pursue me all day long;
many are attacking me in their pride.
3 When I am afraid,
I will trust in you.
4 In God, whose word I praise,
in God I trust; I will not be afraid.
What can mortal man do to me?
What a great passage! We will be afraid at times, but what should we do? Trust in God. I will try to practice switching from thoughts of fear to thoughts of God as quickly as possible.
5 All day long they twist my words;
they are always plotting to harm me.
It isn’t just physical harm that he was dealing with. Many of us aren’t threatened physically today but we are attacked with words each day. The world hates Christians, just as Jesus predicted.
6 They conspire, they lurk,
they watch my steps,
eager to take my life.
7 On no account let them escape;
in your anger, O God, bring down the nations.
8 Record my lament;
list my tears on your scroll—
are they not in your record?
God knows of every one of your tears.
9 Then my enemies will turn back
when I call for help.
By this I will know that God is for me.
10 In God, whose word I praise,
in the Lord, whose word I praise—
11 in God I trust; I will not be afraid.
What can man do to me?
That repeated theme reminds me of Matthew 10:28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
12 I am under vows to you, O God;
I will present my thank offerings to you.
13 For you have delivered me from death
and my feet from stumbling,
that I may walk before God
in the light of life.
The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.