(Psalm 64:1-10 HCSB) 1 God, hear my voice when I complain. Protect my life from the terror of the enemy. 2 Hide me from the scheming of wicked people, from the mob of evildoers, 3 who sharpen their tongues like swords and aim bitter words like arrows, 4 shooting from concealed places at the innocent. They shoot at him suddenly and are not afraid. 5 They encourage each other in an evil plan; they talk about hiding traps and say, “Who will see them? ” 6 They devise crimes and say, “We have perfected a secret plan.” The inner man and the heart are mysterious. 7 But God will shoot them with arrows; suddenly, they will be wounded. 8 They will be made to stumble; their own tongues work against them. All who see them will shake their heads. 9 Then everyone will fear and will tell about God’s work, for they will understand what He has done. 10 The righteous one rejoices in the LORD and takes refuge in Him; all those who are upright in heart will offer praise.
The Psalmist creatively describes what so many of us feel when we are going through tough times. He uses several key words to capture the movements in this dance. Notice…
COMPLAIN: The psalmist begins by verbalizing his complaints to the Lord. It is interesting that he speaks without apology; he either feels that God is interested in hearing about his frustrations, or his level of emotion is so strong that he doesn’t care if he will be rebuked for complaining. Either way, he freely shares exactly why he is discouraged.
SHARPEN THEIR TONGUES: The ESV says, they “whet their tongues like swords.” In other words, the enemy is using disparaging words that become sharper with each additional accusation. It’s not enough that they are doing harm, they are actually trying to use words that will do more damage than the last words they spoke!
SHOOTING FROM CONCEALED PLACES: The enemy is aiming these bitter words from concealed places. It’s possible that one of the most frustrating things in life is when someone attacks us anonymously. As a pastor, I’ve received countless letters from people who were such cowards they wouldn’t even sign their name. I’ve learned to check the end of the letter prior to reading the correspondence. If there is no signature, I don’t waste my time reading it. You likewise, must learn to “tune out” the critical voices attempting to do you harm.
BUT GOD WILL SHOOT THEM WITH HIS ARROWS: These cowards may be unknown to us, but they are not unknown to God. He will vindicate the righteous by shooting His arrows and wounding them suddenly! They won’t see it coming, but God will balance the scales of righteousness. Onlookers will shake their heads when they realize how God has rendered the enemy ineffective; everyone will understand what God has done.
THE RIGHTEOUS ONE REJOICES IN THE LORD: There is no mention of the righteous individual rejoicing over the demise of the enemy. Instead, their rejoicing is focused on the goodness of the Lord and they offer praises to Him. Too often, we want to celebrate in the end zone of life. We spend an inordinate amount of time talking about the struggle, the words, and the harmful effects of the attack. Instead, we should focus on the deliverance of the Lord!
My righteous friend, take courage in knowing that God is on your side. He has your back! (Your front and sides too!) He will protect those who are His. So, go ahead and start the praise party.
PRAYER: I’m so grateful for divine protection. On the days when I cannot see the hand of the enemy…You are aware of the attack and where it is coming from. Help me to realize that You will shoot Your godly arrows and wound the enemy suddenly on my behalf. I receive it! Amen.