Darby's Bible Synopsis
The following commentary covers Psalm 140 through 144.
The five following psalms go over ground which we have trodden over in detail: only they apply to a restored Israel, still in conflict, and not fully blessed.
Psalm 140 looks for deliverance from the evil and violent man. Israel is in connection with Jehovah, but compassed about by the proud.
Psalm 141. Having learnt the government of Jehovah, the godly looks for his words and thoughts to be kept of Jehovah, that Jehovah may bless him. Smiting he will accept as discipline. He looks for acceptance for his prayers. And even in the judgment coming upon the proud (Israel, I apprehend), he looks to it as breaking them down so as to hear His word. It is such a psalm as David might have penned when pursued by Saul. He looks for judgment on the wicked, but that calamities may arrest some.
Psalm 142 looks to Jehovah alone as a refuge.
Psalm 143 specially for mercy and goodness, that in the midst of the persecution of the enemy, and the pressure on the godly, Jehovah would not enter into judgment with him, but show His lovingkindness. As the servant of Jehovah, he begs; to be taught and guided. Thus these psalms are all of one in deep distress; but they look, in relationship with Jehovah (not cast out, and knowing Him only as God), for the cutting off of the enemies.
Psalm 144 blesses Jehovah as the source of strength. Its plea for the destruction of the enemies is, What is man? Why should Jehovah make account [See Note #1] of such a worm, and delay bringing in blessing by thus lingering in judgment? Deliverance is thus looked for, for the full true final blessing of Israel. Happy the people in such a case: happy the people who have Jehovah for their God! Directly, the psalm applies to David himself, who is named in it, and owns God, as subduing his (David's) people under him, as the source of royal power. I do not see that it brings in any personally in the latter day. Did it so, it would be "the prince"; for there will be a human house of David on the earth. But it is the bringing in of the people into that state of subjection under Christ, when they will be willing in the day of His power, when in the day of Jezreel they will appoint themselves one head, when the day will be great, when Jehovah will utterly scatter the power of the enemies of Israel, give them a new song, and bless them. Messiah will surely be their head; but it is prophetically spoken of by David in person. The true Beloved will be their sure head.
Which imagine mischiefs in their heart; continually are they gathered together for war.
They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent; adders' poison is under their lips. Selah.
Keep me, O LORD, from the hands of the wicked; preserve me from the violent man; who have purposed to overthrow my goings.
The proud have hid a snare for me, and cords; they have spread a net by the wayside; they have set gins for me. Selah.
I said unto the LORD, Thou art my God: hear the voice of my supplications, O LORD.
O GOD the Lord, the strength of my salvation, thou hast covered my head in the day of battle.
Grant not, O LORD, the desires of the wicked: further not his wicked device; lest they exalt themselves. Selah.
As for the head of those that compass me about, let the mischief of their own lips cover them.
Let burning coals fall upon them: let them be cast into the fire; into deep pits, that they rise not up again.
Let not an evil speaker be established in the earth: evil shall hunt the violent man to overthrow him.
I know that the LORD will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and the right of the poor.
Surely the righteous shall give thanks unto thy name: the upright shall dwell in thy presence.