O LORD, my God, in you I take refuge;
save me from all my pursuers and rescue me,
Lest I become like the lion’s prey,
to be torn to pieces, with no one to rescue me.
Do me justice, O LORD, because I am just,
and because of the innocence that is mine.
Let the malice of the wicked come to an end,
but sustain the just,
O searcher of heart and soul, O just God.
A shield before me is God,
who saves the upright of heart;
A just judge is God,
a God who punishes day by day.
(Psalm 7:2-3, 9-10, 11-12)
7:1–2. This first petition implies that the psalmist’s enemies are trying to bring about his death. They are not identified, but they are fierce and dangerous, like a lion. From what follows, one gathers that these enemies are people who unjustly accuse him of having done evil and of having violated the rights of others.
7:6–9. The two main features of God as judge are: he is supreme judge “over all peoples and nations”, and he knows what everyone thinks and desires (he “tries minds and hearts”: cf. v. 9). Our Lord Jesus Christ too, being God, “knew what was in man” (Jn 2:25) and needed no one to inform him. “Nothing is hidden from the Lord’s sight; even our deepest secrets do not escape his understanding. Let us work, therefore, in the knowledge that He dwells within us always” (St Ignatius of Antioch, Ad Ephesios, 15, 3)
7:10-11. When the upright in heart (v. 10) make sincere appeal to God, they expect to find in him a “shield” to protect them against false accusers.
7:12. Unlike the righteous, sinners will be punished by God; images to do with warfare are used here to show that their violent deeds will rebound against them.
This psalm is a lament by an individual who, having been accused of all sorts of wrongdoing, swears that he is innocent and asks God to punish his enemies. Confident of a favorable answer to his prayer, he thanks God.
We must remember as Christians, that when we pray the psalms, the model we have is always Jesus. During his passion, Jesus does not say anything about punishment for his persecutors; rather, he prays for them because “they know not what they do” (Lk 23:34).
May the virtues of faith, hope, and love go with you today – DV.