These words represent David’s cry to the Lord for protection against his many enemies. He understood one important fact: if God does not rescue a man or woman of faith from evil men, than there is no one who can. David was, in fact, rescued from evil men and in the end he was allowed to step into his destiny to become King of Israel. None-the-less, he first had to learn how to be rescued from evil men.
What Did David Learn In Order To Be Rescued?
David learned to depend on God for His safety. Although he was a young man of great valor who knew how to wield a sword. We find David, in I Samuel 18:7, being richly celebrated by the people and credited with slaying tens of thousands as a young military leader in the great battles of ancient Israel. These God-given victories, however, were a double edged sword for David; on the one hand, he was celebrated throughout the land of Israel as a hero, but on the other hand he became a perceived threat to the power of the reigning ungodly king of Israel.
After these events the King of Israel (King Saul) tried to kill David and made David out to be a outlaw in the eyes of the nation with a bounty on his head. These were horrible times in the life of this young man who loved God and was loyal to the king. These were confusing and trying times for a young man who had just saved his nation from the oppressive attack of the Philistines.
What was he to do?
David went to the only source that he had ever known; he went to God. After all, it was God who taught him how to fight and war even while tending his father’s sheep. David had to contend and defend his father’s sheep against the attack of a lion and a bear (I Kings 17:34-36). This was his training ground and God had given him supernatural strength and ability to accomplish this. David learned more than ever before, that when God is for you, He is more than the world against you.
This is how David prayed for protection in Psalm 140 (NASB):
(1)”Rescue me, O Lord, from evil men; preserve me from violent men”
(2)”Who devise evil things in their hearts; They continually stir up wars.”
(3)”They sharpen their tongues as a serpent; Poison of a viper is under their lips.” Selah
(4)”Keep me, O Lord, from the hands of the wicked; Preserve me from violent men who have purposed to trip up my feet.”
(5)”The proud have hidden a trap for me, and cords; they have spread a net by the wayside; they have set snares for me.” Selah
As we can see from these five verses, David first describes the evil behavior of these men to God. He asked God to “rescue” him, and to “preserve” him, and to “keep” him from the traps laid down by these evil men. The key was David’s trust in God’s ability to keep him during trying times. And this is what we have to trust in when we face evil men, God’s unlimited ability to rescue us, to preserve us, and to keep us. This Must be our number one focus.
When we fail to trust God, we start to trust in men or in ourselves, and when that fails us, we begin to feel hopeless.David did not feel hopeless once he concentrated his focus on what God was doing for him as he said,
(6)”I said to the Lord, “You are my God; give ear, O Lord, to the voice of my supplications.”
(7)”O God, the Lord, the strength of my salvation, you have covered my head in the day of battle.”
(8)”Do not grant, O Lord, the desires of the wicked; do not promote his evil device, that they be not exalted. Selah (NASB)
Now David prays for God’s wrath and justice upon his enemies in the next verses,
(9)”As for the head of those who surround me, may the mischief of their lips cover them.”
(10)”May burning coals fall upon them; may they be cast into the fire, into deep pits from which they cannot rise.”
(11)”May a slanderer not be established in the earth; may evil hunt the violent man speedily.”(NASB)
Finally, David maintains his faith in God to always do the righteous thing and be a Advocate for the righteous and the afflicted.
(12)”I know that the Lord will maintain the cause of the afflicted and justice for the poor.”
(13)”Surely, the righteous will give thanks to Your name; the upright will dwell in Your presence.”(NASB)
It was all about God to David. This is how he was able to maintain his integrity, his sanity, and his faith in the face of dangerous, unscrupulous individuals. And this is how we can have rescue from evil men:
- by looking away from them and not concentrating on what evil that they can do;
- and focusing our attention on Jesus and what He has already done for us;
- and the power of pleading His blood over our lives and the lives of our families.
Like the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “One plus God is the majority.” In other words, as stated earlier, if God be for you than who can successfully be against you. A-men