Psalm 7

Today’s Passage: Psalm 7
David wrote Psalm 7 while being chased by Saul’s men. Specifically, he wrote “concerning the words of Cush, the Benjaminite.” We don’t know anything else about Cush other than he said some things, which we can assume, were not nice.

David cried out to God for refuge, but notice verse 2, “Lest like a lion they tear my soul apart, rending it into pieces, with none to deliver.” This verse jumped off the page to me for the simple fact that a lion can tear a person physically, but David refers to the rending of his soul. As I reflected, “like a lion they tear my soul,” this phrase adds so much weight to David’s circumstances.

David faced physical pursuit and danger, but also character assassination. He had been the hero of Israel, only to become a wanted man—talk about cancel culture. God’s anointing and David’s faithfulness to the Lord put a target on his back. 

Clearly, the emotional impact of Cush’s words took a toll on David. Maybe they had some level of relationship or maybe it hurts so much because it represents the attitude of so many. Regardless, David compared that damage to his soul as what a lion does to a person physically. 

Can we pause and admit that we all know the devastating impact that words have on us? Certain things spoken by certain people at certain times can be worse than a physical injury. And because we all hide our internal hurts so well, the world may never know that our soul has been torn as though by a lion. We all know this feeling, and yet, how often do we consider the impact of our words on others?

Psalm 7 illustrates a great way to respond to this kind of soul-hurt. David cried out to the Lord as a refuge. He asked God to examine him, believing himself righteous but asking God to test that (8). He proclaimed his dependance on the Lord while in the same breath praying that God would bring judgement on his enemies. “God is a righteous judge, and a God who feels indignation every day… I will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High.” In our soul-hurt, we must know God’s character, depend on it, trust him, and cultivate a heart of praise even in our pain.

Although we’ve all experienced David’s hurt, how many times have we been on Cush’s end? Personally, I’ve been there too many times to count. I cannot begin to describe the ways in which the Holy Spirit has sanctified my words. Yet, I must continually go back to Ephesians 4:29, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” And Colossians 4:6, Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”

My prayer for you today is that we see the ability of our words to tear at one’s soul. Maybe, as the Lord convicts, you are thinking of someone to whom you need to apologize. Maybe you’ve spoken “corrupting talk” or failed to let your speech be “gracious,” use those failures to humble your hearts, repent, and apologize to anyone who witnessed. 
1) Reflect on a situation where someone’s words hurt you deeply—why did it hurt so much and how did you respond? 
2) Has the Lord convicted you in your speech, is there anyone to whom you should apologize?
3) What are the costs and benefits of being the kind of person who asks forgiveness for such things? What’s the cost if you aren’t?

Written By: Tyler Short

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