Whoever said “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” was a liar. Words penetrate beyond the flesh into the soul. The power of life and death are in the tongue (Proverbs 18:21). The frailest of persons can deliver the most powerful blow with their tongue. Jesus said one’s words originate from the abundance of their heart (Luke 6:45). David may have written Psalm 45 in response to the evil plot and wicked words being said about him while he was serving in King Saul’s court (1 Samuel 18-20).
Instead of hurling insults and devising his own plot of retaliation, David used his words to take their words to the Lord. Like he had done so many times (e.g. vv. 4:1, 5:3: 28:2), he asked the Lord to “hear me as I voice my complaint” (v. 1). He wasn’t trying to get the Lord to pay him attention or inform Him about his condition, David was simply and specifically taking everything to the Lord in prayerful petition. Sometimes listing details in our prayers isn’t so God will know them but so our hearts yield those elements to the Lord and we don’t try to deal with them ourselves. You see a wise person knows their real enemy isn’t people (Ephesians 6:10) and their real help isn’t found in themselves (Psalm 121:2). Notice David didn’t pray for the Lord to change his situation. He asked the Lord to deal with himself – “hear me”, “protect my life” (v. 1), and “hide me”(v. 2). Before we can deal with the enemy around us (“they” in vv. 3-6), we must deal with the enemy within us (“me” in vv. 1-2). We do this by taking “me” and “they” to “He” (vv. 7-10). We must ask the Lord to protect and guide our thoughts, emotions, and intentions so we don’t retaliate wrongly with our actions.
David knew his enemy well and listed their evil plans (vv. 3-6). Their piercing words (vv. 3-4), evil plans (vv. 5-6) come from their cunning hearts and minds (v. 6b). David didn’t strike back with his own words and plans. He trusted the Lord to take care of them how He saw fit in His own timing. That’s why David fled to the wilderness instead of attacking them in court. He would rather patiently suffer on the run than try to make something happen on his own. Their words were like arrows, but God had His own Word (v. 7) that is quick, powerful, and sharper than any weapon (Hebrews 4:12). As is the case, their lies, deceptions, schemes, and slander aimed at David would turn against them (v. 8). Those ways of speaking evil never permanently advance or prosper as people will eventually see through them. Soon, everyone would fear the holy Lord instead of these evil men (v. 9). Those who fear the Lord will rejoice and give Him glory (v. 10). Don’t take things into your own hands (or mouths). Trust the Lord to fight your battles. You need only pray and wait on the Lord.
- Are you complaining, plotting, or retaliating with your words or are you praying, trusting, and praising with them?
- Is your fear of the Lord greater than your fear of man? (proof is in your first reactions when under attack)
- Are you devising your own retaliation or is your “get them back” plan “give it to” the Lord?
Lord, You know my heart and mind. Make them like Yours. Help me trust You fully when the enemy (satan) attacks. You know his plans but let me be aware of them so when they come, I automatically turn to You. Thank you for hearing my prayer and answering in Your perfect timing and way. I trust You. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
Stephen and his wife Haley have called Arkansas home all of their lives. Stephen has served in several ministry roles over the last 25 years and as a lead pastor for the last 8 years. Stephen attended Williams Baptist College and earned a BA in Biblical Studies from Ouachita Baptist University, an MA, MDiv, and DMin in Christian Leadership and Pastoral Ministries from Liberty University. When not pastoring, Stephen enjoys running, cycling, reading, writing, camping, fishing, and spending time with his family.