“Answer me quickly!
My spirit fails!
Do not hide your face from me.
Otherwise I shall be
Like those who go down to the Pit.
Let me hear of your steadfast love
In the morning.
I put my trust.
Teach me the way I should go.
I lift up my soul.”
David wanted a quick answer to his prayer. His spirit was failing. He did not want Yahweh to hide his face because then he would go down into the Pit. He wanted to hear the steadfast love of Yahweh in the morning. David put all his trust in Yahweh so that Yahweh might teach him the way to go. He had lifted up his soul to Yahweh.
“Your hands have made me.
You have fashioned me.
Give me understanding!
Thus I may learn your commandments.
Those who fear you
Shall see me.
They shall rejoice,
Because I have hoped in your word.
I know that your judgments are right.
You have humbled me.
Let your steadfast love become my comfort,
According to your promise
To your servant.
Let your mercy come to me.
Thus I may live.
Your law is my delight.
Let the arrogant be put to shame.
They have subverted me with guile.
As for me,
I will meditate on your precepts.
Let those who fear you
Turn to me.
Thus they may know your decrees.
May my heart be blameless in your statutes.
Thus I may not be put to shame.”
Once again, the steadfast love of Yahweh sustains the psalmist’s love for the law. He recognized that Yahweh had made him. He wanted to gain an understanding of the commandments. Those who fear Yahweh would rejoice. He had hoped in the word of God. Yahweh was faithful. His judgments were right. His steadfast love had become a comfort to this psalmist as he had promised. The psalmist delighted in the law as he expected the mercy of God. The arrogant were to be put to shame because the psalmist was going to meditate on the precepts of Yahweh. In fact, he was going to teach others because his heart was blameless. He was not going to be put to shame. So ends this section on the tenth consonant letter of the Hebrew alphabet, Yod.
“May this be the reward of my accusers
This is the reward for those who speak evil against my life!
You act on my behalf for your name’s sake!
Because your steadfast love is good,
I am poor and needy.
My heart is pierced within me.
I am gone,
Like a shadow at evening.
I am shaken off like a locust.
My knees are weak through fasting.
My body has become gaunt.
I am an object of scorn to my accusers.
When they see me,
They shake their heads.”
Now David turns to Yahweh to be saved from these evil people who were talking about him. He wanted Yahweh to act on his behalf for his name’s sake. He relied on the steadfast love of Yahweh to deliver him from this terrible situation. David admitted that he was poor and needy. His heart was pierced. He had become like an evening shadow. He had been tossed away like a locust. His knees were weak from fasting. His body had become gaunt. He had become the object of scorn to his accusers. When they saw him, they would shake their heads in dismay.
“When they are diminished,
When they are brought low,
Through oppression, trouble, and sorrow,
He pours contempt upon the princes.
He makes them wander in trackless wastes.
However he raises up the needy out of distress.
He makes their families like flocks.
The upright see it.
They are glad.
All the wickedness keeps its mouth shut.
Let those who are wise,
Give heed to these things.
Consider the steadfast love of Yahweh.”
This psalm ends with something that looks like it was added on. All of a sudden there are princes that are brought low and diminished with oppression, trouble, and sorrow. Yahweh had contempt for the princes wandering in some waste land. On the other hand, he raised up the needy or the poor out of their distress. He made them fruitful like flocks of birds. The upright, those with a right heart, were glad because wickedness never came out of their mouth. The wise person paid attention to these things. They always remembered the steadfast love of Yahweh.
“Both we with our ancestors have sinned.
We have committed iniquity.
We have done wickedly.
When they were in Egypt,
Did not consider
Your wonderful works.
They did not remember
The abundance of your steadfast love.
But they rebelled
Against the Most High
At the Red Sea.
Yet Yahweh saved them for his name’s sake.
Thus he would make known his mighty power.
He rebuked the Red Sea.
Then it became dry.
He led them through the deep
As through a desert.
He saved them from the hand of the foe.
He delivered them from the hand of the enemy.
The waters covered their adversaries.
Not one of them was left.
Then they believed his words.
They sang his praise.”
The psalmist associates himself with his ancestors in Egypt who doubted Yahweh with iniquity and wickedness. His ancestors did not realize the wonderful work that Yahweh was doing. They never understood the steadfast love of Yahweh. Thus they rebelled against the Most High God before crossing the Red Sea. However, Yahweh saved them so that they could go forth and proclaim his name. Yahweh made the Red Sea dry. Then they passed through it like it was a desert instead of a sea. They were saved from the hands of their foes and enemies. In fact, their adversaries were covered in water so that no was left. After this the Israelites believed in his words and sang praising his name.