It is believed that David did not write any Psalm prior to his defeat of Goliath. The sorrows of David’s life began when he was affronted by the envy and jealousy of Saul and his house after he defeated the Philistine giant. It was the storms of persecution which awakened David to tune his harp and pen his Psalms. Psalm 7 is broadly categorized as a Psalm of lament and is believed to belong to the period of David’s life when he was persecuted by Saul’s lineage after his death. The sorrow it expresses however is not penitential in nature, as was the case in Psalm 6; there is no sin and chastening involved in David’s grief. On the contrary, his woeful cries are the result of his being falsely accused and mistreated for righteousness sake. David does not report the accusation in detail, but it seems from verses 3-4 that he was accused of doing evil to one whom he had no cause to even count as an enemy. In relation to the men who sought to take his life, David was blameless. He was conscious of his own sincerity toward God in both his intentions and conduct toward God’s anointed King Saul. In fact in this matter, David was about as devoid of malice as any public character in Scripture. His conduct toward Saul, from beginning to end, displayed meekness and a spirit far from seeking vindication. It is with this knowledge of his own motives that David, in verses 8 and 9 prays, “Judge me, O LORD, according to my righteousness, and according to my integrity within me. Oh, let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end, but establish the just.” This is no self-righteous statement; there is no leaven of the Pharisees here. David remains sensible of his own unworthiness before God, but in the matter for which he makes this appeal, he is blameless. Only a man who is absolutely sure of his own innocence would call upon God to judge him as David does here.
Have you ever been the brunt of false accusations, lies, slander or innuendos? How have you dealt with them? What should we do when attacked falsely? Should we respond in a like manner? Doing so only brings us down to the level of our attacker. Are we to protest openly and widely? This may only fan the flame, so to speak, and cause people to suspect you even more. But how are you going to be vindicated? If you’re completely innocent, you can’t even go to the other party and repent of anything. There is only one thing to do in such instances, and that is, take your case to God – which is what David does in Psalm 7. Whereas a false accusation may deceive others, it will never deceive God. We find David’s confidence in God’s justice and righteousness expressed in verses 10-17.
Realize that as far as we can tell, at the time David wrote this Psalm, he had not received the earthly justice he was seeking. In fact we do not know if David was ever vindicated of the matter for which he pours out his complaint, in this life. We do not know if his name was cleared of the slander which served as the motivation of this prayer. But we do know that even this sorest of evil against him served him with the occasion to sing a Psalm. Imagine if we could turn take the most wicked action against us and turn it into a song!
Listen to this message here: