David knew God from first hand experience! So David the Messiah has this glorious irrepressible hope in God. In the present there are many battles and enemies, but He will keep His promises! This same hope we find in Jesus’ heart and lips. (Luke 18:31-34) Is it in your heart and on your lips?
The second half of this psalm raises some interesting ideas in David’s words.
On the one hand David says of himself and his enemies in v42, “I beat them fine as dust before the wind; I cast them out like the mire of the streets.”
Then in v48 he says, “… You delivered me from a man of violence.”
How do we reconcile these two seemingly dissonant points from David? On the one hand he clearly points to the Lord empowering him to pursue his enemies and overtake them (v37), to destroy them (v40). On the other, he gives thanks the Lord has delivered from violent men, enemies, those who rose against David (v48).
This is important. We often hear people speak of the OT God of wrath and judgement, as different from the NT Jesus, full of love and peace.
David recognises the difference between justice and bloodthirstyness.
The man of violence is different to the man who finds his refuge in the Lord (v1).
In Matthew 23 Jesus says, when getting stuck into the Pharisees and scribes, that the weightier matters of the law are JUSTICE, MERCY and FAITHFULNESS.
Jesus, the King of Peace, clearly points the importance of Justice in all of God’s word, His law, His precepts, His testimonies.
David knows this. That’s how he can confidently speak of both destroying his enemies in God’s strength and being saved from the man of violence.
May the Lord open our eyes more and more to the truths we find in His word. This psalm has a lot to wrestle with for us, year on year, till we head to glory.