Among the many reasons to enjoy the Psalms is how they put lyrics to situations we face in life so vividly well.
Here, there is this particular individual who has taken it upon himself to behave in a way even his own colleagues found distasteful. The preamble giving the reason behind why this Psalm was written points to an episode of David before he had been made King. In fact it was in his time on the run from King Saul. The thing about being on the run is to ensure no one finds you and reports you. Most saw Saul’s hunting of David as bizarre, but one over zealous and obnoxious ‘loyalist’ took it upon himself to show he was on Saul’s side, not just by informing the King of where the fugitive was hiding out, but even going so far as to slaughtering a town of priests for being complicit in harbouring the fugitive.
Put in that perspective, some of the invective David gives about the unscrupulous character are remarkably restrained. The essence of the piece, however, is clear. Such reprehensible behaviour should be dealt with and such characters know where they will go with all that.
Meanwhile it is for us to view these things and not get bitter about it, but to continue to work out in all the heartbreak of the situation what can be done to treasure what is right, fair and glorious.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden