Psalm 28: The LORD Is My Strength and My Shield

This is another in the string of psalms simply noted as being “of David”.

Psalm 28

1To you, O LORD, I call;
my rock, be not deaf to me,
lest, if you be silent to me,
I become like those who go down to the pit.
2Hear the voice of my pleas for mercy,
when I cry to you for help,
when I lift up my hands
toward your most holy sanctuary.a

3Do not drag me off with the wicked,
with the workers of evil,
who speak peace with their neighbors
while evil is in their hearts.
4Give to them according to their work
and according to the evil of their deeds;
give to them according to the work of their hands;
render them their due reward.
5Because they do not regard the works of the LORD
or the work of his hands,
he will tear them down and build them up no more.

6Blessed be the LORD!
For he has heard the voice of my pleas for mercy.
7The LORD is my strength and my shield;
in him my heart trusts, and I am helped;
my heart exults,
and with my song I give thanks to him.

8The LORD is the strength of his people;b
he is the saving refuge of his anointed.
9Oh, save your people and bless your heritage!
Be their shepherd and carry them forever.

I really wish that I could just remove verse 3-5 from the overall psalm. While I do understand that not being in the company of the wicked and wanted those who are to get theirs, I don’t particularly like the way it shifts focus from the writer just to have it shift back to him again. Lyrically, I feel like it would be more cohesive.

As a sacred song to be used for worship, I feel like inserting the idea of the wicked getting their due inside a song that asks for mercy for the writer is a little unnecessary. I’m sure these were grave concerns for the writer, but their inclusion shifts the focus and puts God’s attention on those wicked people that the writer doesn’t want to be with rather than himself.

Okay, maybe God’s attention doesn’t shift so easily, but mine does and I’m reading it. It just feels out of place in a psalm that so otherwise feelings like it could be sung in a modern worship service. The rest is just gorgeous.

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