Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, June 23rd, 2024
the Week of Proper 7 / Ordinary 12
Take your personal ministry to the Next Level by helping StudyLight build churches and supporting pastors in Uganda.
Click here to join the effort!

Bible Commentaries
Psalms 28

Kingcomments on the Whole BibleKingcomments

Verses 1-5


Psalm 27 and Psalm 28 are linked by the themes of salvation and strength (Psalms 27:1; Psalms 28:8) and by the theme of sanctuary (Psalms 27:4; Psalms 28:2). Psalm 28 is a prayer (Psalms 28:1-Deuteronomy :) with thanksgiving (Psalms 28:6-1 Samuel :).

Once again David – and in him the believing remnant – turns to God in prayer. He begs Him to answer and raises his hands to the temple, more specifically to the “holy sanctuary” (Psalms 28:2). This is the holy of holies, containing the ark of the covenant, which is particularly associated with the presence of the LORD. David asks God not to drag him away along with the wicked and apostate, but to repay the enemies according to their deeds.

Beginning in Psalms 28:6, he expresses his trust in God, Who has heard him. He praises Him, for He has helped him (Psalms 28:5). At the end, the people recognize that the same power available to the Anointed is available for them. In the final verse, David prays for salvation and blessing for God’s people and inheritance and that He will take care for them and bring them safely to their destination.

Prayer for Salvation

For “[a Psalm] of David” (Psalms 28:1) see at Psalm 3:1.

David calls “to You”, which is strongly emphasized in Hebrew by being at the beginning of the sentence (Psalms 28:1). Because of the symmetry of Psalms 28:1 and Psalms 28:2, “to You, o Lord, I call” of Psalms 28:1 corresponds to “lift up my hands to Your holy sanctuary” of Psalms 28:2. He calls God “my rock”. God is the living rock, a rock to Whom we can speak (cf. Numbers 20:8) and Who answers. He takes refuge in Him because He is the Unshakable. Rock is here the translation of the Hebrew tsur, which is a massive, low, black rock, the beaten rock (Exodus 17:6). Another Hebrew word for rock is sela, which is a high, layered sedimentary rock, the rock against which to speak (Numbers 20:8).

David asks if God will answer his prayer NOW and not be deaf to him. When God does not answer, but keeps Himself silent for him, for David it is like going down into the pit, where God pays no attention to him.

David asks God to hear the voice his “supplications” (Psalms 28:2). He knows where to be with his pleas. He must be in God’s “holy sanctuary”, which is the place where he can speak, where the ark is, in the holy of holies (cf. 1 Kings 6:19). That is where God lives and that is where he must find an audience. He has no other option and does not want one. He raises his hands there in order to, as it were, lift up his heart, himself, to God and offer it to Him.

The fear of being dragged away with the wicked is deep in David (Psalms 28:3). He specifically asks that this will not happen after all. We might rather expect that he would ask for salvation for himself and for judgment on his enemies. In this prayer he asks for both in one sentence. In doing so, he expresses the firm conviction that the wicked will perish.

What David says here also applies to the faithful remnant in the end times. Their fear is also that they will perish with the wicked when God brings His judgments on wicked Israel in the great tribulation. David knows that the judgment is meant for those wicked people and that they will surely be dragged away by the judgment. For they are people “who work iniquity”, such are their deeds. Also their speaking is corrupt. They do speak of peace with their neighbors, but in their hearts is evil. They are hypocrites.

The Lord Jesus, unlike David, did deliver Himself to His enemies, that is, He gave Himself into their hands when God’s time had come (Luke 22:53-1 Timothy :). He was crucified along with two evildoers (Luke 23:33), thus sharing in their fate. He was “numbered among the transgressors” (Isaiah 53:12).

In Psalms 28:4, David asks God to requite to the wicked according to their practices. The emphasis on requital is striking. We see this in the word “according to” that he uses several times in this verse. He asks that God give them “according to their work and according to the evil of their practices” and “requite them according to the deeds of their hands; repay them their recompense”. They need to be given their due.

The motive for asking the wicked to requite is, as always, their relationship to God. They do not pay attention to Him, they do not reckon with Him, there is no place for Him in their thinking (Psalms 28:5). The reproach is not that they do not keep His laws and commandments. What is reproached is that they “do not regard the works of the LORD nor to the deeds of His hands”. This contrasts with “the work of their hands” in the previous verse.

They are engaged in evil deeds, of which they are full. Therefore, there is no attention to the deeds of God (cf. Matthew 11:20-Ecclesiastes :). Time and again God has punished the wicked and blessed the righteous. But God’s actions pass them by; they do not listen to the message that He has for them.

God’s response to this is clear: “He will tear them down and not build them up” (cf. Jeremiah 1:10). It is, in fact, the answer to the prayer David uttered in the previous verses. All the works of the wicked will perish. They will be judged by Him, for they have done all their deeds without involving Him, without asking Him what He wants them to do. He will tear down their works irreparably. “Not building up” means that the judgment is final; with their downfall, their descendants will also be wiped out.

What they have built is built on sand and not on the rock. Therefore, it will not stand in the day of judgment (2 Peter 3:10; Matthew 7:24-Daniel :).

Verses 6-8

God Has Heard and Helped

In Psalms 28:6, David praises the LORD that He has heard “the voice of my supplication” (cf. Psalms 28:2). The supplication of Psalms 28:1-Numbers : now gives way to praise, for the LORD has heard the prayer. He is not deaf to him. He has clung to God as “my strength and my shield” (Psalms 28:7). The word “my” makes it clear that David is an ‘experience expert’, he has experienced that the LORD has answered his prayer and that brings him to praise.

In God’s strength he has been able to push back his enemies. Because God is his shield, the attacks of the enemy were unsuccessful. A shield provides shelter on one side, but God protects on all sides. His heart continued to trust in Him. That is precisely why he uttered his loud supplications to Him. And behold, he was helped.

His heart, which at first was so full of distress, is now full of joy over God’s help. His confidence has not been shaken. God never shames the confidence of His own who continue to hope in Him, even though He seems to be so far away. David will praise Him with his song. He expresses his gratitude in a song to His glory.

In Psalms 28:8, David involves others in his experiences. David’s experiences are not unique. They are the experiences of all who put their trust in God. Therefore, the people of God can identify with David. The LORD is not only his strength, but also “their strength”. By this is meant those who are with him. Prophetically, it refers to the faithful remnant in the end times. They must learn to make the choice between trusting in people and trusting in God (Psalms 121:1-Ruth :). Achaz chose not to trust God (Isaiah 7:12), while Hezekiah chose to do so (Isaiah 36:14-Ezra :).

To his trust in the saving defense of the LORD, David immediately associates “His anointed”, which is the Messiah. Anointed is the translation of the Hebrew Messiah. Here we are talking about the anointed King. The saving defense with which the LORD assists the remnant is the same saving defense with which He assists His Messiah.

Verse 9

Prayer for God’s People

In the previous verse, David included the Anointed in his prayer. This causes his personal need to slip into the background and that in this verse he becomes an intercessor for God’s people. He asks God four things for them. The first is, “Save Your people”. The people are Gods people. Therefore he appeals to God as the Savior of His people.

Connected to that He asks: “Bless Your inheritance.” His people is His personal property (Exodus 19:4-Deuteronomy :; Exodus 34:9; Psalms 74:2; 1 Peter 2:9). In doing so, He appeals to God as the Possessor or Owner of His people. These two questions remind us of the position the people hold toward God, of the close connection between God and His people.

This leads him to two further questions that relate to the practice of the people, about the way they should go. The third question is about God’s care for them, to “be their shepherd”. He asks God if He will provide rest and food for His people who are in distress and tribulation. He appeals to God as the Shepherd of His people (Psalms 23:1; Psalms 80:2).

The fourth question, and with this he concludes his prayer, is: “Carry them forever.” With this he appeals to God’s fatherly and motherly feelings for His people. Caring requires strength and love. God does not carry a burden, but His people (Deuteronomy 1:31; Isaiah 40:11; Isaiah 46:3). The intercessor asks God to take His people in His arms and carry them to the blessing of the realm of peace and to do so throughout the entire duration of it. By “forever” is meant the realm of peace. He carries them with “everlasting arms” (Deuteronomy 33:27; Isaiah 46:4).

It is a beautiful conclusion to a prayer that began with loud supplications. It ends with an appeal to God’s love and His power, in the realization of their own helplessness, being unable to make it in their own strength. This is a prayer that God loves to hear and answer. How wonderful it is to have a God to Whom this can be asked and of Whom we know for sure that He hears such a prayer. That God is also our God! We may ask it for ourselves and also for others.

Bibliographical Information
de Koning, Ger. Commentaar op Psalms 28". "Kingcomments on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/kng/psalms-28.html. 'Stichting Titus' / 'Stichting Uitgeverij Daniël', Zwolle, Nederland. 2021.
Ads FreeProfile