This is one of David’s personal psalms of lament. It is a prayer forged in the midst of adversaries who sought his life. The psalm is a plea uttered with the hope that God would indeed vindicate him and subdue those who wanted to harm him. It is a lament that wickedness exists and often gets its way; it is a grieving over the constant threats that swirled around David.
It was David’s prayer that with all the heartless and arrogant violence that was continually in his life that God would keep him as the apple of his eye, and hide him in the shadow of his wings. Indeed, perhaps no better prayer could be said in those times when there are people who make untrue accusations and only wish harm to be done to you: “Keep me as the apple your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings.” It is in the times when angry simpletons spew their worst that we need to confidently know that the God watches over his people with affection and cares for them as a mother hen protects her chicks.
You and I are precious to God. We can run to him when there is trouble. The Lord is a benevolent God showing firm commitment to those who seek truth, loving actions, and merciful words. When going through a difficult time in which another or others accuse you of wrongdoing and you know you are innocent, the proper prescription is to pray this very psalm repeatedly at night before bed. For we all know that sleep can be elusive and hard to come by in such circumstances. Perhaps, along with David, you will be able to say: “As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness.”
Arise, O LORD! Deliver my soul from the wicked and subdue them! I seek refuge in you, O Savior; show me your steadfast love as I cry out to you for help. Incline your ear to hear me, and answer when I call through the name of Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.