Vs. 1-2 state David’s patience with God’s response;
Vs. 3-4 give David’s confidence that God will punish the wicked;
Vs. 5-6 re-state David’s patience with God’s response;
Vs. 7-8 give David’s confidence in God;
Vs. 9-10 describe wicked people;
Vs. 11-12 ascribe total judgment to God.
It is impossible to accurately associate this Psalm with a specific event in David’s life. David and his army captains designated “the sons of Asaph, of Heman, and of Jeduthun, who should prophesy with harps, stringed instruments, and cymbals” (1 Chronicles 25:1-4).
Verses 1-2: “Only,” “truly,” “surely” (used in verses 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 9) cancels any contradiction of the statement. “Silently” indicates quiet submission, and this is the “patience” necessary for Christians. “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing” (James 1:2-4). God is the “only” “rock,” “salvation,” or “defense,” and is completely without any proper substitute! David’s determination is “I shall not be greatly moved,” that is, no one but God is perfectly immovable, so David leaves room for him to be somewhat shaken!
Verses 3-4: “How long” shows the ignorant persistence of the wicked. The wicked “consult” only to bring down a good man “from his high position” (David as king?) with their lies and hypocrisy, but they will “be slain” for they are already on their way down, like “a leaning wall and a tottering fence.”
Verses 5-6: This repeats the thought from verses 1-2, except with greater confidence when he says: “I shall not be moved,” leaving out the degree of movement (“greatly”). Since none but God is “immovable” then those who are faithful to Him cannot be “moved” at all. Christians are thus reassured: “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58).
Verses 7-8: To all God means to David, is added: “my refuge, is in God.” Not only does God provide solidarity (“rock”), deliverance (“salvation”), protection (“defense”), but also security (“refuge”). There is no one like God! Verse 8 is David’s appeal to all who serve God, but are being shaken by their persecutions, to “trust in Him at all times.” Never has God been unfaithful. Wisdom said: “Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble Is like a bad tooth and a foot out of joint” (Proverbs 25:19). Spouse, friend, co-worker, government, corporation, Christian may all become “unfaithful,” but God – NEVER!
Verses 9-10: Put NO total trust and confidence in: (1) “men of low degree” refers to common people, everyone at some time, as “vapor” blow away; (2) “men of high degree” refers to those distinguished by work or position, for they may be established by the “lie;” (3) all of humanity weigh like air compared to God, truth, trust; (4) “oppression” seen in tyrants, dictators, despots (from parents to teachers, from executives to labor bosses, from federal to local); (5) “robbery” whether burglars, bankers, taxation, inflation, lottery, etc.; (6) increased “riches” and the arrogance that accompanies them (1 Timothy 6:17-19). Lives devoted to these “idols” are truly “life light!” Jesus said, in Matthew 16:26: “what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?”
Verses 11-12: If God says something once, we have two ears to listen (Matthew 11:15): All power, mercy, and judgment belong to God. To whom, then, shall we go? That God will “render to each one according to his work” should wake sinners up (Romans 2:6; 1 Corinthians 3:8; 2 Corinthians 5:10; 1 Peter 1:17; Revelation 22:12).
All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.