Ep.282: Psalm 140: Snakes and Other Enemies.

Hello, I’m Daniel Westfall on the channel “Pray with Me”.

Psalm 140 is the first of five lament psalms that describe the poet’s enemies and their evil deeds. The poet moves through lament to faith. Faith that God will save him by overthrowing his enemies and setting his world right. 

The psalm opens like this:
  Rescue me, Lord, from evildoers;
    protect me from the violent,
  who devise evil plans in their hearts
    and stir up war every day.
  They make their tongues sharp as serpent’s;
    the poison of vipers is on their lips (vv. 1-3). 

It looks like the snake from the Garden of Eden is still at work. The poet’s unscrupulous enemies speak sharply and falsely, they plan violence and war, they threaten the poet’s life. His only recourse is to God:
  Keep me safe, Lord, from the hands of the wicked;
    protect me from the violent,
    who devise ways to trip my feet (v. 4). 

Let’s pray. 

Our father, we stand in a long line of believers who have studied how to be faithful when evil is everywhere. As our weary world plods on, as power corrupts leaders, as the Internet distributes the snake venom of divisiveness and lies, as entertainment grows more violent and pornography more hardcore, we pray to you, our God, to protect us from the ruin of our society, from the ruin of the world, from the ruin of unbelief. 

When we look at ourselves, we hear Jesus’ words, “From within, out of the heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit” (Mark 7:22). Perhaps as Pogo said, “We have met the enemy and he is us” (Walt Kelly, Pogo (comic strip), April 22, 1971. 

With the poet, we pray against all our enemies, those within and those without; those who are subtle and well-spoken like the snake in the garden; and those who are forthright and violent as they run roughshod through the world. 

We believe that you,Lord, will rescue and redeem us. As the poet says:
  Keep me safe from the hands of the wicked;
      protect me from the violent,
      who devise ways to trip my feet (v. 4).
    Sovereign Lord, my strong deliverer,
      you shield my head in the day of battle (v. 7).
  I know that you secure justice for the poor
      and uphold the cause of the needy.
  Surely the righteous will praise your name,
      and the upright will live in your presence (vv. 12-13). 

O God, you carry the weight of the world on your shoulders. Christ carries the world’s sin on his cross. The Spirit shines in all dark corners, bringing light and truth.. 

Teach us to live in the truth. Expose the lies of the snake. Confound his conspiracy theories. Paralyze the hands of the violent. Stop the tongues of rage and slander. In the strong name of Jesus, protect the upright. Build your church into a community of life and truth. 


I’m Daniel on the channel “Pray with Me”. 

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