This psalm was written by David in what seems to have been a difficult situation. It is not clear exactly who Cush was, he doesn’t seem to be mentioned elsewhere in the Bible, but as a Benjaminite it is likely he was an ally of King Saul, who spent a lot of time and energy trying to kill David…
It is a similar theme to some of the other Psalms we have seen already. David cries out to the “LORD my God” – emphasising both God’s goodness and greatness. He is asking for God’s protection, seeking refuge. David is being accused of wrongdoing. He knows that if he had done what is being said of him, he would deserve punishment and disgrace, but he is clear in himself that he has done nothing wrong, and calls on God to defend him. He is seeking God’s justice, as he knows God is just. He wants God to show His power for the people to see. David makes it clear that God will save the righteous but will pour out wrath on the wicked and unrepentant. As with so many of his Psalms, David comes round to praising God at the end. He knows who will save him, where he can find refuge. He knows who to thank.
So what do we learn from David today? It is clear from this Psalm that God is a just judge. He protects the righteous and innocent, but punishes those who do not repent. But again, this shows His mercy – that He allows us so many opportunities to repent, to turn from our selfishness and call on Him for forgiveness. God hears when we call and is a refuge for those who have faith in Him.
We must recognise that wrongdoing deserves punishment. If we believe in Jesus, however, we can rejoice because He has taken the ultimate punishment for our sins. We may still have to deal with the consequences of our mistakes, and there may be pain as we learn discipline to try to avoid sin in the future. But, God is our source of comfort and our place of refuge, and He always deserves our thanks and praise.
Like David, we can and should turn to God in times of trouble and seek His righteousness. We need to acknowledge when we do wrong and repent, turn back to God. We can gracefully encourage others to do the same. We must always remember that God is just and one day He will judge the earth. Finally, ultimately, we must praise God for His love.