September 23, 2015

Tom Lowe




Title: God’s Absolute Faithfulness

(To the choirmaster; with stringed instruments.  A Maskil of David,” when the Ziphites went and told Saul, “David is in hiding among us.”)


Theme: A Cry of Faith in the Time of Antichrist




Psalm 54 (KJV)


1 Save me, O God, by thy name, and judge me by thy strength.

2 Hear my prayer, O God; give ear to the words of my mouth.

3 For strangers are risen up against me, and oppressors seek after my soul: they have not set God before them. Selah.

4 Behold, God is mine helper: the Lord is with them that uphold my soul.

5 He shall reward evil unto mine enemies: cut them off in thy truth.

6 I will freely sacrifice unto thee: I will praise thy name, O Lord; for it is good.

7 For he hath delivered me out of all trouble: and mine eye hath seen his desire upon mine enemies.






Psalm 54 is the lamenting prayer of one who has been falsely accused.  He has come to the Temple to secure his own vindication and to pray that his insolent and formidable accusers may themselves be destroyed by God.


What could be worse than to be betrayed by someone you love and fully trust?  It happens every day in marriages around the world; a man or woman betrays their spouse by committing the sin of adultery.  It happened to Julius Caesar, the greatest Caesar of them all—he was stabbed by twenty-three men, but the cut that hurt most was delivered by his best friend, Brutus. Caesar’s last words were, “Thou also, Brutus.” It happens in the business world when an employee reveals their companies secrets to a competitor.  It happened in America during WWII; men and women who were trusted with vital military information, sold the information to our enemies, Germany and Japan.


The betrayal of a friend by a friend—this is one of the most painful experiences anyone may have to go through. It happened to Jesus when He was betrayed by Judas for thirty pieces of silver. And it happened to David which is what led him to write Psalm 54.  It is the song of a man betrayed.


This is a maschil psalm, the seventh of thirteen such psalms, all of which are psalms of instruction with a sermonic quality about them and a lesson to teach.  This psalm apparently comes from the same period of David’s life as does Psalm 52.  Even though David had recently rescued and Israelite border town from the Philistines, he was still considered a traitor to Saul (1 Samuel 23; 26).  In the wake of this emotional devastation, David prayed to God for vindication.  The psalm provides encouragement to any believer who has been maligned.


The psalm commemorates the time “the Ziphites” came and said to Saul, “Doth not David hide himself with us?” That pinpoints the occasion of the psalm and tells much about the historical womb from which it was born.  There is a footnote to this psalm too: “To the chief Musician on Neginoth.” The word “neginoth” means “smitings”: To strike down or kill with godly force.”  There are eight psalms which have this note attached, and they all contain a record of deliverance from personal smitings.


The Ziphites are described as strangers (v. 3), though men of Judea like himself; because they were possessed of a spirit so contrary and alien to his own.  It is rather beautiful to see how David refuses to say anything at all about the cruel, despicable things which Saul had done to him, but instead, he acts as though he wanted to cover up the sins of the Lord’s anointed King.


David is a hunted fugitive, fleeing from place to place, never more than a step away from death. At court informers whispered lies into Saul’s jealous ears and kept his hatred and suspicion of David inflamed.  Some of these men were hirelings, some were envious former companions of David.  David never felt safe and, as the heat of pursuit increased, he found he could not trust even those who should have been at his side.  The Ziphites, whose little town lay fifteen miles southeast of Hebron in the desert of Zith and within the boundaries of the tribe of Judah, David’s tribe, were a case in point.


They betrayed David on two separate occasions (1 Samuel 23:19-23; 26: 1-3).  This was “the unkindest cut of all.” That Saul should suspect him and seek to slay him was inexcusable but understandable.  But the Ziphites should have at least maintained a friendly neutrality.  Instead they curried favor with Saul by betraying David—all for the sake of Saul’s worthless goodwill.


Soon after David had been joined at Keilah by Abiathar, who had escaped Doeg’s massacre at Nob (Psalm 52), he heard that Saul was advancing upon the town to besiege it.  Although David had rescued the town from the Philistines, he was warned of the unreliability of the inhabitants, so he and his men fled eastward before Saul arrived (see 1 Samuel 23:5, 6, 13).  They took refuge in the wild and wooded hills south of Hebron but their presence was betrayed to Saul by men of the adjoining township of Ziph (1 Samuel 23:19).  According to the title, this psalm expresses David’s reaction to the animosity of the Ziphites. 







I. David’s First Reaction To The Treachery (54:1-3)


David’s first reaction was what one might expect from such a spiritual man as David.  He prayed!  That should be our first reaction when someone lets us down.


His prayer is a threefold plea.




A. A Plea Based on God’s Name (54:1)


1 Save me, O God, by thy name, and judge me [i.e., vindicate me] by thy strength.


The psalm opens with a petition to the Lord (vs. 1-2) that his prayer may be heard, that the righteous God may vindicate him—and execute justice for him, as in a court trial when a defendant is declared not guilty—and by His “name” deliver him.  Since God is omniscient, He can execute perfect justice against the wicked.


To call upon the “name” of the Lord refers to the utterance of the Lord’s name in divine worship.  Those who call upon His name are His worshippers.  Those who do not call upon His name do not worship Him.  In the Old Testament a person’s name often stands for the person himself. Moreover, His name implies His nature, and His character.  The name of God was regarded almost as God’s second self, his medium of operation in the world.  And his “strength” implies His omnipotence.  It is to God’s might that the psalmist looks for defense against the power of his enemies, and it is the name and the might of God that the enemies have not taken into reckoning.  “Save me” here means temporal deliverance from enemies. 


David was the rightful king of Israel, and the future of the nation and the dynasty lay with him.  This included the promise of Messiah, who would come from David’s line (2 Samuel 7).  “By thy name” means “on the basis of your character,” especially His strength (v. 1) and faithfulness (v. 5).


In the Old Testament God often made Himself known to man by His Name.  He was Jehovah, He was Elohim, He was Adonai.  He was God of creation, God of covenant, God of control.  He was Maker!  Mediator!  Master!  David uses all three titles in the psalm, but he begins with God as Creator.  That will put any problem into perspective.  A God who can create galaxies is not intimidated by a man like Saul!  A God who keeps faith with His creation, be it a swallow on the wing or a changing season, is not going to let down one who is trusting in Him.  If the God of creation was with him, then all was well.


David appeals to God to exert His power on his behalf.  He opens his life to the all-seeing eye of God for inspection and vindication.  He can say he has done nothing to deserve the kind of persecution he is receiving.  It is a great thing when there is nothing between the soul and the Savior.  It is a dismal thing to pray when we know we have brought much of our trouble on ourselves.  David based his plea on God’s name.  David has no other plea to depend upon than God’s name, no other power to depend upon than God’s strength, and these he makes his refuge and confidence. God had entered into covenant relationship with David, an agreement we call the Davidic covenant.  He had promised David the throne of Israel, promised him a son, the very Messiah to be his heir and to set upon his throne, promised to establish His covenant with David forever.  A contract is only as good as the name appended two it.  The Davidic covenant was signed by the living God.  David confidently based his plea upon God’s name.  It is a name of the highest integrity.


If we wonder why the cry we hear in this psalm should occur so frequently in the Psalter, we should take a look at ourselves.  For each new day as it dawns we face life all over again.  The old doubts return, the old sins obsess us, the desperate need of grace is upon us once again.  David, that very human person, must have felt the need to cry out to God frequently, simply because He had helped him before. 




  1. A plea based on David’s need (54:2)


2 Hear my prayer, O God; give ear to the words of my mouth.


The first two verses each begin, in the Hebrew, with “O God.”  That is how one prays.  Then the poet puts substance into the name “God.” He is not a distant Spirit.  He is “our Savior God,” for that is what His name means—“And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. (Matthew 1:21).  Moreover, He is mighty to save.  Despite God’s greatness, however, the poet has the courage to begin his second line with “O God” once again, and then to offer a very short prayer, “Listen, please, God.”


Most of us have been driven to our knees at times by the sheer pressure of our circumstances, knowing that we have nowhere else to go.  When all goes well it is so easy for us to forget God, to take Him for granted, but let something go wrong, immediately we call out.  God will not be ignored.


So long as David was in the rough spots of life God was the dominant one in his thoughts; how many psalms poured from his pen in times of trouble!  But when things went smoothly with him that was when he landed in sin and shame.  God knows how much we need the rough spots.  That is why He sends them our way.  Our need puts God back into our thoughts.  It is sad that life should be like that.


David based his plea upon God’s name and upon his own needs.  A real and trying need it was.  The closing days of Saul’s campaign against David were desperate ones.  It seems as though Saul sensed that his days were numbered and mobilize all the resources of his kingdom in a final all-out effort to have David caught and killed.


The expression “give ear” is an anthropomorphism[1] meaning “listen,” “pay attention.”


David was betrayed.  And we are told that in the Great Tribulation period brother will betray brother.  It will be a time of awful betrayal.


It was a godless crowd that betrayed David.  During the Tribulation period the godless Antichrist will be in power, and the Jewish remnant will suffer greatly under this Man of Sin.




  1. A Plea Based on His Foes’ Nature (54:3)


3 For strangers are risen up against me, and oppressors seek after my soul: they have not set God before them. Selah.


David found the nature of his Foes’ very difficult to understand.  It is always hard for a generous person to understand one who is mean, for a forgiving person to understand one who is revengeful, for an honest person to understand one who deceives.  The nature of his Foes’ was another basis of David’s plea.  What is his plea?  Foreigners (RSV verse 3), that is, people outside the Covenant, are acting violently (trying to kill him) against me, naturally so, for they know nothing about the God of forgiveness, compassion and saving love.  The God whom we know and worship is naturally kept in the center of our lives; but this cannot be said of those here called “strangers” (foreigners).  “Strangers” were either non-Israelites or Israelites who had broken the covenant with God. Since in this case Paul and the Ziphites are the oppressors, the “strangers” are apostate Israelites (compare 1 Samuel 23:19; 26:1).


“Strangers” doesn’t suggest that his enemies were Gentiles, for the Ziphites belonged to the tribe of Judea, David’s own tribe.  The word is used in Job 19:13 to describe Job’s family and friends and David used it in a similar way in Psalm 69:8.  It can describe anybody who has turned his or her back on someone, which the Ziphites certainly did to David, their king.  We should note that this is actually Isaiah’s terrible indictment, not of foreigners in general, but of God’s own people.  He declares that by their rebellious lives they have turned themselves into foreigners who live their lives outside the Covenant—“Woe to the sinful nation, a people whose guilt is great, a brood of evildoers, children given to corruption! They have forsaken the LORD; they have spurned the Holy One of Israel and turned their backs on him” (Isaiah 1:4)! They have forsaken the Lord; the worship of the Lord, as the Targum interprets it; the ways and ordinances of God, the assembling of themselves together, the hearing of the word, and attending worship at the Lord's house. They have provoked the Holy One of Israel to anger by their numerous sins, both of omission and commission. They are gone away backward; had become backsliders and were in revolt against their God, had apostatized from God and His worship, turned their backs on Him, and cast His law behind them. The characters noted here not only depict the Jews in the times of Isaiah, but also those in the times of David and in the times of Christ and His apostles: Jesus said, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah” (Matthew 12:39).


The psalmist gives the reason for his appeal.  “Oppressors” (insolent men) is a general term to denote men who, seething with presumptuousness, self-confidence, and arrogance, put no bridal on their evil purposes.  They are ruthless men, literally, “terror-inspiring men,” and “they have not set God before them.” Such men have “risen up against me”  . . . “seek after my soul (life.)  The psalmist’s life is desperate in view of the odds against him; and the same can be said of the remnant during the Tribulation of the future. To David, those who sought to kill him were:


  1. So Foreign to Him


“For strangers are risen up against me.” David, fleeing from one treacherous incident, took refuge in the wilderness of Ziph.  The Ziphites immediately sent a message to Saul in Gibeah to tell him that David was holed up in a nearby forest.  They not only told Saul where David was, but promised to help Saul find David: “Come on down, and our part shall be to deliver him into the king’s hand.” Such treachery was quite foreign to David.  He calls the men who would do such things “strangers,” and strangers they were, strangers to grace and to God.  David makes it the basis of his plea.


There may be as many pleas as there are people in the world today, but if there is one plea that every Christian should make to our Savior every day, perhaps it is this—“Lord deliver me out of all these troubles and help me to bear my cross without complaining or fretting. And at a time only You know, take me to where I will live eternally with You.”


2. So Friendless to Him


“For strangers are risen up against me, and oppressors seek after my soul.” Some Bible commentators have translated the word “oppressors” as “ruthless ones,” “terrible ones”—such were Saul and his army. They were rubbing their hands together in anticipation of David’s capture.  The sacred historian records how the Ziphites urged the godless king to come down “according to all the desire of thy soul” (1 Samuel 23:20).  That was how they put it.  The desire of Saul’s soul was the cold-blooded murder of a man who had always treated him with loyalty and love.  The Ziphites had such disregard for David that they would shake hands with a man like that.  Saul was delighted.  “Blessed be ye of the Lord,” he said.  Then he gave them full instructions as to how to proceed with their betrayal of David.  David makes this also a matter of prayer.


3.  So Foolish to Him


“They have not set[2] God before them.” Those who rose against him had “not set God before them,” i.e., they had no regard for the Lord, they had cast off all thoughts of God; they do not consider that His eye is upon them, that, in fighting against His people, they fight against Him, nor have they any dread of the certain fatal consequences of such an unequal engagement.  Note, what good is to be expected from those who do not set God before them; is there any wickedness such men will not be party to! To David, that was the height of folly, for they were, in effect, fighting against God.  “Selah”mark this.  Let us all be sure to set God before us at all times; for, if we do not we are in danger of becoming desperate.


It must have been common knowledge throughout Israel that God had already rejected Saul, and that Samuel had long since anointed David to be Saul’s successor.  Jonathan, Saul’s son, knew it.  All Israel new it.  Saul knew it.  To fight against that was to fight against God.  David’s first reaction to their treachery was to plead God’s name, his need, and their nature.  It was a threefold cord, one hard to break.



II. David’s Further Reaction To Their Treachery (54:4-5)


Having expressed his “Selah” David picks up his psalm again.  The next two verses are not so much a supplication (an appeal) as a sermon.  He seems to be addressing his own soul or the few friends he has left in this dangerous hour.  Two claims are made.



  1. I Have a Reliable God (54:4)


4 Behold, God is mine helper: the Lord is with them that uphold my soul.


Today’s scholars have many difficulties with this statement.  They have rephrased it, and watered it down: “Lo, God is bringing help to me, my Sovereign Lord is among the upholders of my life.” It has puzzled some to think that God is just numbered as one of those who would bring help in time of need.  What David is doing, of course, is acknowledging the help of human friends.  He accounts for their help by the fact of the presence of God among them—God as Adonai—Sovereign Lord, the One who controls all things.  God sometimes acts through our friends.


David was sure that he had God on his side, that God took his part; he says so with an air of triumph and exultation, “Behold, God is my helper.” If we are for Him, He is for us; and if He is for us we shall have such help in Him that we do not need to fear any power engaged against us.  Though men and devils plan to destroy us, they shall not prevail while God is our helper.  With God’s power (v. 1) on his side the psalmist’s weakness is turned to strength—With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall” (Psalm 18:29). With your help I can advance against a troop,” or, "I have run to a troop": to meet one with courage and intrepidity (resolutely, courageous; fearless, brave) as some interpret it; or, as others, "I have run after a troop": that is, pursued after one, as David pursued after the troops of the Amalekites who burnt Ziklag (1 Samuel 30:8). “With my God I can scale a wall” which refers to the scaling of walls, and taking of fortified places; and so the Targum renders it, "By the word of my God I will subdue fortified towns."


The sacred historian sheds more light on the background of this psalm, helping to put things into context.  The Ziphites had sent Saul a message, a gleeful, gloating message: “We know where David is.  Hurry!  Come down!  He’s in the woods near our village.  We’ll show you just where to lay your hands on him.” But go back in the story a couple of verses (1 Samuel 23:16).  There is someone else who knew where David was—someone right there in Saul’s palace, one high in the counsels of the court.  This one had actually been down there, in that very forest, talking to David, probably about the very time the Ziphites were briefing their messengers on what they should say to Saul.  He was right there in the royal palace, fresh from his interview with David, and must have been there when the Ziphite messengers came in.  He was Saul’s own son, Jonathan.


Saul’s determination to secure the throne for Jonathan, and that in very defiance of God’s Word, helps explain Saul’s atrocities and his relentless pursuit of David.  But Jonathan did not want the throne.  Down there in the forest, alone with David just a day or two before, he had made that plain.  He had gone there expressly to strengthen David’s hand in God.  The Holy Spirit says so: “Fear not, the hand of Saul my father shall not find thee,” Jonathan said to David, “and thou shalt be king over Israel, and I shall be next to thee; and that also my father knoweth” (1 Samuel 23:17).  In other words he said, “David, Saul can’t touch you. He’s fighting God and that’s a hopeless battle.” The Lord used Jonathan to encourage His servant (1 Samuel 23:16-18).  The Lord doesn’t always send angels to encourage us; sometimes He uses other believers to minister to us (see Acts 9:26-28; 11:19-26).  Every Christian ought to be a Barnabas, a “son of encouragement.” No wonder David says, “I have a reliable God.” God had used his friend, Saul’s own son, to be his helper.  I cannot help but feel that that is what lies behind the words, “My sovereign Lord is among the upholders of my life.” God acts through our friends.  “I have a reliable God!” says David.


What great faith this man has!  Hardly had the prayer ascended than the soul is aware of the gracious answer.  Note this present tense: “God is mine helper.” The eye sees nothing; but faith knows that the mountain is full of horses and chariots of fire.  Saul searched for David every day; but God refused to let him fall into Saul’s hand.  “The Lord is on my side” (Psalm 118:6; Romans 8:31).



  1. I Have a Righteous God (54:5)


5 He shall reward evil unto mine enemies.


The psalmist is not alone.  He has faith in the supporting presence of his God, and at the same time with thirst for revenge he longs for the destruction of his enemies.  With characteristic Semitic feeling he hopes that their evil may “come back upon” themselves.  David would not render evil to them, but he knew God would. 


The word David uses for evil, the evil committed by his enemies, is one which means “to break up what is good.” In the Septuagint the word is ponoros, from which we get our word “pornography,” which speaks of moral depravity.  That is how David saw the treachery of the Ziphites.  It was a morally depraved act.  He prays for their destruction.


That is a typical Old Testament prayer.  Given the anointing of David to be king, the unrelenting hatred of Saul, and the treachery of the Ziphites, we can see how David would look upon the removal of such enemies as a divinely righteous act.  Never once did he take the law into his own hands.  David would fight Philistines, Ammonites and the Ziphites, or other foreign foes but he would not lift up his hand against his own people, the Hebrews, the professing people of God.  He would leave them to God.  It was David’s passive nonresistance which enabled Saul to continue so long on the throne.  David would not fight the Lord’s anointed.


Instead of fighting, David turns back to God in prayer. Such imprecatory prayers[3] in the psalms, passionate appeals to God to clear the land of the wicked, are quite in keeping with the theocratic kingdom.  They anticipate prophetically the cleaning up of the world when Christ comes to reign.  God is a righteous God.  If men will not repent, they will be removed.  He does not intend to allow vileness to continue to hold sway forever over His domains, hence, he asks God to address the problem of the evil people in pursuit of him.  David had shown unusual patience and self-control in refusing to personally kill King Saul, even when he had ideal opportunities, opting rather to wait for God to act.  Yet he had full confidence that God would eventually deliver him.  He could speak as if his deliverance had already taken place, even as he continued to be oppressed.     


This is not a prayer of malice, but a prayer of faith; for it has an eye to the word of God, and only desires the performance of that.  There is truth in God’s threatenings as well as in His promises, and sinners that do not repent will find the cost of disobedience is very high.


Thus we have David’s further reaction to the treachery of the Ziphites.


III. David’s Final Reaction To The Treachery (54:6-7)


A. His Promise (54:6)


6 I will freely sacrifice unto thee: I will praise thy name, O Lord; for it is good.



1. “I Will Sacrifice” (54:6a)


The chorus begins at verse six.  The congregation now adds its joyous voice as it takes to itself the significance of God’s absolute faithfulness.  The freewill offering mentioned is described at Leviticus 7:11-18; 22:18-30, and at Numbers 15:1-10.  It was an extra-ordinary one, not a routine offering.  It was given only when the worshipper wanted to say an extra-special thanks to God for His gracious, saving love.  Note that it must be offered to God “with a whole heart,” that is, in complete sincerity of purpose.  The animal to be sacrificed must be itself perfect, with no blemishes, not diseased in any way, but the best beast one can afford to give.


“I will freely sacrifice unto thee.” The word “freely” shows that the sacrifice David had in mind was the “freewill offering”—the burnt offerings referred to as the “fellowship offerings” (Leviticus 3; 7) that accompanied and expressed praises for deliverance—the one great offering which a devout Hebrew could offer when expressing gratitude to God.  It was a voluntary “no strings attached” offering.  It was the one offering which enabled a man to say, “Lord, I love You.  I appreciate You. I thank You for who You are and for what You have done.  I have no ulterior motive in offering this.  I just want You to know that I love You.” Thus David turned the treachery of the Ziphites into a fresh opportunity for praising God. 


When God has saved us, let us yield ourselves to Him, as the woman in the Gospel yielded her alabaster box.



2. “I Will Sing” (54:6b)


“I will praise thy name, O Lord,” foras we saw at verse 1, God’s name, the very essence of His being, is Savior.  As Savior, “He hath delivered (saved) me out of all trouble,” (v. 7) including the humiliation and trouble coming from my enemies.  “Thy name is good;” good,indeed, “for” me. The name of Savior can be nothing less.  His name is not only great but good, and therefore to be praise.  To praise thy name is not only what we are bound to, but it is good, it is pleasant, it is profitable; it is good for us (Psalm 92:1); therefore, “I will praise thy name.”


What is better than a good name!  A man will do almost anything to protect his good name.  In the old days a man would fight a duel to protect his name.  God has a good name.  David lays hold of that!  Jehovah!  It was the greatest, grandest name for God in the Old Testament.  David knew that this God of the covenant could take care of His name and redeem His pledged word to David.  We not only have His promise but His premise.




B. His Premise (54.7)


7 For he hath delivered me out of all trouble: and mine eye hath seen his desire upon mine enemies.


We are given the rational ground upon which David could promise to sacrifice and sing: “For he hath delivered me out of all trouble: and mine eye hath seen his desire upon mine enemies.” Once again we know from the historian what happened.  Saul mobilized his men and hastened down to Ziph.  David knew he was coming and left the forest for the wilderness, where he played tag with Saul’s soldiers up and down the mountains.  Then God stepped in: “But there came a messenger unto Saul saying, ‘Haste thee, and come; for the Philistines have invaded the land.’ Wherefore Saul returned from pursuing after David, and went against the Philistines.”


We can just see David slapping his thighs and roaring with laughter.  It was really very funny!  All that GOD had to do to draw Saul off was raise a Philistine scare.  For Saul was frightened to death of the Philistines!  Truly God is the Sovereign Lord, the controller of all the factors of space and time.  Now, of course, we know that the Ziphites repeated their treachery on a later occasion.  But that is another story.  The great lesson of the psalm is this—when friends let you down God lifts you up.  As the hymn writer puts it:


I fear no foe with Thee at hand to bless;

Ills have no weight and tears no bitterness.

Where is death’s sting?  Where grave thy victory?

I triumph still if Thou abide with me.


In this psalm, then, we don’t find any gloating over the fate of the wicked as we have seen before.  This psalmist leaves the wicked in the hands of God.  Since God is the power to help, he must also be the power to deal with evil.  The emphasis, rather, is upon the wondrous nature of Israel’s God.  For He is the Savior God.  That then is why we want to praise him, says the congregation, not only in word but also in deed.


In verses 1-6, David spoke directly to the Lord, but in verse 7, he spoke to those around him and gave witness to the blessing of the Lord.  His words revealed his faith, for he spoke of his deliverance as if it were already accomplished as he looked calmly at his enemies (22:17; 59:10; 92:11, 118:7).  David had more suffering and peril to experience before he would ascend the throne, but he was confident that the Lord would see him through—and He did!  We know from the historical records that God did deliver David from the treacherous Ziphites, and the faithful remnant can rest in the confidence that God will deliver them also.  God will surely keep His promises.







[1] Anthropomorphism is the attribution of human form or other characteristics to beings other than humans, particularly deities and animals. Personification is the related attribution of human form and characteristics to abstract concepts such as nations and natural forces like seasons and the weather. Both have ancient roots as storytelling and artistic devices. Most cultures have traditional fables with anthropomorphized animals as characters.

[2] Not to have God before our eyes is like having them full of our own self-worth, or of measuring ourselves against the standards of other men, uncorrected by thoughts of the claims of God’s Holiness, Power, and Purity.

[3] Imprecatory prayer. To imprecate means “to invoke evil upon or curse” one’s enemies. King David, the psalmist most associated with imprecatory verses such as Psalm 55:15, 69:28, and 109:8, often used phrases like, “may their path be dark and slippery, with the angel of the LORD pursuing them” (Psalm 35:6) and “O God, break the teeth in their mouths; tear out the fangs of the young lions, O LORD!” (Psalm 58:6).