Opening Prayer

On this Sabbath day, I rest in you, gracious Lord. Through your Word, give me fresh insight into your great love for me.

Read PSALM 64

Psalm 64[a]

For the director of music. A psalm of David.

Hear me, my God, as I voice my complaint;
    protect my life from the threat of the enemy.

Hide me from the conspiracy of the wicked,
    from the plots of evildoers.
They sharpen their tongues like swords
    and aim cruel words like deadly arrows.
They shoot from ambush at the innocent;
    they shoot suddenly, without fear.

They encourage each other in evil plans,
    they talk about hiding their snares;
    they say, “Who will see it[b]?”
They plot injustice and say,
    “We have devised a perfect plan!”
    Surely the human mind and heart are cunning.

But God will shoot them with his arrows;
    they will suddenly be struck down.
He will turn their own tongues against them
    and bring them to ruin;
    all who see them will shake their heads in scorn.
All people will fear;
    they will proclaim the works of God
    and ponder what he has done.

10 The righteous will rejoice in the Lord
    and take refuge in him;
    all the upright in heart will glory in him!


  1. Psalm 64:1 In Hebrew texts 64:1-10 is numbered 64:2-11.
  2. Psalm 64:5 Or us

New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


‘O make me understand it, / help me to take it in; / what it meant to thee, the Holy One, / to bear away my sin.’1

Think Further

Here we have another ‘lament psalm’ that very definitely begins with a ‘complaint’ (v 1). This complaint is repeated many times in Scripture, not least in Jeremiah 12:1 ‘You are always righteous, Lord … Yet I would speak with you about your justice: why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do all the faithless live at ease?’ Throughout the ages, believers and would-be believers have struggled with the question as to how a good and all-powerful God can let such terrible things happen. There are many answers that can be given, but few of them seem to convince one who has not yet personally encountered the living God. In this instance the psalmist wrestles not with a question from outside, but with his own incomprehension and upset. It is good to know that this kind of questioning is affirmed rather than criticized!

The writer reflects on the fact that eventually these perverters of justice will be given their comeuppance by our just God: the ‘when?’ is left unanswered. ‘All people’ (v 9), both the boasting unjust and the questioning psalmist, will see this happening. The implication here is that it won’t be in the way that either party really expected! ‘All people will fear’, but only the righteous ‘will rejoice’ (v 10). We are often overwhelmed by particular circumstances, but once our focus moves away from what is happening to God himself, then our perspective changes. Whether or not the situation has changed, and there is no promise here or elsewhere that the timing of God’s arrow against injustice will be soon, God is still there as our refuge. We can’t rejoice in our circumstances, but we can ‘rejoice in the Lord’ (v 10). When the answer is eventually revealed, we will be able to ‘glory in him.’


Give voice to any ‘complaint’ against God that you, or others, now have. Reflect on what you know of God and how you might ‘take refuge in him’ (v 10).

Closing prayer

Thank you, heavenly Father, for receiving my prayers, even those of complaint. That you accept me as I am and where I am humbles me. Your grace and mercy lead me to thanksgiving and praise.

Last Updated on September 24, 2023 by kingstar

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