270 – Psalm 7 – Shiggaion
Psalm 7:title (NKJV)
A Meditation Of David, Which He Sang to [Yahweh] Concerning the Words of Cush, a Benjamite.
We talked last time about the middle two facts revealed in the title of this wonderful little Psalm. Let’s consider the bookend facts presented in this concise yet informative title. The New King James attempts to translate the word transliterated Shiggaion. The translators have decided it means meditation. The truth is, no one knows precisely what the Hebrew word means. The New American Standard translation doesn’t attempt a guess and simply transliterates it to its English spelling, Shiggaion. The translators footnote the word as “Dithyrambic rhythm; or wild passionate song”. Maybe they felt throwing the big word dithyrambic (wildly enthusiastic) in the mix would make them look better. I wish they just would have said, “we don’t know what it means”. Additionally, the New American Standard Dictionary has the following entry.
“NASB Dictionaries perh. a wild passionate song with rapid changes of rhythm”. See the “perh”? They abbreviated perhaps.
Now about the last fact “…Concerning the words of Cush, a Benjamite”, we literally have no idea who Cush was or what his “words” were that seemed to taunt King David into writing this interesting song. The third verse might suggest Cush was accusing David of wrongdoing.
Since we discussed verses one and two last time, let’s consider verses three through five together.
Psalm 7:3-5 (NKJV)
3 O [Yahweh] my God, if I have done this: If there is iniquity in my hands,
4 If I have repaid evil to him who was at peace with me, Or have plundered my enemy without cause,
5 Let the enemy pursue me and overtake me; Yes, let him trample my life to the earth, And lay my honor in the dust.
David declares his innocence not by answering his accuser, but rather by entreating Yahweh his God. David knew full well that Yahweh knew whether or not David was guilty as charged. It’s like the modern-day appeal, “if I’m lying may I be struck by lightning right where I stand!”, yet much more weighty because David addresses Yahweh directly.
I believe David uses verses three through five to set up his petition which begins in verse six.
6 Arise, O [Yahweh], in Your anger; Lift Yourself up because of the rage of my enemies; Rise up for me to the judgment You have commanded!
Thus far in Psalm seven, it’s clear David truly was innocent of the charges levied against him – this time.
I don’t know where in the chronology of David’s life this Psalm appears, but viewing the whole of David’s life as ancient history we know he was guilty of both adultery and murder.
As I read this particular Psalm I am struck by the confidence with which David declares his innocence. Seems particularly bold of him to communicate in such a way with Yahweh.
I wonder whether David’s confidence was in his own innocence or was it actually found in what he knew to be true of Yahweh as he declared in verses ten and eleven?
Psalm 7:10 (NKJV)
10 My defense is of God [Elohim], Who saves the upright in heart.
11 God is a just judge, And God [El] is angry with the wicked every day.
Interesting to note David doesn’t use God’s personal name in these two verses, but rather refers to God as Elohim, and the shortened form El, meaning “powerful or mighty God”. Who is David’s defense? The mighty God!
The more I encounter this Psalm the more I realized it could only be penned by a man who was truly in fellowship with God. The content of this Hebrew song reveals the author to be in intimate fellowship with Yahweh Elohim.
Do we realize the same close fellowship David enjoyed with Yahweh is available to us today? As believers in Christ Jesus, we can plead our case before Him and invoke His protection from our enemies. If you are not a believer in Jesus [the] Christ you will instead suffer the wrath of God as He judges your sin.
Maybe you, unlike David in this Psalm, stand guilty as charged. If you are an unbeliever come to faith in Jesus for your rescue! Allow His blood to cleanse you from your sin and set you free. If you have already done that, have fallen, and are currently guilty as charged then do what John talks about.
1 John 1:7-9 (NKJV)
7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
How amazing, good, and awesome is our God? Let me send you the following written invitation.
Psalm 95:6-7 (NKJV)
6 Oh come, let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before [Yahweh] our Maker. 7 For He is our God, And we are the people of His pasture, And the sheep of His hand.