When you look around at all that is happening in the world, do you ask yourself, “Where is God?” Believe it or not, He is still in control. Best of all, you can trust that God hears your prayers and that you can cling to the Rock of Your Salvation. Let’s dig into this psalm…
A psalm of David.
1 I pray to you, O Lord, my rock.
Do not turn a deaf ear to me.
For if you are silent,
I might as well give up and die.
2 Listen to my prayer for mercy
as I cry out to you for help,
as I lift my hands toward your holy sanctuary.
3 Do not drag me away with the wicked—
with those who do evil—
those who speak friendly words to their neighbors
while planning evil in their hearts.
4 Give them the punishment they so richly deserve!
Measure it out in proportion to their wickedness.
Pay them back for all their evil deeds!
Give them a taste of what they have done to others.
5 They care nothing for what the Lord has done
or for what his hands have made.
So he will tear them down,
and they will never be rebuilt!
6 Praise the Lord!
For he has heard my cry for mercy.
7 The Lord is my strength and shield.
I trust him with all my heart.
He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy.
I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.
8 The Lord gives his people strength.Psalm 28 NLT
He is a safe fortress for his anointed king.
9 Save your people!
Bless Israel, your special possession (or your inheritance).
Lead them like a shepherd,
and carry them in your arms forever.
Points to Ponder
Pastor Sandy Adams explains what type of psalm this is.
Psalm 28 is an “Imprecatory Psalm.” The word “imprecate” means “to curse.” This is one of several psalms where the Holy Spirit inspires the writer to call down judgment and utter curses on God’s enemies. This style of psalm teaches us many lessons. I think it shows us that God has empathy with a heart that desires righteousness and fairness. We need to couple mercy with justice – but it’s a godly desire to want justice served. We should want God to right wrongs and punish evil.
Of course, these psalms also teach an obvious lesson – God will judge sin.Sandy Adams
- First, like in many of David’s psalms, he cries out to God for help. He’s in dire straits. If God doesn’t answer him, he says he might as well die. Yet, he worships God in the sanctuary. This was not the first temple, but a tent that housed the Ark of the Covenant.
- Next, even back then in 979 BC, there were people who, speak friendly words to their neighbors while planning evil in their hearts.” Also, “They care nothing for what the Lord has done or for what his hands have made.”
- David asks God for justice.
We know that all evil people who do not repent will get their just rewards.
19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.Romans 12:19 NLT
Consequently, that brings to mind a passage in Paul’s second letter to Timothy. In that epistle, he warned Timothy of how people will act in the perilous last days…
They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly.2 Timothy 3:5 NLT
You may not be able to do anything about people, governments, or powerful entities who are doing you wrong. Nevertheless, you need to put your trust in God — the Rock. Eventually, as verse 5 says, “So he will tear them down, and they will never be rebuilt!”
In the end, David praises God. How can he do that? Because he trusts Him completely for…
- Being a refuge, stronghold, and shelter
He then turns it around by requesting prayer for Israel and God’s inheritance — His special possession. Pastor Sandy Adams elaborates…
“Save Your people, and bless Your inheritance; shepherd them also, and bear them up forever.” (v. 9 NKJV)
Notice we’re God’s inheritance! Gold means nothing to God. In heaven He uses gold to pave the streets. It’s nothing more than shiny asphalt. In heaven beautiful pearls are used like rodiron – to make gates. God’s inheritance is His people. We’re His special treasure! He saves, blesses, shepherds, carries, shelters, and makes strong His people!Sandy Adams
As always, I turn to the good folks at Spoken Gospel to tie it all to Jesus.
The idea that our hearts, mouths, and hands should be aligned is not just David’s prayer but one of Jesus’ core teachings. In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus repeatedly emphasizes that obedience from the heart is just as important as obedience with our actions (Matthew 5:27-28). To Jesus, the heart and mouth are intimately linked (Luke 6:45).
Just like David’s enemies, Jesus’ enemies were people who misaligned their hearts from their words and actions (Matthew 23:27-28). Jesus says they’re nothing more than pretty tombs. Even worse, these enemies weren’t simply pretending to be nice, they were pretending to love God. They used religious words to hide their selfishness (Mark 7:13). When Jesus exposes their misalignment, they plot to kill him—just like David’s enemies (Matthew 12:14).
But unlike David’s expectation that God would pay hypocrites their salary of death and redeem the faithful, Jesus dies instead. Jesus is not rescued from their plots. And even though Jesus’ heart and actions are always perfectly aligned, Jesus receives the wages his enemies worked for. He dies for their sins (1 Corinthians 15:3).
This is good news for everyone who recognizes how misaligned their hearts and actions can be. While the correct payment for hypocrisy is death, Jesus doesn’t pay us what we’re owed. While the wages of sin is death, the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23).
Jesus also frees us from constantly misaligning our mouths and actions with our hearts (Romans 6:17). Because of his Spirit, we are free to mean what we say and say what we mean (Matthew 5:37)
But this is also good news for anyone who is the victim of other people’s nice words but evil hearts. If God was a fortress of salvation to King Jesus through death and resurrection, he can certainly protect you (Psalm 28:8). Jesus will save, bless, and carry you just as God carried him (Psalm 28:9).Spoken Gospel
How to Pray Psalm 28
Here’s my version, but I encourage you to put it your own words…
I pray to you, Lord Jesus, my rock and my redeemer. Do not turn a deaf ear to me. For if you are silent, I might as well give up and die. Listen to my prayer for mercy as I cry out to you for help, as I lift my hands toward your holy Heaven.
Lord, there are so many evil, wicked people who look pleasant on the outside, but plan evil in their hearts. Give them the punishment they so richly deserve! Measure it out in proportion to their wickedness. Pay them back for all their evil deeds!
They care nothing for your creation, nothing for the sanctity of life or marriage. You will tear them down and they will never be rebuilt. Praise the Lord! For You hear my cry for mercy. I trust you with all my heart. You help me and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.
You give your people strength. You were a safe fortress for Jesus, raising Him from death and in the same way you will save Israel and your true belivers. Jesus, You are the Good Shepherd and you will carry us in Your arms forever. In Jesus name, I pray, amen.Paraphrase on Psalm 28 by Giselle Aguiar
Can YOU say that you trust Jesus with all your heart?
If you’re not sure if you’re saved or not, if you truly want to be born again and have the assurance of salvation, receive the Holy Spirit, feel His Shalom — a peace that surpasses all understanding, and get a 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven after you die, or that you won’t be left behind at the Rapture, which can happen at any moment, this is what you have to do…
Believe. Repent. Be Baptized. Receive the Holy Spirit.
- Believe — have Faith — that Jesus is the Christ and He died taking your sins away forever and that He rose from the dead 3 days later.
- Repent of your sins — stop sinning! Do a complete 180-degree turn in your life and surrender your life to Him. When you ask Jesus to forgive you He will. ALL your sins will be wiped clean — past, present, and future! And All means ALL!
- Be Baptized by water baptism — show the world and yourself that you have died to your old life and are born again in Christ.
- Receive the gift of Holy Spirit in your heart.