Psalm 64


This psalm is a psalm of lament, where David focuses on the wicked who were slandering him. Although he laments over what’s happening in his life, he places his faith and trust in God to defeat the wicked.


‘For the director of music. A psalm of David.’

Although the headings aren’t inspired by God, they are important because they give us some understanding of the Psalm and they help us to see why it was written. The headings usually tell us four things.

1. Who wrote them, probably wrote them or possibly wrote them.

2. Information about the historical background to the Psalm. Why it was written.

3. They tell us of the tune the Psalm was written to.

4. How it was used.

The heading tells us that this psalm of David is for the director of music. Some commentators believe that the ‘director of music’ is God Himself and others believe that it is a song leader who led choirs or musicians, 1 Chronicles 6:33 / 1 Chronicles 16:17 / 1 Chronicles 25:6.

‘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?” They plot injustice and say, “We have devised a perfect plan!” Surely the human mind and heart are cunning.’ Psalm 64:1-6

David begins by asking God to hear his ‘complaint’, the word complaint implies proper speech, which leads to meditation, Job 7:13 / Job 9:27 / Job 10:1 / Job 21:4 / Psalm 55:2 / Psalm 142:2. He asks God to protect him from those who wanted to take his life, Daniel 6:10, as they were a real threat to him.

These wicked men were conspiring against David, they plotted and schemed to try and win others to side against David, 3 John. They conspire and plot among themselves in order to develop a united alliance against David to try and kill him, Job 15:8 / Job 29:4 / Psalm 55:14.

The words they used to get others to follow them were like swords and deadly arrows. Their words were full of lies and had one purpose which that was to kill David, Psalm 52:2 / Psalm 57:4 / Psalm 59:7.

Their words ambush the innocent, they come very quickly and they don’t care about anyone, they have no fear of David or God, Psalm 11:2 / Psalm 58:7 / Psalm 18:20 / Psalm 18:23 / Psalm 55:19.

The metaphors of these words magnify the extent to which the wicked had planned in order to move against the king. Their tongue was a sharpened sword to cut asunder the reputation of God’s anointed.

They released poisonous words that caused the people to question the rightful reign of God’s king. They devised traps into which they would capture the righteous in supposed contradictions.

The wicked encourage each other with their plots and schemes, they had snares set everywhere, thinking that no one will see them, Psalm 10:8-9.

The arrogant wicked are so proud of themselves and their plans, that they thought they had the perfect plan to bring David down. They convince themselves that their minds and hearts were cunning, Psalm 7:15 / Psalm 38:12.

‘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. The righteous will rejoice in the LORD and take refuge in him; all the upright in heart will glory in him!’ Psalm 64:7-10

Notice how earlier David said that the wicked had their swords and arrows, but here he says that God too has got arrows. David is confident that God is also armed and that He is more than capable of protecting and defending him from the wicked.

God’s arrows will strike David’s enemies just as suddenly as their arrows, but God’s arrows will strike them down, Psalm 7:15. Notice, their tongues will turn against each other and they will come to ruin. In other words, they will reap what they sow, God will deal with them as they have dealt with others, Psalm 18:25-26.

Those who see this happening will ‘shake their heads in scorn’, that is, they will ridicule them. Some translations say that those who see them will flee way, Psalm 31:11. Everyone will be in fear about what God has done, they will know that God is a just God who punishes the wicked.

Not only will the wicked fear God but the righteous will too, but their fear of God will lead to them rejoicing in Him, finding refuge in Him and giving Him all the glory for what He has done. Those who rejoice in the Lord are those who understand how God works in people’s lives, and those who rejoice in God are those who totally trust God.


David described the wicked as having no fear of him or God, but after God had dealt with the wicked, all people would come to fear God because of what He did to the wicked.

The wise Solomon once said that the whole duty of man is to fear God and keep his commandments, Ecclesiastes 12:13-14. Solomon himself didn’t live all the time by God’s will and so he writes from experience. He knew that if God isn’t a part of our life, then our lives would be meaningless.

Solomon also says, although he may not have fully understood it, that God will be the Judge, 2 Corinthians 5:10, this is why obedience is so important and why it’s important to fear Him and obey His commands, Matthew 6:33.

It took Solomon a lifetime to discover the supreme purpose of life. To a young person, this might not sound as exciting as other adventures one might follow. But Solomon says he had tried everything that appeals to man. He tried everything that he thought would bring him supreme satisfaction, happiness and pleasure.

But in the end, he found that letting our minds dwell on the Lord and His commandments was the most important thing we can do. After all the things he had experimented with, a relationship with God was the most satisfying.

The way we have lived will follow us to the final day of judgment when we shall give an account of how we have lived before God and our relationship with him, Hebrews 9:27 / Acts 17:30-31. God then will render His perfect judgment as to the final state we will live in.

Too many people wait until it’s too late in life to make any changes. They have left God out of their daily lives failing in the most important thing, their relationship with God, John 10:10.

Go To Psalm 65