Drone of Complaint

God, hear my voice when I complain. Protect my life from the terror of the enemy. Hide me from the scheming of the wicked, from the mob of evildoers, who sharpen their tongues like swords and aim bitter words like arrows, shooting from concealed places at the innocent. They shoot at him suddenly and are not afraid. They encourage each other in an evil plan; they talk about hiding traps and say, “Who will see them?” They devise crimes [and say,] “We have perfected a secret plan.” The inner man and the heart are mysterious (vv. 1-6).

A drone-pipe is the lowest tone on the bagpipe, used for accompaniment. It is often used as a pedal point—a long, sustained bass note against which changing harmonies sound.

Like so many of David’s psalms, my prayers often take on the monotonous tone of complaint. Here David is overwhelmed by the malicious schemes of that “noisy crowd,” the wicked. “They shoot from concealed places at the innocent!” (v. 4). What a natural tendency it is to counterattack—to “sharpen [our] tongues like swords” and to “aim [our] words like arrows” (v. 3).

Yet beneath the apparent bitterness and complaining is a ground bass, an insistent pedal point: “Hear me, O God. . . . Hear me, O God… . Hear me, O God,” David’s emphasis is not on his grumbling but on God!

Caught in the cross fire of slanderous speech and hidden snares, he acknowledges the Sovereign Lord as his ultimate Arbiter, the supreme Peacemaker. David may drone on indefinitely about his woes, but he always turns to the Lord for protection and justice.

Personal Prayer Hear me, O God’. If I must be monotonous, let it be in singing your praises!

Published by Intentional Faith

Devoted to a Faith that Thinks

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