The Psalm today looks at the persecution that is faced by those seeking to walk on the path of righteousness with their Lord and Saviour.
In Psalm 6 we saw a glimpse of the disaster that is caused by communing with the ungodly, they only pull us away from righteousness.
In Psalm 7 we see their activities and reactions against those on Gods holy hill, seeking to climb closer to their Guide.
The higher up the mountain the rarer the air becomes, the pace slows, the steps are shorter and the height gained is lessened and the fewer folk there are around.
The Christian life on Gods holy hill is no less stark as progress slows the nearer we get to the Living God, there is no such thing as little and big sins here, all sin is an abomination before Him.
David is confronted by an angry King Saul, read 1 Samuel 24 and 26, to get the back ground to this Psalm and to feel something of the persecution that David went through in this experience.
Saul listened to men, to his advisers who were corrupt and spoke from an earthly view point, whilst David listened to the Lord and received the heavenly view point.
Saul represents human standing, appointment and design all self motivated but David waited upon God to see His designs for the nation, appointments of King and standing amongst the people.
This is where the conflict begins and passions soon run high, this is the place where the spiritual climber seeks to gain higher ground, for their advantage to look down on the scene, rather than looking up at it from the valley.
'Climb or die' is the order of the day and the spiritual climber has no fear of being torn apart by wild animals on Gods holy hill, so they climb a little higher to be covered with the cloud of Gods presence.
To get right and to keep right with the Lord is vital if we are to make progress on the holy hill of the Lord, the One who has saved us is the One we can trust v1.
To 'deliver' is in His hands, the enemy is too great for us but empowered by the Holy Spirit we are able to become conquerors as David did.
'Persecute' means to pursue and overtake with violence in mind as they do so, what is of real value here whilst the enemy seek our hurt the Lord sees it for our good.
He can instantly turn any situation no matter how hard into being of blessing to the one persecuted, making the impossible circumstance into one of real spiritual progress.
We need to remember the closer the enemy is too us the closer the Lord is, we are in His hands and not the enemies.
Now there is a thought to set us singing today as we travel along our earthly journey on the track that leads us to glory and our Saviour presence.
The thoughts of vs.3 – 4 are to ponder carefully so that we are not the stumbling block ourselves by hiding sin in our heart and mind, unknown to the world, but known by the Lord.
Three very important 'ifs' that need watching because sin is an insidious thing, it starts in simple gradual ways but growing into disastrous broken relationships as a result.
Check out the 'ifs' before you start climbing daily so that you can begin with a spring in the step that will become a sprightly stride as you become mature in the faith.
We look at an area where the enemy gets in and plays havoc with the Christian here, unconfessed sin that the Holy Spirit brings out in the open when sanctification is involved.
We cannot hide sin in our mind or heart by burying it with good work, it must be dealt with by the sacrifice of Calvary or it will remain a spiritual cancerous cell in our life bringing defeat again and again.
The thought in v6 'arise' and 'awake', really points to our own repentance rather than to God being asleep or unaware of our need.
He has been waiting for us to call on Him as He has been waiting all the time for us to respond to His tender wake up call.
It is our heavenly Father that has been bringing us to the point where we deal with the things that are holding us back in making progress on the path of righteousness.
What the Lord is doing with individuals, He is doing with the whole Church, it is not that we are looking for special treatment, but rather that the Church should obey His word.
We are living in an age where we are looking at each other rather than looking at the Lord
We are engaged in battling with each other in the church, rather than being aware of the enemy persecuting the Church.
The Lord will 'judge; His people v8 that means He will regulate how we should live as we are His people climbing up His holy hill, singing ceases where sin is hidden.
He will allow disaster to come our way, that will blow us of the mountain track so as to bring us to our spiritual senses, sin must be dealt with in grace or in judgement.
Our Father seeks to bring His children into Christ likeness where we submit to His will, plans and purposes for His people.
He is the 'Judge' the One who decides the right from wrong in any matter, His word is final and should be obeyed by the whole family irrespective of where we live or worship.
He is the arbiter between the members of His family in disputes and we all live under His divine authority and His peace is the basis of family life.
The Lord Jesus told His disciples, as He does us, 'My peace I give unto you' John 14 v27 the word 'peace' is mentioned in every book of the New Testament except 1 John.
Such is the value of Gods peace that He wants to reign in our life and rule the affairs of His Kingdom on earth as it does in heaven.
It comes to me today that the earthly climbers on the high peaks of the world face many difficult hours climbing with a little group of fellow climbers and in the tiredness of aching limbs things get fraught.
Tempers fray, the conversation gets ragged and the mind gets warped as the steps get shorter on the unwelcome mountain side.
They are crying out for help but it lies within them, to get help they need to share how they feel rather than demand others to do things for them.
So in the Christian life, so many saints are looking to others, when they should be looking to the Lord, to be their defense and strength on the climb.
Look at it again, the 'Lord is my defense' v10 the word is only used of God protecting men in scripture, He alone can defend us from calamity and He can, does and will.
When things are going awry and we think that we are on the slide spiritually, when things do not work out as we thought they should do, then we look to the Lord to cover, shield and deliver us.
When He is seeking to draw us closer to Himself, He allows such overwhelming circumstances to arise that will bowl us over only to get our attention that has been wandering of late.
He is so patient with us and we are so impatient with Him, so He lets us go before Him and when He catches up we are in some dire straights caused by some impatient actions.
We take note of the pit the enemy has dug for itself, v15 but beware fellow climbe,r that we do not fall into a pit of our own making as we climb today.
From sighing to singing in v17 and that is what we need to do far more often, to turn our eyes, heart and mind unto our Saviour and Lord and quickly the singing begins.
'I will praise' pointing to gratitude with thanksgiving for all the way the Lord has lead us so far in our journey homeward.
We have so much to thank Him for as we look back to our salvation, as we look around to His keeping power revealed to us daily and then as we look upwards towards the summit of the things yet to be.
We could fill many hours on our climb today in grateful thanksgiving and in fervent praise as we set our hearts on the Living God, His beloved Son and the indwelling Holy Spirit.