In Psalm 7, some guy named Cush is giving David trouble. How much trouble? David felt like Cush was a lion about to rip him apart!
We would naturally expect David to cry out for God’s help from this tormentor (which he does in the opening verses), but then what David does next is quite unexpected—he asks to God to search his heart to see if he might be the cause for Cush’s attack:
- Have I done something wrong?
- Is there guilt on my hands?
- Have I done such an evil to cause him to attack?
- Have I somehow robbed Cush of something?
This introspection in God’s presence was apparently a regular habit for David. He made this a regular habit when the heat was on, and also when he was at peace (see Psalm 139:23-24).
Not only did David want to make sure his hands were clean, but he also wanted to make sure he wasn’t carrying a grudge against Cush. A grudge is a feeling of anger or resentment toward someone who has wronged us. But the most devastating thing about a grudge is that it takes our eyes off God and places them on our tormentor.
In other words, as long as we hold a grudge, we continue to give our tormentor power over our lives.
So after asking those introspective questions, David writes Selah. One definition of this word—which is probably quite appropriate here—is pause, and calmly think of that.
After this Selah pause of introspection in God’s presence, David must have felt clear of any guilt (because we don’t see him repenting, as is his habit), but we also see him being very careful of not holding on to a grudge against Cush.
David then begins to affirm in the remaining verses that God is more than capable of handling evil people and keeping the righteous protected. David determines that he will give thanks to the Lord because of His righteousness, and will sing praise to the name of the Most High (v. 17).
Here’s an important thing for anyone who has been injured by someone else to remember—
By holding on to a grudge, you’re holding yourself in bondage!
How can your hands be free to receive God’s blessings if your hands are full of the grudges you are holding?
Learn from David’s Selah these two lessons when someone torments you:
- Ask God: am I to blame? If so, repent. If not, ask question 2.
- Ask God: am I holding on to a grudge? If so, let it go so your hands are free to receive God’s blessings!
Join me next Sunday as we continue our look at the Selahs in the Psalms.