EVENSONG 59

Here’s another psalm about young David being pursued by King Saul’s men. They want to kill him, but he sees himself as special — don’t we too? — and he expects his god to keep them from doing what they want to do.

“Do not slay them,” David tells YHWH, “lest my people forget.” Instead, he orders his lord most high to “scatter them … [a]nd bring them down” basically for the way they speak. But come on. Isn’t that what anti-Semites seek?

“For the sin of their mouth, and the words of their lips, / let them even be taken in their pride, / And for the cursing and lying which they speak,” David spells out. So this guy hates bigmouths and liars? What is that all about?

Isn’t this the same future ruler who later gets in trouble for lying (in more ways than one) and for getting the old man of the girl he laid erased? Then why doesn’t David himself get scattered and laid low? Dave just gets chased.

I hope you read that right — chased, not chaste, because David certainly wasn’t the latter. But he was certainly special. He was a man after YHWH’s own heart, or so say another king’s men. And that’s the heart of the matter.