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Psalm 3:7 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
7 Arise, O Jehovah!
Save me, O my God!
For you strike all my enemies on the cheek;
you break the teeth of the wicked.
Arise, O Jehovah. This is a common mode of calling upon God in the Scriptures as if he had been sitting still or had been inactive. It is, of course, language taken from human conceptions, for in the intervals of active effort, in labor or in battle, we sit or lie down, and when we engage in toil, we arise from our sitting or recumbent posture. So the mind accustoms itself to thinking of God. The idea is simply that David now calls upon God to interpose on his behalf and to deliver him.
Save me, O my God. He was still surrounded by numerous enemies, and he, therefore, called earnestly upon God to help him. In accordance with common usage in the Scriptures and with what is right for all the people of God, he calls him his God:—“O my God.” That is, he was the God whom he recognized as his God in distinction from all idols and who had manifested himself as his God by the many mercies that he had conferred on him.
For you strike all my enemies. That is, in former exigencies or on former occasions. In his conflicts with Saul, with the Philistines, and with the surrounding nations, he had done this; and as a result of all, he had established himself on the throne and placed him over the realm. In the remembrance of all this, he appeals with full confidence that what God had done for him before, He would do now and that, notwithstanding he was surrounded by numerous foes, He would again interpose. So we may derive comfort and assurance in present trouble or danger from recollecting what God has done for us in former times. He who has saved us in former perils can still save us; we may believe that he who did not forsake us in those perils will not leave us now.
On the cheek. This language seems to be taken from a comparison of his enemies with wild beasts, and the idea is that God had disarmed them as one would a lion or tiger by breaking out his teeth. The cheekbone denotes the bone in which the teeth are placed, and to smite, that is to disarm the animal. The idea here is not that of insult, therefore, but the meaning is simply that he had deprived them of the power of doing him wrong.
You break the teeth of the wicked. The same idea is here expressed under another form, as if the teeth of wild animals were broken out, rendering them harmless. As God had thus disarmed his enemies in times past, the psalmist hoped that he would do the same thing now, and he confidently called on him to do it.
By Albert Barnes and Edward D. Andrews
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