A shiggaion[b] of David, which he sang to the Lord concerning Cush, a Benjamite.
1 Lord my God, I take refuge in you; save and deliver me from all who pursue me, 2 or they will tear me apart like a lion and rip me to pieces with no one to rescue me.
3 Lord my God, if I have done this and there is guilt on my hands— 4 if I have repaid my ally with evil or without cause have robbed my foe— 5 then let my enemy pursue and overtake me; let him trample my life to the ground and make me sleep in the dust.[c]
6 Arise, Lord, in your anger; rise up against the rage of my enemies.
The setting for this Psalm is that David is being slandered by Cush, the Benjaminite. Saul is probably part of the cause of this as well, as Saul is too a Benjaminite. The most likely reason is they were saying David had committed treason by taking up the role of King of Israel.
I think what is most important about this psalm is how David reacts to their slander. The first thing he does in humility is to say that if he is responsible or at fault for this, that he be repaid for his wrongdoing. Instead of reacting right away emotionally, he asks God to determine his guilt. Sometimes the emotional hurt of a personal attack is worse than a physical. Listen to the English 19th century famous preacher Charles Spurgeon says,
"It will be well for us here to remember that this is a description of the danger to which the Psalmist was exposed from slanderous tongues. Verily this is not an overdrawn picture, for the wounds of a sword will heal, but the wounds of the tongue cut deeper than the flesh, and are not soon cured." (Spurgeon)
Then he puts his trust in God to act quickly and justly with Cush and Saul if they are indeed the source of this slander. God trusts more in God's deliverance from this defamation of his character, than others who could intervene. He knows God will do the right thing and that is the source of his comfort.
The question for us to ask today is, "How do we react when someone speaks negatively about us, or even slanders our name? I know my first reaction is to strike back and justify why this is an unfair accusation against me. I think we could learn from David's humility today, as he first asks if the slander is true and then trusts in God for his vindication.