9 For there is no truth in their mouth;
their inmost self is destruction;
their throat is an open grave;
they flatter with their tongue.
10 Make them bear their guilt, O God;
let them fall by their own counsels;
because of the abundance of their transgressions cast them out,
for they have rebelled against you.
11 But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
let them ever sing for joy,
and spread your protection over them,
that those who love your name may exult in you.
12 For you bless the righteous, O Lord;
you cover him with favor as with a shield.
Now we see why David prayed in the previous verse for God’s guidance. His enemies slander him and conspire against him. Some may try to smooth-talk David, using religious language, making it harder to navigate life.
David pleads with the Lord that they would be held guilty. David had already affirmed that God will destroy those who lie (v. 6), and he desires that God hold them accountable. Interestingly, David does not pray for their salvation. They are guilty, so let them be guilty. They stumble in the darkness, so let them fall. It’s not that David is raging against them; he says, “for they have rebelled against you.” Those who are false must be thrust out for the sake of all God’s people and the purity of His Name.
Recognize your own need for God’s covering, and not just for protection against enemies. Paul cites verse 9 to describe the depravity of all of mankind (Rm 3:13). In other words, outside of Christ, our inward parts are only destructive, so it’s no wonder why we kill with our tongues. Thankfully, because of the work of Christ, we don’t have to bear guilt or fall according to our unwise counsels. We can find forgiveness and grace in Him, as well as the scriptural truth that guides us out of our dark places. May we never need to be evil purged from among God’s people (cf. 1 Cor 5:13).
Moreover, rejoice in the physical protection He provides! We should pray that He would spread His protection over us in times of trouble. Christians are not promised a problem-free life, and David here had cause to pray. Still, God often provides a shield and refuge. He may remove enemies or convert them, or provide some other providential protection cushioning us. Note all that He does and rejoice (Phil 4:4)!