Psalm 7: 1
«Κύριε ὁ Θεός μου, ἐπὶ σοὶ ἤλπισα· σῶσόν με ἐκ πάντων τῶν διωκόντων με καὶ ῤῦσαί με»
“O LORD my God, in You I put my trust; save me from those who persecute me and deliver me”
The first verse of this Psalm seems to be a very simple prayer: one that can be offered up to God by anyone. However, when this prayer is understood in its totality, we see it pre-supposes in the believer absolute trust in God’s providence. It is impossible to say to God: “in You have I put my trust”, when our behaviour and choices we make everyday indicates that, in actual fact, we have placed our trust in other people, or in worldly pursuits such as power and possessions.
Our Orthodox Faith teaches us that it is only Christ we should worship and it is Him that we should trust, for as Jeremiah says: “cursed be the man who trusts in man” (Jer 17:5). Further, King David does not say that he trusted in God, or would trust Him in the future, but that he trusts Him in the present moment.
This seemingly simple prayer then teaches us that God is to be trusted in at all times; especially in times of persecution and temptation. Persecution is not new to the people of God: David, the Jews in Jeremiah’s time and the Saints from the early Church right up to contemporary times, have endured hardships brought upon by persecutions. Everyone that lives according to the commandments of God must expect persecution in some shape or form.
Why does David pray first to be saved and then delivered? The reason is that if we are weak, we need saving, and this can occur through our faith, for as Christ says: “your faith has saved you” (Luke 7:50). If however, we are in captivity and live a life enslaved to our passions, then we need God’s deliverance from our state of spiritual death. When we recognise that we are in this state, we cry with David: “O LORD my God, in You I put my trust”, save me from my weakness and deliver me from the captivity caused by my sin, which can only be overcome by your boundless mercy.
Source: June-July 2015 Lychnos Edition