The second in a short series of four psalms of David crying out to God from a bad situation, this one is rather unusual. It follows its own unique form with the psalmist seeking strength from temptation.
You would normally be caught off guard by the initial urgent pleading, as if it were a dire emergency. It’s an eloquent request that Jehovah accept this impromptu prayer the same as formal routine offerings with all the ritual trappings.
What demands such haste? David asks that the Lord help him keep his mouth shut. Specifically, he requests that his conscience be tender toward righteousness and guard him from falling short of God’s glory. We might hesitate to do evil on our own, but the friendly invitation and flattery of folks with ill intent is much harder to resist. Don’t let a good thing, like a rich dessert, slowly suck you into evil.
If we are going to hang out with friends, let them the kind of righteous people who won’t hesitate to correct you when you’re wrong. A sharp warning from good people shouldn’t cause resentment. Isn’t this what we pray for ourselves and others? He hopes to offer sweet words of encouragement to those with good judgment who face trouble from standing up for truth. (Note that translations vary widely at this point.)
David intends to be a part of those who obey the Lord, even when it gets so bad their bones aren’t even left in peace in the graves. Silly social trends can leave you feeling like someone has run a plow through your life. He intends to keep his eyes on the Lord despite such things. Upon this commitment, he pleads with God to keep His promises. Prosperity means nothing if your soul is destitute.
So David asks the God help him keep a sharp eye out for traps. It’s amazing how many people have nothing better to do than strive to make the upright fall. Let the Lord be just and the wicked fall into their own traps, while David walks free in obedience to the Covenant.