David had been sorely wounded. He had heard the slanderous words of Cush the Benjamite that were evidently uttered during the time that the future king was already hurting from his being a fugitive from the face of Saul. Homeless and hurting he heard the harsh and false accusations of the enemy. Hence he chose the title ‘Shiggaion’ which means ‘roaring aloud’ and shows the intensity of the innermost cries from the heart of David as he so keenly felt the sting of the injustice that was heaped upon him. The Psalm is a comfort for those whose character has been unfairly assailed and shows the resource that is available to the unjustly maligned.
We see three parts to the Psalm as David goes from Roaring to Rejoicing, or from The Trauma to The Triumph.
The Persecution Which He Endured (7:1-5)
David did not fear that his persecutor would, like a lion, tear his body into pieces. He feared rather the tearing of his soul. He could visualize it being "rent into pieces while there was none to deliver." Like Paul, who said "At my first defense, no man stood with me but all men forsook me," (2 Tim. 4:16) he felt alone and cried out for one who would succor. David had not committed a wrong. He acknowledges that if he has treated another unfairly, he is willing to bear the punishment. Peter encouraged the suffering saints of his day by saying, "If ye do well and suffer for it, this is grace with God" (1 Peter 3:20). This is where David found himself! Could he suffer silently like the Savior Whom he prefigured?
The Prayer Which He Expressed (7:6-16)
The middle part of the psalm shows us that God is a God who judges. He will judge the world and He will vindicate the persecuted believers. But God also presently judges His people. The language is again similar to First Peter where we learn that the righteous will be saved with difficulty - difficulty because judgment has begun at the House of God and if God is thus judging His people, as He refines them, "where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?" (1 Peter 4:17-18) In the Psalm we read that "the righteous God trieth the hearts and the reins." God will permit His people to pass through fires of affliction in order to reveal the real motives and purposes of the heart. Abraham was tried and God’s commendation was, "Now I know that thou fearest God."
David cries out to God: "Arise...Awake..." He needs help and he needs it urgently. He expresses his desire. He acknowledges the Divine decree that justice will be wrought. He describes the ungodly and declares their destiny.
The Person Whom He Extolled (7:17)
"I will praise the Lord according to His righteousness!" What a turning point in the psalm! His prayer has been answered. The trauma that permeated the early part of the psalm has been changed into triumph. God has acted righteously and has judged the persecutors. David will praise Jehovah, the covenant keeping God of the promises. He will sing unto the Lord Most High, Jehovah El Elyon, the God Who is the Possessor of Heaven and Earth. (Genesis 14: 18) He has gone from the cry for solace, to the contradiction of sinners and then to the comfort of the Savior.