As is often the case with David, he wrote this psalm when he was in trouble, and people were pursuing his life.
One thing that strikes me about David is he refused to lower himself to the level of his pursuers. He refused to become like them. He wrote,
Though you probe my heart, though you examine me at night and test me, you will find that I have planned no evil; my mouth has not transgressed.
Though people tried to bribe me, I have kept myself from the ways of the violent through what your lips have commanded. My steps have held to your paths; my feet have not stumbled. (3-5)
So many times, we think, “There’s no other choice. I have to bend the rules a bit if I’m going to deal with those who hate me. Otherwise they’re going to walk all over me.”
But David continued to do what God had said what was right, and left his vindication in God’s hands. He cried out,
I call on you, my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer. Show me the wonders of your great love, you who save by your right hand those who take refuge in you from their foes.
Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings from the wicked who are out to destroy me, from my mortal enemies who surround me. (6-9)
Then we see the strongest desire of this man whom God called, “a man after his own heart.”
David basically said, “Go ahead, Lord. Let my enemies have the temporary treasures of this world that they seek. But as for me, this is what I want: I desire to see your face. And the one thing that will satisfy me is to wake up and to see that I have become just like You whom I love.”
There’s a song I love that says,
When I grow up I wanna be just like you.
I wanna learn to love the way you do.
I’d like for people to say with a smile,
“He’s surely his Father’s child.”
And when I grow up, I wanna be just like you.
That’s God’s desire for us too. Paul put it this way,
And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. (II Corinthians 3:18)
May our goal in life not be the things of this world. And let us not lower ourselves to the level of those who hate us, becoming like them. Rather, let us become more like the Father who loves us, so that when others see us, they see Him in us.