The first two stanzas of this psalm (vv. 1-3 and vv. 4, 5) are nearly perfect parallels, and what they are describing is those who love evil. Such people “devise evil plans," “stir up war," "plan to trip my feet,” “spread out the cords of their net” and “set traps...along my path.” David has written about people who were his enemies before. What is unique about these verses is their portrait of people who love evil for evil's sake. 

Psalm 140 is about people who are incorrigibly wicked, who seem to practice evil for its own sake. Does a psalm about evil really belong with others that are written chiefly to praise God? I think it does, and for two reasons. First, it is a reminder that even in our moments of most transcendent praise we still praise God in the midst of a very wicked world. Second, in spite of its somber theme Psalm 140 nevertheless does deal with praise, particularly in the last stanza: “I know that the LORD secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy. Surely the righteous will praise your name and the upright will live before you.”

In the course of this study we have been looking at God's omniscience, omnipresence and omnipotence—that God knows everything, is everywhere, and is all-powerful. But we have also seen that the overriding theme, the one for which the others are mentioned, is omniscience. Is knowledge of the perfect knowledge of God important? Is it practical? If we have understood the psalm thus far, we cannot doubt it. Here is what appreciation of the omniscience of God should do for every Christian. 

As we concluded yesterday's study, we noted that we can rebel against God's knowledge and pursue evil, or we can ask God to search us with the goal of our being directed in his way. By repudiating the first and embracing the second option, the psalmist articulates a personal twofold response to this teaching.

What is it that David is pointing to in the perceptive wording of this psalm? He is speaking of his unique individuality from the first moments of his existence in the womb. From that very first moment, God knew him and had ordained what his life was to be: “All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” (v. 16). If that is how God views the unborn child, dare we call it only tissue and destroy the unborn, as we are doing in this country at the rate of more than a million and a half babies each year?