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Psalm chapter 28

New International Version

1 Of David. To you, LORD, I call; you are my Rock, do not turn a deaf ear to me. For if you remain silent, I will be like those who go down to the pit.
2 Hear my cry for mercy as I call to you for help, as I lift up my hands toward your Most Holy Place. 3 Do not drag me away with the wicked, with those who do evil, who speak cordially with their neighbors but harbor malice in their hearts.
4 Repay them for their deeds and for their evil work; repay them for what their hands have done and bring back on them what they deserve.
5 Because they have no regard for the deeds of the LORD and what his hands have done, he will tear them down and never build them up again. 6 Praise be to the LORD, for he has heard my cry for mercy.
7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him. 8 The LORD is the strength of his people, a fortress of salvation for his anointed one. 9 Save your people and bless your inheritance; be their shepherd and carry them forever.
English Standard Version

1 Of David. To you, O LORD, I call; my rock, be not deaf to me, lest, if you be silent to me, I become like those who go down to the pit. 2 Hear the voice of my pleas for mercy, when I cry to you for help, when I lift up my hands toward your most holy sanctuary. 3 Do not drag me off with the wicked, with the workers of evil, who speak peace with their neighbors while evil is in their hearts. 4 Give to them according to their work and according to the evil of their deeds; give to them according to the work of their hands; render them their due reward. 5 Because they do not regard the works of the LORD or the work of his hands, he will tear them down and build them up no more. 6 Blessed be the LORD! For he has heard the voice of my pleas for mercy. 7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him. 8 The LORD is the strength of his people; he is the saving refuge of his anointed. 9 Oh, save your people and bless your heritage! Be their shepherd and carry them forever.
King James Version

1 {A Psalm of David.} Unto thee will I cry, O LORD my rock; be not silent to me: lest, if thou be silent to me, I become like them that go down into the pit. 2 Hear the voice of my supplications, when I cry unto thee, when I lift up my hands toward thy holy oracle. 3 Draw me not away with the wicked, and with the workers of iniquity, which speak peace to their neighbours, but mischief is in their hearts. 4 Give them according to their deeds, and according to the wickedness of their endeavours: give them after the work of their hands; render to them their desert. 5 Because they regard not the works of the LORD, nor the operation of his hands, he shall destroy them, and not build them up.
6 Blessed be the LORD, because he hath heard the voice of my supplications. 7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him. 8 The LORD is their strength, and he is the saving strength of his anointed. 9 Save thy people, and bless thine inheritance: feed them also, and lift them up for ever.
New American Standard Bible

1 To You, LORD, I call; My rock, do not be deaf to me, For if You are silent to me, I will become like those who go down to the pit. 2 Hear the sound of my pleadings when I cry to You for help, When I raise my hands toward Your holy sanctuary. 3 Do not drag me away with the wicked And with those who practice injustice, Who speak peace with their neighbors, While evil is in their hearts. 4 Give back to them according to their work and according to the evil of their practices; Give back to them according to the work of their hands; Repay them what is due them. 5 Because they do not regard the works of the LORD Nor the deeds of His hands, He will tear them down and not build them up. 6 Blessed be the LORD, Because He has heard the sound of my pleading. 7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart triumphs, And with my song I shall thank Him. 8 The LORD is their strength, And He is a refuge of salvation to His anointed. 9 Save Your people and bless Your inheritance; Be their shepherd also, and carry them forever.
New Living Translation

1 A psalm of David. I pray to you, O LORD, my rock. Do not turn a deaf ear to me. For if you are silent, I might as well give up and die. 2 Listen to my prayer for mercy as I cry out to you for help, as I lift my hands toward your holy sanctuary.
3 Do not drag me away with the wicked--with those who do evil--those who speak friendly words to their neighbors while planning evil in their hearts. 4 Give them the punishment they so richly deserve! Measure it out in proportion to their wickedness. Pay them back for all their evil deeds! Give them a taste of what they have done to others. 5 They care nothing for what the LORD has done or for what his hands have made. So he will tear them down, and they will never be rebuilt!
6 Praise the LORD! For he has heard my cry for mercy. 7 The LORD is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.
8 The LORD gives his people strength. He is a safe fortress for his anointed king. 9 Save your people! Bless Israel, your special possession. Lead them like a shepherd, and carry them in your arms forever.
Christian Standard Bible

1 Lord, I call to you; my rock, do not be deaf to me. If you remain silent to me, I will be like those going down to the Pit.
2 Listen to the sound of my pleading when I cry to you for help, when I lift up my hands toward your holy sanctuary. 3 Do not drag me away with the wicked, with the evildoers, who speak in friendly ways with their neighbors while malice is in their hearts. 4 Repay them according to what they have done -- according to the evil of their deeds. Repay them according to the work of their hands; give them back what they deserve.
5 Because they do not consider what the Lord has done or the work of his hands, he will tear them down and not rebuild them. 6 Blessed be the Lord, for he has heard the sound of my pleading.
7 The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. Therefore my heart celebrates, and I give thanks to him with my song. 8 The Lord is the strength of his people; he is a stronghold of salvation for his anointed. 9 Save your people, bless your possession, shepherd them, and carry them forever.

What does Psalm chapter 28 mean?

David does not identify his enemies in this psalm, but he does describe their character and destiny. He says they are wicked, workers of evil, deceptive, and unbelieving. They are destined to go down to the pit—a metaphor for death and eternal ruin. David begins this psalm with an urgent plea for the Lord to hear his cry. He calls the Lord his rock. If the Lord does not answer his prayer, he believes his fate is like that of those whose destiny is death and destruction (Psalm 28:1–2).

As he continues, David uses phrasing that is both a request and a statement, combined. David is confident that he doesn't share in wicked actions, so he is confident God will not "drag him off" when judging sinners. David describes evil people, in part, as those deceptively speaking politely, while planning to do evil. He prays the Lord will judge depraved people in proportion to their sins. (Psalm 28:3–4).

David points out that the wicked ignore and reject the Lord's works. Despite all that God has shown, in nature and by miracles, those who reject Him refuse to see the truth. David prays that the Lord will repay them for their evil; he knows those who turn away from God will suffer eternal loss (Psalm 28:5).

The psalm concludes with praise that God has answered David's prayer. David was a warrior (Psalm 144:1) who knew the value of a shield. God provided David with both protection and a sense of confidence. David applies this same idea to God's protection of His people, most especially God's plan to bring Messiah into the world. David was also a shepherd (1 Samuel 17:34), and he uses shepherding terminology to speak about the Lord's guiding security (Psalm 28:6–9).