Folks who don't understand the spiritual dimensions of the psalms will often ask, "What's this crap with 'enemies'?" Why are you Christians always talking about fighting and battles etc?
Quite simply, they don't know that we're in a war and that we're fighting demonic principalities. Yeah, I know... sounds silly but hey, it's true. Jesus not only came to save humans from death but he came to redeem the world -- buy it back-- from evil.
By managing to live a perfect life -- the only human to ever do so-- he managed to do something mythic. He won back the authority man lost against sin, sickness, death, and demonic entities. Just as the first Adam caused us to be born subject to those things, Jesus -- the second Adam-- restored us again and destroyed/spoiled demonic princes.
I can believe all this because I have a mythic heart. I love the power of myth. And the world is a majorly mythic place. Christians know that words have power and spirit -- as the Japanese say kotodamai. Words and doctrine are no mere things to be believed but things that we preach to the demonic princes. So, yeah, back to the psalm.
When the psalmist says, For the enemy hath persecuted my soul; he hath smitten my life down to the ground; he hath made me to dwell in darkness, as those that have been long dead,
he's not only thinking of human enemies. He's thinking of the relentlessness of the demonic, the relentlessness of sickness, the relentless choreography of evil that pursues those who love God. I say "choreography" because the evil is often directed. Especially if someone is a good person. Most people suffer in some ways. We're human and its part of life. But there's a kind of suffering that comes after a person when the demonic wars against someone because of the word within them.
It's a harsh relentless suffering that can only be fought and endured and won with God's help...because it's a suffering whose sole end is to make us not love God. Kid you not.
Psalm 1431Hear my prayer, O LORD, give ear to my supplications: in thy faithfulness answer me, and in thy righteousness.
2And enter not into judgment with thy servant: for in thy sight shall no man living be justified.
3For the enemy hath persecuted my soul; he hath smitten my life down to the ground; he hath made me to dwell in darkness, as those that have been long dead.
4Therefore is my spirit overwhelmed within me; my heart within me is desolate.
5I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands.
6I stretch forth my hands unto thee: my soul thirsteth after thee, as a thirsty land. Selah.
7Hear me speedily, O LORD: my spirit faileth: hide not thy face from me, lest I be like unto them that go down into the pit.
8Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.
9Deliver me, O LORD, from mine enemies: I flee unto thee to hide me.
10Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.
11Quicken me, O LORD, for thy name's sake: for thy righteousness' sake bring my soul out of trouble.
12And of thy mercy cut off mine enemies, and destroy all them that afflict my soul: for I am thy servant.