This psalm is again simply titled “A Psalm of David.” It shows David the son of Jesse once again crying out to God, and praising Him for the hearing and answering of his prayer. In this psalm we see the heart in a few different aspects: the evil heart (Psalm 28:3), the trusting heart (Psalm 28:7), and the rejoicing heart (Psalm 28:7).
We do not know when David wrote Psalm 28. The end of the psalm tells us that there was danger for the whole country. Verse 8 is about the Messiah. In the time of David this was the king. Later it meant God’s special servant and last of all Jesus. At the time of David , if God gave help to the Messiah it meant that he gave help to the whole country. In verses 1-5 David prays for help. In verses 6-9 he thanks God for giving him and his people help. Perhaps the danger was fighting other countries; perhaps it was illness in many homes. Whatever it was, God answered David’s prayer. He gave help to David and to his people.
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).