Psalms and Prophets, part 1

We move on to Leithart’s exegesis of Psalm 7, which is located on pp. 216-218. Leithart’s logical argument goes like this: the Psalm has aspects of deliverance and judicial language. David asks for God to vindicate him. David also asks for God to deliver him. God, in this situation, really could not declare David not guilty without also delivering him from his foes. Therefore, deliverance and the verdict are the same act (a deliverdict).

There is a fairly simple response to this. It is to show that the conclusion does not follow, for the reason that there is another explanation of the congruence of deliverance and verdict in this Psalm. I do not dispute that David is asking for deliverance and for a favorable verdict. I also do not dispute that they are connected in some way. My question is this: in what are they connected? Are they connected because they are the same act? Or are they connected because they are two inseparable yet distinct acts? The logic of the Psalm works just as well if we suppose that the deliverance is dependent upon the favorable verdict, and will necessarily happen if the favorable verdict is given. We do not have to assume that the deliverance and the verdict are the same act, just as we do not have to assume that justification and sanctification are the same act, if we also argue that they are distinct, yet inseparable. David does not actually ever say that the verdict will take the form of deliverance. Therefore, Leithart has not proven his point here.

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