My soul is in the midst of lions;
I lie down amid fiery beasts—
the children of man, whose teeth are spears and arrows,
whose tongues are sharp swords.
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!
Let your glory be over all the earth!
David has fled from Saul and is hiding in a cave when he writes this "miktam" (whatever that is!) Can you imagine the fear and trepidation that assails him as he hides and waits for the next catastrophic event? I'm sure that the possibility of meeting a ferocious beast face to face exists, but he merely uses it as an illustrative description of what he is experiencing with humanity. The king of Israel, whose reign is in jeopardy, is after him with his army of men commanded to destroy him. Forget the lions--the spears and arrows are flying!
I think that for the most part, unless we have been in the military or police force, we don't see bullets flying around our heads. Oh, but the sharp arrows of the tongue! How they can fly around us! I'm sure that most of us have been in at least one situation where our reputations were at stake as someone (or someones) used that vicious weapon of the tongue to try to destroy us.
David gives us a perfect example in these verses of the proper reaction to the abuse of others. His was not an, "I'm gonna get you back!" attitude, but one of recognition of the One who is able to retaliate sin-free. "Be exalted, O God, above the heavens. Let your glory be over all the earth!"
As we experience the lions of life, those who want to belittle or discredit us in one fashion or another, let's take care to give it to the Lord, to exalt Him and to recognize that the God of glory is the One who protects and defends His own. Of course David didn't lie down and allow Saul's army to rush into the cave and annihilate him; he used the resources that he had to defend himself, but ultimately he gave God the glory and the credit for everything.