Behold, O God, our shield - We have no Protector but thee. Thou seest the deadly blows that are aimed at us; cover our souls; protect our lives!
Look upon the face of thine anointed - Consider the supplications sent up by him whom thou hast appointed to be Mediator between thee and man - thy Christ. But some apply this to David, to Zerubbabel, to the people of Israel; and each has his reasons.
Behold, O God our shield - Our defense, as a shield is a defense in the day of battle. Compare Psalm 5:12, note; Psalm 18:2, note; Psalm 33:20, note. It is an appeal to God as a protector. The psalmist was an exile - a wanderer - and he looked to God as his defense.
And look upon the face of thine anointed - Look favorably upon; look with benignity and kindness. The word anointed here is the word “Messiah” - משׁיח mâshı̂yach (Greek, Χριστός Christos “Christ”; see the notes at Matthew 1:1). Compare the notes at Psalm 2:2. It here refers, however, evidently to the author of the psalm; and the word used is evidence that the author was David, as the anointed of the Lord, or someone set apart to the kingly office. It is true that this word was applicable to other kings, and also to priests and prophets, but the circumstances in the case concur best on the supposition that David is referred to. The allusion here is not to Christ; and the language does not suggest or justify the use which is often made of it when prayer is offered, that “God would look upon us in the face of his anointed” - whatever may, or may not be, the propriety of that prayer on other, grounds.