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Read Psalm 59

For the director of music. To the tune of “Do Not Destroy.” Of David. A miktam.  When Saul had sent men to watch David’s house in order to kill him.

1 Deliver me from my enemies, O God;
be my fortress against those who are attacking me.

2 Deliver me from evildoers
and save me from those who are after my blood.

3 See how they lie in wait for me!
Fierce men conspire against me
for no offense or sin of mine, Lord.

4 I have done no wrong, yet they are ready to attack me.
Arise to help me; look on my plight!

5 You, Lord God Almighty,
you who are the God of Israel,
rouse yourself to punish all the nations;
show no mercy to wicked traitors.

6 They return at evening,
snarling like dogs,
and prowl about the city.

7 See what they spew from their mouths—
the words from their lips are sharp as swords,
and they think, “Who can hear us?”

8 But you laugh at them, Lord;
you scoff at all those nations.

9 You are my strength, I watch for you;
you, God, are my fortress,

10 my God on whom I can rely.

God will go before me
and will let me gloat over those who slander me.

11 But do not kill them, Lord our shield,
or my people will forget.
In your might uproot them
and bring them down.

12 For the sins of their mouths,
for the words of their lips,
let them be caught in their pride.
For the curses and lies they utter,

13 consume them in your wrath,
consume them till they are no more.
Then it will be known to the ends of the earth
that God rules over Jacob.

14 They return at evening,
snarling like dogs,
and prowl about the city.

15 They wander about for food
and howl if not satisfied.

16 But I will sing of your strength,
in the morning I will sing of your love;
for you are my fortress,
my refuge in times of trouble.

17 You are my strength, I sing praise to you;
you, God, are my fortress,
my God on whom I can rely.

Go Deeper

In Psalm 59, we have an opportunity to behold David’s sincere, trial-tested faith. This psalm was written at a time when Saul sent men to watch David’s house in order to kill him (1 Samuel 19:11). Imagine the unrest! Because of a jealous man, David was no longer safe in his own home. David’s immediate reaction is to cry out to his most trusted confidant: God Almighty. David’s words are characterized by a deep, personal relationship with God. He refers to God as his personal source of defense, strength, and mercy. Yes, there were evil men plotting his demise, but David recognized that he was protected by God. After asking God for deliverance from the rising dangers (v. 1), he set his mind and heart to watch for Him (v. 9). Somewhere between the written pages of the Bible, David spent time talking to God, walking with God, worshiping God, studying and meditating on His truth. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of, and David can’t help but sing to his God.

Through the person of Jesus Christ, we have complete access to this mighty, comforting, and awesome God that David loved so dearly. The author of Hebrews describes Him as “the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature.” God has a name for any and every need that arises in our lives. We can and should read about the names and attributes of God in the pages of Scripture. But there is nothing like when God, in His sovereignty, allows us into circumstances where His name is our only source of hope.

Just like David, the words we have read and mediated on truly come alive as we experience them as our reality. How honored our Lord must be when our hearts exclaim praise in the middle of trails and opposition. Ignoring dangers is not asked of us. Notice how David refers to his pursuers in this psalm. He compares them to dogs. Not biting dogs, but howling, prowling, and growling dogs. They can make as much noise as they want to; David has chosen to trust in his Lord. Oswald Chambers wrote, “We are not fundamentally free; external circumstances are not in our hands, they are in God’s hands, the one thing in which we are free is in our personal relationship to God.” What a gift we have been given!

Questions

  1. What are attributes of God that you have clung to in trials?
  2. David refers to God as his strength. What would you consider your source of strength to be? How can you begin to draw strength from God today?
  3. Do you think of God as your fortress or shield? Why or why not?

Pray This

Father, We thank You that You do not call us to live this life alone. Thank You for the lengths You have gone to make Yourself known to us. Please forgive us for times when we interpret our circumstances based on what we hear and see instead of the truth of Your Word. Strengthen us by the power of Your Holy Spirit in our innermost being so that Christ may dwell in our hearts through faith. Yours is the victory! We pray this in the name of Jesus, Amen.

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3 thoughts on “Psalm 59”

  1. Ella Snodgrass

    I see a contrast between David’s earthly house and God’s heavenly fortress, one destructible and one indestructible. The Psalm opens with “deliver me” which literally means “raise me to a high, secure place”. David prays for deliverance from Saul’s soldiers who have surrounded his house in order to kill him. In the meantime David chooses to watch for God to move and joyfully sing of God’s strength and faithful love. Martin Luther years later wrote a hymn David could have penned: “A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing; our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing. For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe; his craft and power are great, and armed with cruel hate, on earth is not his equal.” Whenever darkness, fear or anxiety seems to overwhelm us, we, too, can choose praise in our Savior to chase it away.

  2. Kathy Davidson

    I loved these lines: “ 9 You are my strength, I watch for you; you, God, are my fortress, 10 my God on whom I can rely. God will go before me..”

    David is declaring truth about who God is- He is his strength, fortress, the One he relies on, & the One who goes before- and then sandwiched in between the truth of who God is, David says “I will watch for you.”

    In my experience, the more you look for God, the more you find Him. It seems David knows that to be true as well. David needs God’s presence more than ever & so he is looking for him more than ever in this Psalm. More than that, he is expecting for God to show up!

    My takeaway today is to look for God to show up in the middle of my life- even if I’m not hiding from my enemies- God still can and will show up.

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