July 21st Psalm 57
Micham of David when he fled from Saul in the cave
Pleading for God’s Help
1: Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast. 2: I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me. 3: He shall send from heaven, and save from the reproach of him that would swallow me up. Selah. God shall send forth his mercy and his truth. 4: My soul is among lions: and I lie even among them that are set on fire, even the sons of men, whose teeth are spears and arrows, and their tongue a sharp sword. 5: Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens; let thy glory be above all the earth. 6: They have prepared a net for my steps; my soul is bowed down: they have digged a pit before me, into the midst whereof they are fallen themselves. Selah. 7: My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise. 8: Awake up, my glory; awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake early. 9: I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people: I will sing unto thee among the nations. 10: For thy mercy is great unto the heavens, and thy truth unto the clouds. 11: Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: let thy glory be above all the earth.
To the chief musician, Al-taschith
Micham of David
Punish evil men
1: Do ye indeed speak righteousness, O congregation? do ye judge uprightly, O ye sons of men? 2: Yea, in heart ye work wickedness; ye weigh the violence of your hands in the earth. 3: The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies. 4: Their poison is like the poison of a serpent: they are like the deaf adder that stoppeth her ear; 5: Which will not hearken to the voice of charmers, charming never so wisely. 6: Break their teeth, O God, in their mouth: break out the great teeth of the young lions, O LORD. 7: Let them melt away as waters which run continually: when he bendeth his bow to shoot his arrows, let them be as cut in pieces. 8: As a snail which melteth, let every one of them pass away: like the untimely birth of a woman, that they may not see the sun. 9: Before your pots can feel the thorns, he shall take them away as with a whirlwind, both living, and in his wrath. 10: The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance: he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked. 11: So that a man shall say, Verily there is a reward for the righteous: verily he is a God that judgeth in the earth.
To the chief musician, Al-taschith
Today’s Bible reading is Psalm 57 & 58. Psalm 57 is a teaching psalm which he wrote when he fled from Saul and went to live in the caves in hiding. David pleads that the Lord will be merciful to him because he is trusting in him completely. He says I am like a chick that hurriedly runs to the safety of its mother. And I will stay there until all these terrible days are passed. These days were difficult days for David and it was in these times that he learnt to pray as never before. David has complete confidence in the Lords deliverance and says to his hearers think about that. He says I am like a lamb surrounded by encircling lions. They are like men who open their mouths and seek to destroy me. Yet David exalts the Lord who he says is above the heavens and whose glory is seen in all the earth. He says they set a trap for me and dig a pit for me to fall into. Think about how wicked that is. But my mind is fixed on the Lord and therefore I will sing his praises. I will rise before dawn to sing with the harp. And I will sing the praises of the Lord among Israel and all nations because the mercy of the Lord has been wonderful to me. May the Lord be exalted about the heavens and your glory over all the earth. These Psalms of persecution are like the Prison epistles of Paul because the oppression and dangers of his spiritual life into corresponding relief with the joy of the Lord. And therefore these Psalms and Pauls prison letters have alike the subject of Joy. Both of these Psalms are addressed to the choir master with the word ‘Al-taschith’ which means ‘Do not destroy’. Psalm 58 is also a ‘teaching Psalm’. These teaching Psalms were one of the ways that David communicated his message to the children of Israel. In this Psalm David challenges Israel saying do you really speak right things? Do you judge the matter correctly – you sons of men? In your minds you do evil things. You burden the earth with the weight of your violence. The wicked backslide from the moment they are born and their first words are lies. They are poisonous like a venomous snake and they are deaf like the deaf adder. It will not dance to the sound of the snake charmer even though his is very skilled at playing. Judge them O Lord says David, break the teeth that gnash on me. David uses all sorts of expressions to ask the Lord to judge them and deliver him. May they be like a snail that dissolves. Like a miscarriage - may they pass away. The Lord will be like a tornado who will destroy and blow everything away in his anger. The righteous will rejoice in that day when he sees the vengeance of the Lord. His feet will be covered in the blood of his enemies. In that day a man will say this is how the Lord rewards the righteous man and that the Lord is the judge of all men.