“Summaries, Psalms 57-61”Categories: Bulletin Articles
Psalm 57 pleads with God to show mercy. David acknowledges that only God can protect him from the storms of life. He trusts that God will save him and embarrass those who seek to harm him. He views God’s help as particularly necessary because he is surrounded by enemies whom he compares to lions and fire. The first section concludes with the chorus contained in 57:5 (and repeated in 57:11).
These enemies have sought to ambush David, but through God’s help, he turned the ambush around on them. As a result, David continues to steadfastly trust in God, and he seeks to praise Him as enthusiastically as he knows how.
Psalm 58 is addressed to the arrogantly wicked. David calls them out for claiming to be righteous judges while treating others unfairly. He hyperbolically claims that they were wicked from birth, and he compares them to venomous snakes.
David then asks God to break the teeth of these “snakes” in their mouths. He wants them to disappear as though they never had existed, to be consumed as quickly as thorns in the fire are. David concludes by predicting that if God treats the wicked like this, the righteous will rejoice and mankind will acknowledge His judgments.
Psalm 59 is another plea for help from David when he is beset by his enemies. The superscription says that David wrote this during/after the events of 1 Samuel 19:11-17. David says that these enemies are lying in wait to destroy him, even though he has done nothing wrong. He invites God to come and judge them all, himself included, and to punish the wicked, whoever they are.
David goes on to compare his enemies to packs of wild dogs who are prowling around the city. They’re unconcerned with whether anyone notices them, but David knows that God sees them, sneers at them, and will destroy them. David asks God not merely to kill them, but to bring them low in a way that will reveal His power and lordship. Even as they are in the midst of their prowling and growling around, David will continue to trust in God’s protection and deliverance.
Psalm 60 appeals to God for help in battle. It begins by lamenting that God has destroyed Israel’s defenses with an earthquake. However, even without those defenses, God will still protect those who trust in Him.
The psalm then begins to speak for God, answering David. God states that He controls not only the territory of the people of Israel, but even the lands of their enemies.
The final portion of the psalm is David’s reply to God. He wants to know who will help him, expresses his fear that God has abandoned him, and pleads with God to accompany him so that he will have success.
Psalm 61 asks God to hear David’s prayer. He is weary, but he looks to God to be his refuge like a towering rock would be. He wants God to allow him to dwell with Him forever because of his faithfulness and God’s past blessings. The psalm concludes with a final appeal for lifelong protection and a promise to praise God and perform the vows made to Him.