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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Psalms 56-60

Psalms 56

This Psalm is noted as a miktam, a golden psalm. It is also noted for the tune, "A dove on distant oaks" which also refers to David exiled from home, in a foreign land, and without succor.
This is another Psalm which records David's dependence on God during the time he hid from Saul in Gath among the Philistines.(See 1 Samuel 21:10 for further details.) David feared Saul and could not confront him because he was the King of Israel. Samuel had anointed David to be king after the reign of Saul, but David never attempted to hasten the event.

In this Psalm, he recounts his fear and trials. He believes that man cannot do anything to him that God does not ordain. He seeks God to secure his peace and does not forget to remind God of his vows to him.

He is fearful and alters his behavior to appear mad to his captors. 
He does not attempt to take vengeance but appeals to God to deliver him and bring righteous judgment on those who torment him.

When his enemies turn back, he takes this as a sign of God's blessing toward him. He continues to give thanks and praise for God's deliverance from death. God has kept his feet from stumbling. 

Psalms 57

This Psalm is a Miktam by David set to the tune "Do Not Destroy." It recalls the time he hid from Saul in a cave.

The text does not mention the cave, but the endless chase and persecution he experienced.
He calls on God to protect him from the beasts and the pursuers.  In the midst of this danger, he exalts God and sings glory to his name. He details the trap they set for him: a net to entangle his feet and a pit in his path, but they were victims of their own plot.
He closes with a refrain of praise:
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens          
        Let your glory be over all the earth.

Psalms 58

These Psalms seem to record various stages of the siege David endured in his efforts to avoid confrontation by Saul. This one is also set to the tune of "Do Not Destroy." It is also a Miktam, a golden psalm.

The psalm begins by addressing the rulers and judges calling for justice and equity. He calls the wicked who are evil from their birth, to righteousness.

He seeks justice from God who will tear the teeth from the mouths of the lions who rip the victims

During this difficult time, David never sways from calling on God.
He does confess fear, but he always seeks God's instruction, and he is faithful to obey. He had his family with him and about 600 men who were loyal to him. They hid in the caves and ravines in the desert.

He ends this psalm with the knowledge that the righteous are avenged and rewarded, and there is God who judges the earth.

Palms 59

This is a Psalm of David, again to the tune of "Do Not Destroy." It is provoked by Saul sending men to watch David's house to kill him.

David is feeling the stress of constant pressure from Saul, and he views it as a military campaign. He repeatedly defends his own honor and innocence. He calls God to witness his jeopardy and his plight. He will take no steps to destroy the attackers, but he urges God to do so. He is somewhat disrespectful calling them "dogs,"

He closes with praise and confident assurance of God's strength and deliverance.

Psalms 60

This is another Miktam concerning Arameans of Mesopotamia and Central Syria and Joab striking down 12,000 men in the Valley of Salt. It is sung to the tune of "Lily of the Covenant." 

David is desperate. The very ground is shaking under him. Perhaps there was an earthquake. He turns to God saying, "Restore us. Save us."

Things look bad, but David never surrenders to defeat. He still vows God will gain the victory and trample the enemies.