Psalm 59: A Psalm of Protection

Do me a favor and please read Psalm 59.

Our psalm today is one that is very similar to psalms 57-58 where there is a request/petition to be delivered from some type of enemy – and while we don’t know WHO the enemy is many speculate that it is some foreign adversary – but again, this is purely speculation. And so really what we need to do is come back and look at the title and bit of information we receive…and what we get is this reflection of 1 Sam 19:11-18 to when Saul sent some men to David’s house to watch it and kill David when he emerged in the morning…but Michal, David’s wife, got wind and tipped off her husband and helped him escape. So in response to all of this we get Psalm 59. A psalm of reflection, anger, dismay, but also hope and security.

We get quite a few of these psalms where it is really hard for you and I to relate to them simply because life is very different. But then again, there are some people who CAN relate simply because of the places they live and the environment that is surrounding them. The fact of the matter is simply that there are evil people out there who conspire to hurt – and while we may not be able to understand the feelings and anxiety that befalls people in those situations you and I both CAN declare that evil exists and it’s out to harm the people who love God.

But here’s also the thing, and this is more important than relating to a psalm…the declaration and belief that David professes in God – that’s a common hope that traverses time and space.

Think of all those times where you were scared, distraught, and feeling lost. Not knowing what to do, where to go, you simply turned to God knowing that he watches over you. Yeah…that’s where David’s at. Think of all those times where there was nowhere to turn but to lift up your prayers unto God? Yeah – that’s where David’s at.

But I don’t think we want to skip over a really important lesson that David teaches us here. In verse 11 we get this plea from David to actually SPARE these men who want to kill him (a theme that is constant throughout the life of David – especially when it came to Saul). The reason? He wants the Lord’s name to be glorified and known throughout the earth…and he wants his own people to know and declare that the Lord is their shield. While he DOES want them severely punished…even “consumed” – the hope in their demise is simply not there. What this means, is that David simply (again as with so many other psalms) wants God to do what is best for God.

When we take ALL of these thoughts, ideas and sights, what we get is a psalm of declaration of the work of God. That God protects, leads, guides, and is over all things. That evil and hatred will be dealt with in God’s own way – and that you and me, David, and Michal are all under God’s divine work. Even when the dogs continue to snarl at David…God is still watching, guiding, and protecting.

snarling-dogAnd I think that’s something interesting to profess and recognize. The “dogs” in this text never stop snarling and snapping…and while that may be scary … there is no “bite” from them. The harm that COULD come simply doesn’t. The fear is real, the situation is real, but the finality of the situation doesn’t sit with the enemies – it remains with God.

Matthew 5:11 reminds us that these types of situations ARE quite real and that in them you will be “blessed”. That is, you will be watched over and protected from all types of harm. That, there, is our comfort.

We believe in a God who watches, guides, and protects, and this is something that brings us comfort not only when we are in peaceful situations but also when we are in the midst of snapping and snarling evil. And the comfort we profess is that even in those situations it is God who still is over all. Watching, guiding, leading, and protecting…God is still in control and he will not allow the final harm that COULD happen to actually happen. Now obviously we may get bit, and flames may lick at our skin and burn us – but death will not have the final say. By God’s grace, by Jesus Christ’s blood – God surely does watch over and protect his people (something David consistently professed) now and forever.

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