Tuesday, July 05, 2022

2022.07.05 Hopewell @Home ▫ Psalm 59:1–10

Read Psalm 59:1–10

Questions from the Scripture text: In what circumstances was this Psalm written (superscript)? For what four things does Psalm 59:1–2 ask God to do for him, from what four types of people? Who are doing what in Psalm 59:3a–b? What is not the reason for this (Psalm 59:3-4a)? What verb do Psalm 59:4Psalm 59:5 use to describe God springing into action? What does Psalm 59:5a call God? Whom is He to punish (verse 5b, 5c)? How does Psalm 59:6 describe their hostile diligence? How does Psalm 59:7 describe their shameless confidence? How does that go for them (Psalm 59:8)? Whose position is more secure (Psalm 59:9)? What does Psalm 59:10 call God? What will He do?

What hope is there, when enemies have the upper hand? Psalm 59:1–10 looks forward to the opening portion of morning public worship on the coming Lord’s Day. In these ten verses of Holy Scripture, the Holy Spirit teaches us that even when the most malicious enemies seem to have the advantage, God Himself has the only true power.

The danger is real, because the wicked and their wickedness is realPsalm 59:1-4. You don’t have to transgress (Psalm 59:3c) or be at fault (v4a) in order to be in peril in this fallen world. The wicked are plenty real, plenty numerous, and plenty active. So, we can identify with the four pleas with which the psalmist begins: Deliver! Defend! Deliver! Save! We must not believe the willfully ignorant narrative of our depraved culture that tells us that no one is actually “bad” but just misunderstood or less fortunate. No. This sinful world is full of “enemies” and “workers of iniquity” and “bloodthirsty men.”

But judgment is real because God is realPsalm 59:5-8. Because God patiently endures vessels prepared for destruction while saving the elect, it may seem as if His judgment is sleeping. But that is not the case of course. When the psalmist cries “Awake!” in Psalm 59:4 and Psalm 59:5, he is asking God to spring into action, according to His identity (“Yahweh, God of hosts, God of Israel”) and His righteous plan: “punish the nations” recognizes that God will avenge not only Saul and company but every sin.

The wicked, however, have suppressed the truth in unrighteousness, trying to pretend God away. They become bold and presumptuous, as indicated by Psalm 59:6’s belching and rhetorical question, “Who hears?”

It would be a great mistake to think that Saul and company have the advantage, for that would be to fail to factor God into the situation. God Who will hold all the wicked from all the nations in derision (Psalm 59:8) will surely punish this wicked little king and his boldly wicked little henchmen. And so it is with all the little, wicked oppressors on earth.

Therefore, strength, defense, and mercy are real for God’s peoplePsalm 59:9-10. Because his enemies refuse to acknowledge God, they are sure that David has no strength. But David knows better. He waits upon God, his strength (Psalm 59:9a), God his defense (verse 9b), God his mercy (steadfast love, Psalm 59:10a). God does more than provide strength, defense, and mercy. He personally is the strength, defense, and covenant love of His people. The Psalm begins with the enemies watching David, but the world will end with him looking upon his enemies (end of verse 10). 

God is the ultimate reality, and our interaction with our circumstances must be shaped by the knowledge that we are His and that He will act. This isn’t always calm and quiet. Sometimes, it takes the form of the four agonized cries with which the Psalm began. But this waiting still has confidence and hope in Him.

Into what difficult or unjust situations should you be factoring in the knowledge of God. What has your waiting upon Him looked like? What should it look like?

Sample prayer:  O Lord, in a world that thinks it gets away with sin, because it refuses to know You, grant that we would be different and set apart. Make us to know You as our Strength. Make us to know You as our Defense. Make us to know You as our mercy. We wait for You; now come to meet us, we ask through Christ, AMEN!

Suggested songs: ARP59A “Free Me, My God” or TPH59 “O Save Me from My Foes”

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