Today: [Psalm 57-59] Your Response to the Destruction of the Wicked. In the collection of psalms we cover in this lesson you will see testimony to the destruction of the wicked. In your lifetime you will as David experience seasons of resistance and conflict from those who do not see you as God sees you. In these psalms David observes that no matter how strong our enemy, ultimately they will see their end and we will come out victorious. Our rejoicing is not in the destruction of the wicked but in the mercy of God that we experience on a day to day basis.
[Psa 57:1-11 KJV] 1 [[To the chief Musician, Altaschith, Michtam of David, when he fled from Saul in the cave.]] 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 me [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.
Again we see David composing psalms in the midst of flight from his enemies. He is pursued by Saul but rather than asking for judgment against Saul, he asks for mercy for himself. This reflects David’s meditation and understanding of the nature of God. James 2:13 tells us that mercy rejoices over judgment. God is more disposed to give mercy than to render judgment. This is the opposite of the way God is portrayed in much Christian teaching. In 2 Corinthians Paul says this:
[2Co 1:20 KJV] 20 For all the promises of God in him [are] yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.
What this tells us is that God’s default response to the cry of our heart is “yes”. If it seems that it not the case in your experience it isn’t because God has changed His mind where you are concerned. We must always take care not to judge God by our circumstance but to judge our circumstance by the testimony of God regarding Himself found in the word.
Verse 2 of Psalm 57 is the Old Testament equivalent of Matt. 6:33. When you call upon the Lord and seek first His kingdom all things will be added to you. David expects God to address every need in his life. He doesn’t anticipate in any way that God will ignore his prayer. When verse 3 says that God will “send from heaven” and deliver David there is an inference that angels are involved. God doesn’t come off the throne to answer our prayer. We know that Jesus could have called 10,000 angels to deliver Him but He chose not to. Why? He chose NOT to call on 10,000 angels so that we COULD call upon angelic assistance in our petitions to the Father.
In verse 6 David declares that the pit others have dug for him is what they themselves will fall into. If you live long enough and serve God long enough you will find those that pit themselves against others will almost always fall into their own snare. When you sow to the wind you will reap the whirlwind. This is the law of reciprocity at work. Because of the eventuality of the defeat of his enemies David resolves in verse 7 that his heart is fixed. He will give praise to God even before deliverance is made manifest. He will proactively and in advance be thankful and grateful because though not seeing deliverance he still anticipates it’s inevitability in his situation.
[Psa 58:1-11 KJV] 1 [[To the chief Musician, Altaschith, Michtam of David.]] 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.
Psalm 58 is a psalm regarding the depravity of man and the ultimate and inevitable destruction of the wicked. It begins with a reproof against the self-righteousness of those who insist on their own innocence before God when they are in fact deeply sinful. We should always be conservative when insisting upon how right we are and how unjustly we have been treated.
Paul in Romans 3 makes the case regarding the sinfulness of man with words quite reminiscent of this psalm which he quotes almost verbatim. Jeremiah made the following statement:
[Jer 17:9 KJV] 9 The heart [is] deceitful above all [things], and desperately wicked: who can know it?
In Romans again Paul stipulates that in his natural man – the fallen nature there is nothing of any moral or spiritual value:
[Rom 7:18 KJV] 18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but [how] to perform that which is good I find not.
It is a healthy perspective to bear in mind the corruption that is inherent in our unredeemed human nature. Not everything on the inside of us has been transformed by God’s miracle working power. When you get born again your spirit is transformed but your mind is still in the same state. It is still capable of resisting the truth of God and manifesting a character fully divorced from God’s purity and simplicity. Likewise your body after you become born again has the same fingerprints, the same identifying features. In the new birth growth and maturity are about the OUTWORKING to your mind, will and emotions of that which was planted in your human spirit as the incorruptible seed.
In verse 10 David says that the righteous (those renders and accounted righteous in God’s sight because of their faith and total reliance upon Him) – these shall wash their feet in the blood of the wicked. This is not a metaphor that modern man finds pleasant at all. What it is saying is that though it may seem the wicked prosper – if you live long enough and walk with God long enough you will see that in fact the laws of reciprocity cannot be broken. What a man sows that will he also reap – outside of Christ.
[Psa 59:1-17 KJV] 1 [[To the chief Musician, Altaschith, Michtam of David; when Saul sent, and they watched the house to kill him.]] Deliver me from mine enemies, O my God: defend me from them that rise up against me. 2 Deliver me from the workers of iniquity, and save me from bloody men. 3 For, lo, they lie in wait for my soul: the mighty are gathered against me; not [for] my transgression, nor [for] my sin, O LORD. 4 They run and prepare themselves without [my] fault: awake to help me, and behold. 5 Thou therefore, O LORD God of hosts, the God of Israel, awake to visit all the heathen: be not merciful to any wicked transgressors. Selah. 6 They return at evening: they make a noise like a dog, and go round about the city. 7 Behold, they belch out with their mouth: swords [are] in their lips: for who, [say they], doth hear? 8 But thou, O LORD, shalt laugh at them; thou shalt have all the heathen in derision. 9 [Because of] his strength will I wait upon thee: for God [is] my defence. 10 The God of my mercy shall prevent me: God shall let me see [my desire] upon mine enemies. 11 Slay them not, lest my people forget: scatter them by thy power; and bring them down, O Lord our shield. 12 [For] the sin of their mouth [and] the words of their lips let them even be taken in their pride: and for cursing and lying [which] they speak. 13 Consume [them] in wrath, consume [them], that they [may] not [be]: and let them know that God ruleth in Jacob unto the ends of the earth. Selah. 14 And at evening let them return; [and] let them make a noise like a dog, and go round about the city. 15 Let them wander up and down for meat, and grudge if they be not satisfied. 16 But I will sing of thy power; yea, I will sing aloud of thy mercy in the morning: for thou hast been my defence and refuge in the day of my trouble. 17 Unto thee, O my strength, will I sing: for God [is] my defence, [and] the God of my mercy.
In this chapter we find David again being hunted for a prey by king Saul. Saul has set guards around David’s house to arrest him for capital crimes trumped up against him. David cries out to God for his defense. When you are come against in life learn to allow God to be the lead defense on your team. Others may stand up for you and certainly you don’t lay down in a battle zone but in the final analysis only God can deliver you from most situations therefore your trust must be not in natural instrumentalities of deliverance but upon the Lord.
Verse 8 tells us that God will laugh and the taunts and threats of the wicked. Psa. 2:4 says “he that sits in the heavens shall laugh…” This is not only God’s response to the designs of our enemies against us but it is to be our response as well. In Ephesians Paul tells us this:
[Eph 2:4-7 KJV] 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised [us] up together, and made [us] sit together in heavenly [places] in Christ Jesus: 7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in [his] kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
Not only does God sit in the heavens but we are seated with Him. If He laughs at the rage of the heathen and the threats of the enemy so we will laugh if we understand posture ourselves in a position of trust in God who ultimately will turn events and situations to our benefit.
The scope of this psalm speaks of the deep seated enmity of those opposed to king David but when he sums up the matter that is uppermost in his mind verse 16 rejoices in the power of God and the mercy of God. Mercy triumphs over justice every time. It is true that opposers and those who resist the purposes of God often experience down turn and even destruction but our satisfaction is not in the death of the wicked. God takes no pleasure in the demise of the wicked and neither should we. Our perspective reflects that yes, we know God is our defense and ultimately no one can stand against us – but our overarching appreciation is not for the destruction of the wicked but for the mercy that is renewed in God’s heart toward us every morning.
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