Young At Heart Bible Study: The Book of Psalms

Psalms 58-60

Psalm 58: Truly there is a reward
(1) <To the chief Musician, Al-taschith, Michtam of David.> Do you indeed speak righteousness, O congregation? Do you judge uprightly, O you sons of men? (2) Yes, in heart you work wickedness; you weigh the violence of your hands in the earth. (3) The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies. (4) Their poison is like the poison of a serpent; they are like the deaf adder that stops her ear; (5) Who will not hearken to the voice of charmers, charming skillfully. • Another teaching psalm (michtam) from David, also composed to the tune of “Do Not Destroy.” There are various theories as to whom it applies, perhaps Saul, or Nabal. • In the Hebrew the word “congregation” which we see in the KJV is not present; verse 1 actually carries the idea of David saying that justice is silent when these men judge. Verse 2 means that by their unrighteous decrees they weigh out their wickedness; in other words they establish evil by their rulings. • The rest of this section strongly condemns the twisted nature of wicked people.

(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 like waters which run continually, when he bends his bow to shoot his arrows, let them be as though they were cut in pieces. (8) As a snail which melts, let every one of

Psalms Bible Study

Psalms 58-60

them pass away like the untimely birth of a woman, that they may not see the sun. • More imprecatory prayers. All the images are of enemies melting away or being deprived of their ability to harm, some are harsh indeed and this reflects David’s turmoil of spirit. The reference to young lions does not mean cubs, but young and strong animals as opposed to the old.

(9) Before your pots can feel the thorns, he shall make them shudder, whether green or burning. (10) The righteous shall rejoice when he sees the vengeance; he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked. (11) So that a man shall say, "Truly there is a reward for the righteous; truly he is a God who judges in the earth." • Thorns were used to start fires and burned quickly; this is the idea – God will act before they can start their fire. Verse 10 is strong imagery from the battlefield, unpleasant to but a part of David’s reality. • In Verse 11 we see that a judgment quickly rendered by God affects the thinking of all who will consider it.

Psalm 59: A narrow escape
(1) <To the chief Musician, Al-taschith, Michtam of David; when Saul sent, and they watched the house to kill him.> Deliver me from my enemies, O my God; defend me from those who rise up against me.

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Psalms Bible Study

Psalms 58-60

Another teaching Psalm set to “Do Not Destroy.” This psalm tells us the story of David’s narrow escape from his own home: Saul also sent messengers unto David's house, to watch him, and to slay him in the morning: and Michal David's wife told him, saying, If thou save not thy life tonight, tomorrow thou shalt be slain. So Michal let David down through a window: and he went, and fled, and escaped. (1 Sam. 19:11-12)

(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. • David had indeed gone over and above to prove his love to Saul!

(5) You therefore, O LORD God of hosts, the God of Israel, awake to visit all the heathen; do not be merciful to any wicked transgressors. Selah. (6) They return at evening; they make a noise like a dog, and go around the city. (7) Behold, they belch out with their mouth; swords are in their lips - for who, say they, hears? (8) But you, O LORD, shall laugh at them; you shall have all the heathen in derision. • Here we see echoes of Psalm 2. The heathen forget, then oppose God, and He laughs!

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Psalms Bible Study

Psalms 58-60

(9) Because of his strength will I wait upon you, for God is my defense. (10) The God of my mercy shall go before me; God shall let me see my desire upon my enemies. (11) Do not slay them, lest my people forget; scatter them by your power and bring them down, O Lord our shield. • Here he asks God to keep some alive so that the people will not forget their hatred, nor their need for God.

(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 rules 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 food, and pass the night if they are not satisfied. • A second time we have the image of begging, growling dogs, going away hungry.

(16) But I will sing of your power; yes, I will sing aloud of your mercy in the morning, for you have been my defense and refuge in the day of my trouble. (17) Unto you, O my strength, will I sing, for God is my defense, and the God of my mercy. • How quick we are to forget His mercies – our deliverance should, as it did for David, always cause us to praise!

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Psalms Bible Study

Psalms 58-60

Psalm 60: Through God we shall do valiantly
(1 ) <To the chief Musician upon Shushan-eduth, Michtam of David, to teach; when he strove with Aram-Naharaim and with Aram-Zobah, when Joab returned, and smote twelve thousand men of Edom in the Valley of Salt .> O God, you have cast us off, you have scattered us, you have been displeased; O turn yourself to us again. (2) You have made the earth to tremble; you have broken it. Heal its breaches, for it shakes. (3) You have showed your people hard things; you have made us to drink the wine of astonishment. (4) You have given a banner to those who fear you, that it may be displayed because of the truth. Selah. • Another teaching psalm; the name of the tune means “Lily of the Testimony, or Law.” This could be a reference to trumpets, because they opened outward like a flower, or it could be a reference to the beauty of God’s Word. • The Aram references are to different groups or tribes of Arameans (Syrians) against whom David fought. The commentator Albert Barnes says, “The allusion is to the transactions referred to in 2 Sam. 8 and 1 Chr. 18. In those chapters we learn that David made extensive conquests in the East, extending his victories over Moab, Syria, and Hamath, and subduing the country as far as the Euphrates.” It seems that the battle was hard and David was asking God’s help.

(5 ) That your beloved may be delivered, save with your right hand, and hear me. (6) God has spoken in his holiness, "I will rejoice, I will divide Shechem, and mete out the valley of Succoth. (7) Gilead is mine, and

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Psalms Bible Study

Psalms 58-60

Manasseh is mine; Ephraim also is the strength of my head; Judah is my lawgiver;” • Here God lays claim to the contested areas, stating He will rule them through the Tribe of Judah. (8) "Moab is my washpot; over Edom will I cast out my shoe: Philistia, triumph because of me." • These are pictures which make little sense in our culture, but they have to do with judgment. Here is a term of contempt which arises out of their practices of washing: He says He will wash His hands and feet in Moab. The reference to Edom may mean that He will step on their necks, a custom of the time to show victory over a defeated foe. • The statement to Philistia is thought by some to be ironic.

(9) Who will bring me into the strong city? Who will lead me into Edom? (10) Will not you, O God, who had cast us off? And you, O God, who did not go out with our armies? (11) Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man. (12) Through God we shall do valiantly, for it is he who shall tread down our enemies. • David knows it can only be God who will lead him into Edom. Although at first, God did not seem to go with them, he remains confident of ultimate victory through the Lord’s power.

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