Psalm 59

1650 psalter

The Righteous One’s appeal against apostate Israel, to the Lord’s might and mercy

David, as a son-in-law, is the subject of Saul’s jealousy and malice. His own home is not secure, but constantly watched by spies and conspirators as the title informs us. This vendetta was pursued, not because David had sinned or done wickedly, for indeed he protests his innocence. Things were said of him slanderously and subtly in order to defame him. The enemy, who was of the same nation and even family, had swords in their lips, stabbing, wounding, and destroying his character.

How grieving it is when men do not speak frankly and honestly, even in the church. It is best at such times to be wise in our reactions and avoid their intrigue, and betake ourselves to God as David did. He looked to God as his defence, and called Him, “The God of my mercy.” If the backbiters are strong and belch out their lies, God is stronger and will put them to confusion.

It is reminiscent of our Lord’s experience, of which we are told that the Pharisees, “watched Him,” and sought to kill Him.

Pastor Jeff O’ Neil

Recommended Tune: Bangor, Stroudwater


Psalm 59

¹My God, deliver me from those
That are mine enemies;
And do thou me defend from those
That up against me rise.

²Do thou deliver me from them
That work iniquity;
And give me safety from the men
Of bloody cruelty.

³For, lo, they for my soul lay wait:
The mighty do combine
Against me, Lord; not for my fault,
Nor any sin of mine.

⁴They run, and, without fault in me,
Themselves do ready make:
Awake to meet me with thy help;
And do thou notice take.

⁵Awake therefore, LORD God of hosts,
Thou God of Israel,
To visit heathen all: spare none
That wickedly rebel.

⁶At ev’ning they go to and fro;
They make great noise and sound,
Like to a dog, and often walk
About the city round.

⁷Behold, they belch out with their mouth,
And in their lips are swords:
For they do say thus, Who is he
That now doth hear our words?

⁸But thou, O LORD, shalt laugh at them,
And all the heathen mock.
⁹While he’s in pow’r I’ll wait on thee;
For God is my high rock.

¹⁰He of my mercy that is God
Betimes shall me prevent;
Upon mine en’mies God shall let
Me see mine heart’s content.

¹¹Them slay not, lest my folk forget;
But scatter them abroad
By thy strong pow’r; and bring them down,
O thou our shield and God.

¹²For their mouth’s sin, and for the words
That from their lips do fly,
Let them be taken in their pride;
Because they curse and lie.

¹³In wrath consume them, them consume,
That so they may not be:
And that in Jacob God doth rule
To th’ earth’s ends let them see.

¹⁴At ev’ning let thou them return,
Making great noise and sound,
Like to a dog, and often walk
About the city round.

¹⁵And let them wander up and down,
In seeking food to eat;
And let them grudge when they shall not
Be satisfied with meat.

¹⁶But of thy pow’r I’ll sing aloud;
At morn thy mercy praise:
For thou to me my refuge wast,
And tow’r, in troublous days.

¹⁷O God, thou art my strength, I will
Sing praises unto thee;
For God is my defence, a God
Of mercy unto me.