Psalm 57:1-11 A Lament Psalm by David
Psalm 57:1-11 A Day In The Life
Psalm 57 is not only a mikhtam like the last psalm but it is also an al-tashheth, according to the superscription. You may have thought he pitched for the old Brooklyn Dodgers. But actually al-tashheth means, “destroy not.” Wiersbe believes al-tashheth was a melody that was used for psalms 58-59, and 75 as well as this one.
David had fled to Gath but had been protected by God. Then he fled to the cave of Adullam (cf. 1 Sam. 22). This psalm covers his lying down (v. 4) until his waking up (v. 8). It is a day in his life as a fugitive.
One of the best ways to study Scripture is to slow down and actually notice the specifics of what you are reading. The wise old yogi, Yogi Berra, famously said, “You can observe a lot by just watching.” It’s true. One of the most fruitful observations you can make is to note words and phrases that repeat. “Mercy” and “refuge” are repeated in verse 1, “send” is repeated in verse 3, “steadfast” in verse 7, and “awake” in verse 8. “Be exalted above the heavens, O God; let Your glory be above all the earth” is found in both verses 5 and 11. So what? Those all contribute to the theme of Psalm 57.
David is asking for mercy and refuge be sent from Heaven by God. The result will be that David will be steadfast and secure and alive to wake up the next day. God will end up being glorified (cf. John 14:13, 16:14).
David wants not to fly away as in Psalm 55:6 but to be sheltered under God’s wings (v. 1c). David will be secure despite being amongst lions (v. 4). Satan is like a lion (cf. 1 Pet. 5:8) but Jesus is a lion (cf. Rev. 5:5). His enemies have set up a trap for him but they’ve tripped and fallen into themselves (wait till we get to Ps. 64!).
Thought David can’t know 1 Corinthians 15:58 since it hasn’t been written yet, he knows the gist (v. 7). The thought causes him to rejoice. Acts 16:19-25 tells the story of Paul and Silas beating beaten, thrown in prison, then singing hymns. That’d be my first response. Wouldn’t it be yours? It should be (vv. 8-9, cf. Phil 4:4).
I love when this psalm says God should be exalted above the heavens (vv. 5, 11). Wouldn’t it be enough to be exalted on earth, below the heavens? What’s up above the heavens? Well, it’s Heaven (cf. 2 Cor. 12:1-4). God will be exalted in Heaven for His works!
David repeats the refrain twice to emphasize he is really serious about praising God as far as the highest Heaven. My mother used to say that something could stink to the high heavens. But I think it’s much better to pursue things that exalt God to the highest heavens.
Can you praise God for what He has done for you? As far as the highest Heaven? We should do that all day long. It should be the day in the life of a disciple.
Proverbs 11:9-11 My Kind Of Town
You can see why the book of Proverbs is sometimes expounded by the various themes in the book instead of going through verse by verse. If you notice a lot of repetition it’s because the several themes are repeated.
Again, we see the power of speech. It can be used to hurt people but also used to help people (v. 9). The tongue is like the rudder of a boat. It can turn a situation to good or evil (cf. James 3:4-5).
People’s mouths can effect situations that cause people to cheer or cause people to jeer (vv. 10-11).
As I write this, the city of Chicago is in turmoil due to the protestors of free speech. They have caused the city to be in chaos. Hopefully, justice will prevail and the city will once again be able to rejoice.