Meditations on the Psalms #124

Day 124

Psalm 57: Read here –

This is one of four ‘destruction’ psalms, where there is a distinct declaration of the annihilation of the wicked and the preservation of the righteous. The cave was at Adullam, (1 Samuel 22:1.) When he fled from Saul into the cave, he had been through several near-death terrors (c.f. Psalm 56). David came to the Cave alone, discouraged, and in continued danger. 

David did not say ‘my soul trusts in you’ (v1) to earn the mercy of God; mercy can’t be earned. He said it to tell God that He was David’s only hope.  

Jesus used this same figure of speech from v1 to show his love and desired care for Jerusalem in Matthew 23:37. Just as a parent bird completely shields her brood from evil and cherishes them with the warmth of her own heart, covering them with her wings, so likewise does the condescending God, and he has the perfection of a parent’s love. 

Notice that David does not call the cave his refuge, though it was a refuge in a certain physical sense. Rather it is God whom he calls his refuge. 

David came to the cave alone, and God was his only help. Yet he was confident, knowing as a military man the strategic value of high ground in battle. He looked for help from the Most High who occupied the greatest high ground of all: heaven. 

The ‘Selah’ at the end of the clause(v3) is unusual in the middle of a verse; but it may be intended to underscore the sinfulness of the enemy, and so corresponds with the other Selah in v6, which is also in an unusual place, and points attention to the enemy’s ruin. 

In describing his great disadvantage, and powerful enemies (v4) he hoped to appeal to the mercy of God. In those days there would have been lions prowling around in the wilderness. David has used this image of those who sought his life. Peter used the same image in 1Pet5:8 of the devil prowling around like a roaring lion, seeking to devour us. Is this not how David felt at this moment in his life?  

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