Psalms

Psalm 58-62

 


God Who Judges the Earth

Psalm 58 is a little crazy. It reads like it was written by someone very cynical at the time and not in any way thinking of God and righteousness, even though those words are used. In the first verse there is a reference to “gods” which my study says is meant to represent the rulers who were acting as if they had the power of God. While that makes sense with the way the psalmist speaks, it doesn’t make sense as a psalm. Most of these have been like hymns that we may sing even now, but this is a whole other experience. It’s almost a satire of what people believed was going on. I don’t know. It’s really weird. Here’s the whole thing, tell me what you think:

1Do you indeed decree what is right, you gods?b
Do you judge the children of man uprightly?
2No, in your hearts you devise wrongs;
your hands deal out violence on earth.

3The wicked are estranged from the womb;
they go astray from birth, speaking lies.
4They have venom like the venom of a serpent,
like the deaf adder that stops its ear,
5so that it does not hear the voice of charmers
or of the cunning enchanter.

6O God, break the teeth in their mouths;
tear out the fangs of the young lions, O LORD!
7Let them vanish like water that runs away;
when he aims his arrows, let them be blunted.
8Let them be like the snail that dissolves into slime,
like the stillborn child who never sees the sun.
9Sooner than your pots can feel the heat of thorns,
whether green or ablaze, may he sweep them away!c

10The righteous will rejoice when he sees the vengeance;
he will bathe his feet in the blood of the wicked.
11Mankind will say, “Surely there is a reward for the righteous;
surely there is a God who judges on earth.”


Deliver Me From My Enemies

Psalm 59 is written in honor of or to commemorate David’s flight from Saul and the pursuit of the guards after him. With this in mind, I get the tone and that he is totally right about what’s out there and his part in it all. Had I not known what it was specifically talking about, like if someone was talking like this near me, I’d be a lot more skeptical. If you don’t remember this part of the story between David and Saul, it’s here. The short answer is that David really didn’t do anything wrong in this case but is being pursued and his life threatened but he knows, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that God is on his side.


He Will Tread Down Our Foes

Psalm 60 is more of a lamentation. The people fighting in this battle are distraught that God does not appear to be with them and are crying out to Him. They know God loves them and can’t understand why He isn’t helping. They also seem sure that He’ll come back to them.


Lead Me to the Rock

Psalm 61 is short and sweet. It’s really just someone asking God to lead them to the rock where God will continue to protect them. This one doesn’t have anything to do with the last few that were about David’s life and is just this request to stay in His shelter.


My Soul Waits for God Alone

Psalm 62 is another one of those places in the Old Testament that makes the point for us that God is not about empty apologies. This is a short psalm but I love the last five verses.

8Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your heart before him;
God is a refuge for us. Selah

9Those of low estate are but a breath;
those of high estate are a delusion;
in the balances they go up;
they are together lighter than a breath.
10Put no trust in extortion;
set no vain hopes on robbery;
if riches increase, set not your heart on them.

11Once God has spoken;
twice have I heard this:
that power belongs to God,
12and that to you, O Lord, belongs steadfast love.
For you will render to a man
according to his work.

This really speaks to our time now.


Chapter links go to the ESV translations at Biblehub.com but I’m reading from the ESV Global Study Bible, which is available for free on the Kindle Reading App.

 

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