Psalm 58 and 59
- 58. When earthly rulers pervert Justice and ‘mete qut violence’, what can the righteous do? What will prove to them that ‘there is a God who judges on earth’? Notice the vivid imagery in verses 6-9.
- 59. Make a list of the different ways in which David addresses God here. How are the truths of the previous psalm applied here more personally to the psalmist’s own circumstances? Can you make some similar personal application?
For the occasion of this psalm see the title and 2 Sam. 8:13, 14. The circumstances are not wholly clear. It would seem that while David was engaged in a campaign against Syria (Aram), the Edomites invaded Judah from the south, creating a situation of grave danger. The psalm was written when David first heard the news.
- Note the content of David’s prayer. What does he do first (verses 1-5), second (verses 6-8), third (verses 9-12)?
- What can we learn from David’s example concerning the way: (a) to meet bad news and (b) to find help in God?
- Verse 6. Shechem west of the Jordan, Succoth east of it, thus representing the whole land.
- Verse 8. ‘Upon Edom’: better, ‘to Edom’, as in RV mg. Moab and Edom were to have a menial place in God’s household, as compared with Israel.
Psalm 61 and 62
Pss. 61-63 from another trilogy like 46-48. They were all most probably written shortly after David’s flight from Absalom (see 63 title) and should be read against the background of the story of 2 Sam. 15-17.
- 61. Consider David’s circumstances – a fugitive, his throne occupied by another, his life sought. What were his heart’s chief desires, as expressed in his prayers (verses 1-4)? Observe also his confident hope, and his wholehearted devotion (verses 5-8). Is he not in this a ‘type’ of our Lord?
- 62. How did David’s situation appear in the eyes of his enemies (verse 3), and how to the eye of faith leads to testimony?
Note. 62:11, 12. ‘One thing…two things’: a Hebrew idiom for ‘repeatedly’, here signifying that the truth David sets forth in these verses had sun: deep into his heart.
The title of the psalm assigns it to the time when David was crossing the wilderness of Judah, i.e., from Jerusalem to Jordan, in his flight from Absalom, as described in 2 Sam. 16. The psalm becomes one of joyous praise. The most satisfactory explanation of the change, and of David was given a vision of Jehovah as vivd and glorious as ever. He had seen him in the sanctuary, and it transformed for him the whole outlook.
- Consider how full of sorrow David’s heart must have been at leaving Jerusalem, and especially the sanctuary of God. See verse 1, and cf. 2 Sam. 15:24-30. Though he seemed outwardly to have lost everything, in what was he still able to rejoice?
- In what assurance about the future was David able to rest? Have you any similar confidence?
Psalm 64 and 65
- 64, like 58 and 59, has for its theme the certainty of God’s judgment upon the wicked. Ps. 65, on the other hand, is a psalm of praise to God, as the God of the whole earth, the only Saviour from sin, and the Giver of fruitful harvests.
- 64. How are the psalmist’s enemies described (verses 1-6)? What are the purpose and result of God’s judgment? What truths should we take to heart, and act on when in similar circumstances?
- 65. In verse 1, the psalmist says that praise is due to God. In the remaining verses, what can you find which moves you to praise God for all he is, and has done? Are the experiences mentioned in verses 3 and 4 known to you?