Thursday, April 5, 2012

Give Glory in the Midst of Trouble

[To the chief Musician, Altas'chith, Michtam of David, when he fled from Saul in the cave]

1 Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast.

2 I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me.

3 He shall send from heaven, and save me from the reproach of him that would swallow me up. Selah. God shall send forth his mercy and his truth.

4 My soul is among lions: and I lie even among them that are set on fire, even the sons of men, whose teeth are spears and arrows, and their tongue a sharp sword.

5 Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens; let thy glory be above all the earth.

6 They have prepared a net for my steps; my soul is bowed down: they have digged a pit before me, into the midst whereof they are fallen themselves. Selah.

7 My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise.

8 Awake up, my glory; awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake early.

9 I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people: I will sing unto thee among the nations.

10 For thy mercy is great unto the heavens, and thy truth unto the clouds.

11 Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: let thy glory be above all the earth.

—Psalm 57 KJV Bible

This is a psalm of David, in the song, David prays to God regarding David’s flight from Saul, who wanted to kill David. The psalm superscription says it is about the time that David fled from Saul and hid in the cave. This may be a reference to the events in 1 Samuel 24, when David and his troupes hid in a cave from Saul and his army, only to have Saul, unknowingly, walk into that very cave. If these are the events to which the psalm refers, it is not certain whether David completed the psalm before Saul happened upon the cave, or after. If before, then the latter half of the psalm would be David’s hope of deliverance. If after, then the latter half of the psalm reflects David’s joy at his actual deliverance from Saul’s pursuit.
The psalm superscription says that it is to be set to "Altas'chith"—Hebrew, meaning “do not destroy.” It is thought to be the title of a melody to which the psalm was to be performed. The reference also appears in Psalms 58, 59 and 75.

The psalm superscription describes it as the Hebrew “Mikhtam.” The meaning is uncertain. It is apparently derived from a verb meaning "to cover," and may indicate that the psalm deals with protection (covering) from one's enemies or that the psalm is to be recited silently—for example, with lips covering the mouth. This word is used in the superscriptions of Psalms 16 and 56 through 60.

The Hebrew "selah" is used in verses 3 and 6 of the psalm. The word is thought to be a musical notation to the choir director and musicians. It loosely translates as a break in the song or an instruction to pause and reflect, perhaps with a musical interlude. Some translators suggest the phrase "stop and listen." Others say that a more concise translation would be "let those with eyes see and with ears hear." The word "selah" has been compared to the word "amen" in that it stresses to the listener the importance of the preceding passage. The word "selah" is used in thirty-nine of the psalms.

In verses 1 through 6, David prays to God for deliverance. David addresses God as the one who does all things for David. In verse 3, David characterizes God using the Hebrew “hesed”—the faithful, everlasting, covenant love of God. This is variously translated as “lovingkindness,” “kindness,” “love,” and “mercy.” In verses 4 through 6, David describes Saul’s pursuing army as vicious and hungry lions that are surrounding David. David asks God to exalt and glorify Himself over the earth through His actions to deliver David. David then declares that though is enemy has prepared a trap for David, God will cause David’s enemy to fall into their own trap.

In verses 7 through 11, David praises God for delivering him. David expresses his confidence and joy in the Lord, intending to make music so loudly that it would cause even the sun to come up. David pledges to praise and glorify God among the unbelieving nations for God’s great love and faithfulness.

Father, when I feel surrounded by enemies bent on my destruction, help me to take joy in You. Remind me that whatever happens, You are with me. I praise and thank You for Your certain deliverance. May Your name be glorified over all the earth.


No comments:

Post a Comment