Week 19: Psalms 57-59

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Reading: Psalms 57-59

           Click on the link for the reading to read the Psalms for this week.  As we read, let us not do so in haste.  Take time to read each Psalm at least three times:  once to understand the content, once as a poem or song to feel the meaning, and once as a prayer to appropriate the Psalm into your life.   There will often be a hymn attached at the bottom of the page that helps bring meaning to one of the Psalms for the week.

 

PSALM 57: Your Glory Over All the Earth

            Verses 1-4 and 5-11 are the two parts of this psalm.  The first part opens with a double petition for God to be gracious that is supported by an extended statement of confidence that God will provide refuge and help from danger.  The second part begins with a statement that anticipates the downfall of the adversaries as though it had already come to pass.  The psalmist promises to praise the Lord in a worldwide setting.  This psalm articulates the remarkable conviction that God’s steadfast love and faithfulness are the pervasive, fundamental realities in the universe (vv 3, 10).   It would have been easy for the psalmist to conclude otherwise (vv 1, 3b, 4, 6).  Similarly, it would be easy for us to conclude otherwise as we look out upon a world full of hatred and hostility and that seems bent on destroying itself.  But this psalm is a reminder that the rule of God has always been experienced and proclaimed amid opposition.

 

PSALM 58: There is a God Who Judges

            Psalm 58 expresses the conviction that God ultimately rules the world and that God’s purposes will prevail.  The psalm is unusual in that it begins by directly addressing the perpetrators of evil rather than God.  Verse 3 shifts to a third-person description of the wicked.  Verses 6-9 are a prayer for justice and verses 10-11 voice the assurance that justice will be done.  What the righteous assert, they also pray for, and Jesus taught the disciples to pray in the same way.  The prayer for justice in verses 6-9 is, in essence, what Christians pray in the Lord’s prayer: “thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven . . . deliver us from evil.”  The psalmist does not enact revenge but submits the complaint to God for action.

 

PSALM 59: My God Shows Steadfast Love

            Psalm 59 has two parts: verses 1-10 and verses 11-17.  The parallel sections each contain an initial petition and complaint followed by an additional complaint and each concludes with an expression of assurance.  The psalm reminds us of a deeper reality, an alternative world, which is driven not by the lust for power but by the power of love.  This world is the world of God’s reign, and Psalm 59 proclaims it as the authentic “real world,” 

 

 

Song

This is the Psalm in hymn form.  Read or sing it through with melody to give the Psalm another dimension. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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