David begins with prayer and complaint. (1-6) He concludes with joy and praise. (7-11)
Verses 1-6 All David's dependence is upon God. The most eminent believers need often repeat the publican's prayer, "God be merciful to me a sinner." But if our souls trust in the Lord, this may assure us, in our utmost dangers, that our calamities will at length be overpast, and in the mean time, by faith and prayer, we must make him our refuge. Though God be most high, yet he condescends so low, as to take care that all things are made to work for good to his people. This is a good reason why we should pray earnestly. Look which way we will on this earth, refuge fails, no help appears; but we may look for it from heaven. If we have fled from the wrath to come, unto Jesus Christ, he that performed all things needful to purchase the salvation of his people, will do for us and in us all things needful for our enjoyment of it. It made David droop to think there should be those that bore him so much ill-will. But the mischief they designed against him, returned on themselves. And when David was in the greatest distress and disgrace, he did not pray, Lord, exalt me, but, Lord, exalt thine own name. Our best encouragement in prayer, is taken from the glory of God, and to that, more than to our own comfort, we should have regard in all our petitions for mercy.
Verses 7-11 By lively faith, David's prayers and complaints are at once turned into praises. His heart is fixed; it is prepared for every event, being stayed upon God. If by the grace of God we are brought into this even, composed frame of mind, we have great reason to be thankful. Nothing is done to purpose, in religion, unless it is done with the heart. The heart must be fixed for the duty, put in frame for it; fixed in the duty by close attention. Our tongue is our glory, and never more so than when praising God; dull and sleepy devotions will never be acceptable to God. Let us awake early in the morning, to begin the day with God; early in the beginning of a mercy. When God comes toward us with his favours, let us go forth to meet him with our praises. David desired to bring others to join in praising God; and in his psalms, he is still praising God among the people, singing to Him among the nations. Let us seek to have our hearts fixed to praise his boundless mercy and unfailing faithfulness; and to glorify him with body, soul, and spirit, which are his. Let us earnestly pray that the blessings of the gospel may be sent through every land.
Psalms 57:1-11 . Altaschith--or, "Destroy not." This is perhaps an enigmatical allusion to the critical circumstances connected with the history, for which compare 1 Samuel 22:1 , 26:1-3 . In Moses' prayer ( Deuteronomy 9:26 ) it is a prominent petition deprecating God's anger against the people. This explanation suits the fifty-eighth and fifty-ninth also. Asaph uses it for the seventy-fifth, in the scope of which there is allusion to some emergency. an earnest cry for divine aid, the Psalmist adds, as often, the language of praise, in the assured hope of a favorable hearing.
1. my soul--or self, or life, which is threatened.
shadow of thy wings--( Psalms 17:8 , 36:7 ).
calamities--literally, "mischiefs" ( Psalms 52:2 , 55:10 ).
2. performeth--or, completes what He has begun.
3. from . . . swallow me up--that pants in rage after me ( Psalms 56:2 ).
mercy and . . . truth--( Psalms 25:10 , 36:5 ), as messengers ( Psalms 43:3 ) sent to deliver him.
4. The mingled figures of wild beasts ( Psalms 10:9 , 17:12 ) and weapons of war ( Psalms 11:2 ) heighten the picture of danger.
whose . . . tongue--or slanders.
5. This doxology illustrates his view of the connection of his deliverance with God's glory.
6. (Compare Psalms 7:15 , Psalms 9:15 Psalms 9:16 ).
7. I will . . . praise--both with voice and instrument.
8. Hence--he addresses his glory, or tongue ( Psalms 16:9 , 30:12 ), and his psaltery, or lute, and harp.
I myself . . . early--literally, "I will awaken dawn," poetically expressing his zeal and diligence.
9, 10. As His mercy and truth, so shall His praise, fill the universe.