Psalms 57

For the director of music. To the tune of “Do Not Destroy.” Of David. A miktam. When he had fled from Saul into the cave.

1 [a][b]Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me, for in you I take refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed.
2 I cry out to God Most High, to God, who vindicates me.
3 He sends from heaven and saves me, rebuking those who hotly pursue me—[c]God sends forth his love and his faithfulness.
4 I am in the midst of lions; I am forced to dwell among ravenous beasts— men whose teeth are spears and arrows, whose tongues are sharp swords.
5 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth.
6 They spread a net for my feet— I was bowed down in distress. They dug a pit in my path— but they have fallen into it themselves.
7 My heart, O God, is steadfast, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and make music.
8 Awake, my soul! Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn.
9 I will praise you, Lord, among the nations; I will sing of you among the peoples.
10 For great is your love, reaching to the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies.
11 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth.

Psalms 57 Commentary

Chapter 57

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.

Cross References 19

  • 1. Psalms 2:12; Psalms 9:9; Psalms 34:22
  • 2. S Ruth 2:12; S Matthew 23:37; Psalms 17:8
  • 3. Isaiah 26:20
  • 4. Psalms 138:8
  • 5. Psalms 18:9,16; Psalms 69:14; Psalms 142:6; Psalms 144:5,7
  • 6. Psalms 56:1
  • 7. Psalms 25:10; Psalms 40:11; Psalms 115:1
  • 8. S Psalms 35:17
  • 9. S Psalms 55:21; Proverbs 30:14
  • 10. ver 11; Psalms 108:5
  • 11. Psalms 10:9; Psalms 31:4; Psalms 140:5
  • 12. S Psalms 38:6; Psalms 145:14
  • 13. S Psalms 9:15; Psalms 35:7
  • 14. S Esther 6:13; Psalms 7:15; Proverbs 28:10; Ecclesiastes 10:8
  • 15. Psalms 112:7; Psalms 108:1
  • 16. Psalms 16:9; Psalms 30:12; Psalms 33:2; Psalms 149:3; Psalms 150:3
  • 17. S Psalms 36:5; Psalms 103:11
  • 18. S Psalms 8:1; Psalms 113:4
  • 19. S ver 5

Footnotes 3

  • [a]. In Hebrew texts 57:1-11 is numbered 57:2-12.
  • [b]. Title: Probably a literary or musical term
  • [c]. The Hebrew has "Selah" (a word of uncertain meaning) here and at the end of verse 6.

Chapter Summary

Psalms 57 Commentaries

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