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Bible Commentaries

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Psalms 59

Verses 1-2

David first called out to God in prayer, requesting deliverance from his attackers. The men who lay in wait for him intended to murder him.

Verses 1-5

1. The conspiracy of David’s enemies 59:1-5

Verses 1-17

Psalms 59

The occasion for this individual lament psalm was evidently the event the writer of 1 Samuel recorded in Psalms 19:8-14, namely: Saul’s attempt to kill David in his bed at home. David asked God to defend him from the attacks of bloodthirsty men and to humiliate them so everyone might recognize God’s sovereignty.

"The focus of the psalm is on God-the Deliverer (Psalms 59:1-9) and the Judge (Psalms 59:10-17)." [Note: Wiersbe, The . . . Wisdom . . ., p. 201.]

Verses 3-4

The beleaguered psalmist explained the reason for his request. Violent men were laying a trap for him, even though he had done nothing to deserve their hostility.

Verses 4-5

David again cried out for divine help. He asked Yahweh as the God of armies and the God of Israel to come to his aid. He broadened his request to include his nation that suffered similarly at the hands of hostile Gentile neighbors.

Verses 6-7

The psalmist compared his enemies to wild dogs that gain courage with the cover of night to threaten arrogantly and attack. Their offensive weapons included their words that were similar to swords in their destructive power (cf. Psalms 55:21; Psalms 57:4; Psalms 64:6).

Verses 6-10

2. David’s triumph over his enemies 59:6-10

Verse 8

David knew that God felt no intimidation when He heard their threats. Even the wranglings of the nations did not disturb Him (cf. Psalms 2:4).

"From his perspective evil is ridiculous; it is self-destructive." [Note: VanGemeren, p. 411.]

Verses 9-10

The NIV translation, "O my Strength, I watch for you," expresses David’s trust in the Lord very well. Rather than feeling terrified by his assassins, David trusted in his Avenger.

Verses 11-13

3. David’s desire for God’s glory 59:11-13

David did not just want God to frustrate the attacks of his enemies. He desired that God would use their aggression as a lesson to many people of how God deals with those who oppose Him and His anointed.

Verses 14-15

Returning to the thought of his enemies behaving like wild dogs (Psalms 59:6-7), David reminded the Lord of their vicious attacks.

Verses 14-17

4. David’s joy in view of certain deliverance 59:14-17

Verses 16-17

In contrast to their behavior, the psalmist voiced his confident trust that God would frustrate his antagonists, as He had done often in the past. He looked forward to singing praises to the Lord for His strength, loyal love, and protection.

Even when our spiritual enemies threaten our security, we who are believers can trust in the Lord with great confidence. He will allow nothing to separate us from His love (cf. Romans 8:31-39). As we go through attacks, we should not only strengthen ourselves with reminders of His complete adequacy as our resource, but we should also pray for His glory.

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Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Psalms 59". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dcc/psalms-59.html. 2012.