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Bible Commentaries

The Popular Commentary by Paul E. Kretzmann
Psalms 57



Verses 1-11

The True Confidence of Faith.

To the chief musician, Al-taschith, to be chanted according to the melody "Destroy not," which also referred to the critical circumstances connected with the event which occasioned the writing of the hymn, Michtam, a poem of epigrams, of David when he fled from Saul in the cave, 1Sa_22:1; 1Sa_24:1-4. Its contents may well be used by every believer who finds himself in difficult straits on account of the persecution of his enemies.

v. 1. Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me, for it is only the unmerited favor of God to which David appeals; for my soul trusteth in Thee, seeking refuge with the Lord alone; yea, in the shadow of Thy wings, a figure pointing out, in a most impressive manner, the full security under God's protection, Deu_22:11; Psa_91:1; Mat_23:37, will I make my refuge, until these calamities, the mischiefs put in operation by his enemies, be overpast, until there is no longer a sign of the ruinous danger threatening his life.

v. 2. I will cry unto God Most High, the great Ruler of the universe; unto God, that performeth all things for me, always accomplishing His purposes for the deliverance of His children.

v. 3. He shall send from heaven, in an extraordinary form of deliverance, if necessary, and save me from the reproach of him that would swallow me up, that is, even while the enemy pants after him in rage, snorting with greed to destroy him, David is sure of the Lord's deliverance. Selah. God shall send forth His mercy and His truth, His loving favor according to His faithful promise, as the messengers bringing deliverance, Psa_25:10; Psa_36:5.

v. 4. My soul is among lions, surrounded by them on all sides, and I lie even among them that are set on fire, those greedy with desire for murder, the fact that he is ready to lie down to sleep in the midst of such dangerous circumstances showing the firmness of his trust in God, even the sons of men, whose teeth are spears and arrows and their tongue a sharp sword, instruments of destruction.

v. 5. Be Thou exalted, O God, above the heavens, showing Himself in the sublimity of His majesty; let Thy glory be above all the earth, its light promising salvation to His children, but threatening death and destruction to His enemies.

v. 6. They have prepared a net for my steps, to capture him unawares; my soul is bowed down, the enemies having bent it down to the ground with their oppressions; they have digged a pit before me, into the midst whereof they are fallen themselves, their sudden and utter overthrow as a result of their own wickedness being emphasized. Selah.

v. 7. My heart is fixed, O God, ready, confident, fearless, my heart is fixed, in the certainty of victory; I will sing and give praise, both with voice and instrument.

v. 8. Awake up, my glory, his soul, his whole being should be aroused to the proper frame of mind, to give praise; awake, psaltery and harp, or, harp and zither, which he loved to play to the glory of God. I myself will awake early, arousing the very dawn in his eagerness to sing praises, urging the sun to rise that he may begin his matin service.

v. 9. I will praise Thee, O Lord, among the people, not only in his own private devotions, but out in public, where all men could hear his message of deliverance. I will sing unto Thee among the nations, going even beyond the bounds of Israel to bring his joyful news to all mankind.

v. 10. For Thy mercy is great unto the heavens, towering up so high, filling the entire universe, and Thy truth unto the clouds. And therefore the psalmist repeats his address of praise:

v. 11. Be Thou exalted, O God, above the heavens; let Thy glory be above all the earth, the God of Israel, of His Church, the one true God throughout eternity. Such is the spirit of praise which lives in the hearts of all believers.

Verses 1-10

Cheth. True Piety the Calling of the Believers. —

v. 57. Thou art my Portion, O Lord; I have said that I would keep Thy words. To realize at all times that God is his Portion, his Inheritance, and that for that reason he intends to observe the words of the Lord, this is the calling of the faithful, in this everyone who is a child of God fulfils his destiny.

v. 58. I entreated Thy favor, literally, "I appealed with supplications to Thy face," with my whole heart, begging for a manifestation of divine grace; be merciful unto me according to Thy word, the believer once more holding the Lord to His promise.

v. 59. I thought on my ways, carefully examining them from all sides to see whether they were in agreement with God's Word, and turned my feet unto Thy testimonies, deciding quickly in favor of following the Word of God all alone.

v. 60. I made haste, for the Lord delights in quick decisions in His favor, and delayed not to keep Thy commandments, always ready to exercise his piety in good works.

v. 61. The bands of the wicked have robbed me, rather, "the cords of the wicked have surrounded me," that is, they have laid their snares for him as they do for all children of God who show that their profession of godliness is sincere; but I have not forgotten Thy Law; in fact, the remembrance of the Word of God gives to the believer his wonderful strength.

v. 62. At midnight, as he meditates upon the wonderful manifestations of God's favor, I will rise to give thanks unto Thee because of Thy righteous judgments, to acknowledge with proper gratitude the judgments of God's righteousness.

v. 63. I am a companion of all them that fear Thee, whose piety causes them to seek companionship of people of their own way of thinking, and of them that keep Thy precepts. All believers are united by their common faith, in a common cause.

v. 64. The earth, O Lord, is full of Thy mercy, the evidences of His merciful blessings are everywhere to be found; teach me Thy statutes; for only the proper appreciation of the Word of God as the highest treasure given by God will cause one to realize the incomparable greatness of His mercy. All Christians are eager to possess the light, the consolation, and the strength of the Word of God.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Kretzmann, Paul E. Ph. D., D. D. "Commentary on Psalms 57:4". "Kretzmann's Popular Commentary". 1921-23.

Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, October 24th, 2020
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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