1 For the director of music. To the tune of “Do Not Destroy”. Of David. A miktam.
When Saul had sent men to watch David’s house in order to kill him. Deliver me from my enemies, O God; protect me from those who rise up against me. 2 Deliver me from evildoers and save me from bloodthirsty men.
3 See how they lie in wait for me! Fierce men conspire against me for no offence or sin of mine, O LORD. 4 I have done no wrong, yet they are ready to attack me. Arise to help me; look on my plight! 5 O LORD God Almighty, the God of Israel, rouse yourself to punish all the nations; show no mercy to wicked traitors. Selah
6 They return at evening, snarling like dogs, and prowl about the city. 7 See what they spew from their mouths—they spew out swords from their lips, and they say, “Who can hear us?” 8 But you, O LORD, laugh at them; you scoff at all those nations.
9 O my Strength, I watch for you; you, O God, are my fortress, 10 my loving God. God will go before me and will let me gloat over those who slander me. 11 But do not kill them, O Lord our shield, or my people will forget. In your might make them wander about, and bring them down. 12 For the sins of their mouths, for the words of their lips, let them be caught in their pride. For the curses and lies they utter, 13 consume them in wrath, consume them till they are no more. Then it will be known to the ends of the earth that God rules over Jacob. Selah
14 They return at evening, snarling like dogs, and prowl about the city. 15 They wander about for food and howl if not satisfied. 16 But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble.
17 O my Strength, I sing praise to you; you, O God, are my fortress, my loving God.
What God means to David
(Verses 1-2) David again asks God to deliver and protect him from his present wicked and bloodthirsty foes, King Saul’s men, who watch his house and plot to kill him. David’s night escape (1 Samuel 9:11) might be the background for Psalm 59.
(Verses 3-5) David knows he has done Saul no wrong as he faces the fierce conspiracy to attack him, so appeals to ‘the LORD God Almighty, the God of Israel’ who is far stronger than they are. David asks Him to punish opposing nations too and have no mercy on ‘wicked traitors’. David fights a physical battle for a physical victory over a physical foe. Christians fight on a spiritual level now. We fight by prayer, by trusting God’s written word (the Bible), and by our faith in God’s Living Word (Jesus Christ). We must show love and live to please the Lord. Like David, we ask God to ‘arise to help me’ and to ‘look on my plight’. We ask God to deal with any who oppose us.
(Verses 6-8) Psalm 59 echoes Psalm 55, as David’s enemy prowl ‘about the city at evening’ ‘snarling like dogs.’ Their violent words cut like swords. They imply that God cannot hear. God laughs at them and also at enemy nations. He is all-knowing.
(Verses 9-13) David trusts his loving God as his Strength, fortress, preparer of his way, shield, and sovereign King. If you receive Christ, God will also be that to you. David now watches for God and follows Him. He asks God to deal with his enemy, by making them wander about and by consuming them finally. He wants all to know that ‘God rules over Jacob’. Now, we want people across the world to be saved by trusting Christ and then following Him.
(Verses 14-17) As his foes like ‘prowling dogs’ prowl and howl for ‘food’ in the city, David praises his saving God, singing of His love, strength, and fortress-like refuge and protection in troubles. To save you forever Jesus paid for your sins, when punished in your place on the cross. He now lives. He loves, keeps and protects all trusting Him.