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Bible Commentaries

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Psalms 59



Verse 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 enemies59:1-5

Verses 1-17

Psalm 59

The occasion for this individual lament psalm was evidently the event the writer of1Samuel recorded in Psalm 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 ( Psalm 59:1-9) and the Judge ( Psalm 59:10-17)." [Note: Wiersbe, The . . . Wisdom . . ., p201.]

Verse 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.

Verse 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.

Verse 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. Psalm 55:21; Psalm 57:4; Psalm 64:6).

Verses 6-10

2. David"s triumph over his enemies59:6-10

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. Psalm 2:4).

"From his perspective evil is ridiculous; it is self-destructive." [Note: VanGemeren, p411.]

Verse 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 glory59:11-13

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.

Verse 14-15

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

Verses 14-17

4. David"s joy in view of certain deliverance59:14-17

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

Bibliography Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Psalms 59:4". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". 2012.

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