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PSALM 57

A VERSE-BY-VERSE EXPOSITION

 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
II Timothy 2:15

 

 Psalm 57

(To the chief Musician, Altaschith, Michtam of David, when he fled from Saul in the cave.)

Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast.

I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me.

He shall send from heaven, and save me from the reproach of him that would swallow me up. Selah. God shall send forth his mercy and his truth.

My soul is among lions: and I lie even among them that are set on fire, even the sons of men, whose teeth are spears and arrows, and their tongue a sharp sword.

Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens; let thy glory be above all the earth.

They have prepared a net for my steps; my soul is bowed down: they have digged a pit before me, into the midst whereof they are fallen themselves. Selah.

My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise.

Awake up, my glory; awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake early.

I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people: I will sing unto thee among the nations.

For thy mercy is great unto the heavens, and thy truth unto the clouds.

Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: let thy glory be above all the earth.

 

LESSON 1 ...

First we must examine the Psalm's "superscript," the wording placed above verse one in our Bibles.  I believe the Holy Spirit has inspired that too.

Here it is:  "To the chief Musician, Altaschith, Michtam of David, when he fled from Saul in the cave"

An inscription to the "chief musician" is thought to be a signal that the Psalm will be sung by the great Levitical choirs in the Jewish public worship of Almighty God! The added fact that verses 5 and 11 are identical, like the "chorus" or "refrain" in our present hymn-books, adds strength to this view of Psalm 57.

"Chief Musician," the whole term, translates one Hebrew verb.  "Natzsach" means to excel!  To be preeminent!  To be perpetual!  To oversee!  (Sounds like Jesus to me! Is this song dedicated to Him?)  This special verb as used here is in the Piel stem also, telling us that the action described is intense and dramatic!

"Altashith" means "do not destroy!"  That's a literal rendering of the Hebrew words "al tashhith."  The Holy Spirit did not want this poem to be discarded or ignored in any way!  He wanted it used audibly and prominently!

Then the word "Michtam" must be considered.  It has several suggested meanings. One is "golden!"  The Psalm in God's estimation is pure gold, precious, valuable! Another meaning might be "engraved."  Let these words "cut themselves" into your heart and mind ... they are worthy!  A third idea is "hidden," telling us that there is hidden treasure in this paragraph of God's Word!

Then Psalm 57 tells us the circumstances in which it was penned ... "When David fled from Saul in the cave."  Here David was at one of his lowest moments ever.  He was in grave danger.

The good thing about the Psalm being so labeled is that we get to learn how the Man of God handled himself during this time of depression and danger!

Maybe through his actions we can learn secrets to victory over our trials too!

Let go on to verse one ... but not without pondering the beautiful truths illustrated in this one short "superscript!"  I would say it's a SUPERscript for sure!

                                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 2 ...

The first verse of Psalm 57 is critical to an understanding of the whole passage.

"Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast."

Obviously David is in trouble!

The word "calamities" is in Hebrew "havvah" and means a chasm or hole or pit that signifies ruin!  It indicates a "disaster!"  Saul is literally chasing David and trying to kill him.  This is a life threatening situation.

David here cries for God's "mercy."  The specific noun the Holy Spirit uses is "hanan" and means to show favor or to be gracious or to pity someone!  He is actually asking God to bow down (to come down) and help Him with mighty power! Note that he twice asks this of the Lord.

Then the verb "trusteth" means to "flee for refuge!"  David imagines God as a great Fortress or Castle to Whom He can run for protection!

Next the King pictures our God as a mother hen ... under Whose wings he can hide! Did Jesus have that in mind when he spoke the words of Matthew 23:37?  "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!"

Or maybe better yet the Psalmist remembered the Holy of Holies in the Tabernacle and recalled the Ark of the Covenant placed there.  The Mercy Seat (sprinkled and stained with Blood annually) sat on top of the Ark and was covered by by two Cherubim (angels) with outstretched wings!  Are those the Wings David is mentioning?  Is David seeking safety in the very Presence of the Almighty?  We too can come boldly to the very Throne of Grace according to Hebrews 4:16.

And a "refuge" is a hiding place! 

To depict something that is "overpast" the Bible uses the verb "abar," which means to take away or to do away with or to cross over!  David here is speaking with faith in his heart.  His danger is ever present with him ... but His God is able to remove it altogether in His time!  The King is believing God for future victory even as he speaks from the depths of the cave!

With godly attitudes like these ... "calamities" don't really have much of a chance in discouraging or hindering a child of God!

Praise the Lord!

                                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 3 ...

The second verse of Psalm 57 reads:  "I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me."

David sure knew where to go for help, didn't he?

That verb "cry" is "qara" in Hebrew and means to call out loud!  This is NOT silent prayer!  David is praying in that cold dark cave ... his voice no doubt echoing throughout its many recesses ... beseeching God for help in the crisis!

The Name for God here is unusual too.  While He is called "The Most High" often ... the Title "God the Most High" is rare.  In Hebrew it is spelled "Elohim Elyon." Usually this Name is abbreviated and is just "El Elyon."

Why the plural ("Elohim") form here? 

Possibly because it has "hints" of the Trinity in It!  Now we do not worship three Gods ... just One.  But the One God we  serve is a Triune Being Who exhibits Himself in three Persons.  The Father, The Son and the Holy Spirit are One, All co-equal and co-eternal and co-divine!

David here is in such dire circumstances that He needs ALL of God to benefit him! (We yet today can pray to the Father through Jesus' Name while being motivated and energized by the Holy Spirit!)  All three Members of the Godhead are implored on David's behalf!

No wonder things got "performed!"

But back to the Name of God here ... especially in relation to His being the "Most High!"  I have found 49 times the term is used in Scripture.

We are told several things about God when He is emphasized as "Most High."  He is "The Possessor of heaven and earth!"  (Genesis 14:19)  That's the God David needs! God even owns the cave in which David is hiding!

He is the Ruler of the universe.  His authority is incomparable.  He is the Deliverer of His people!  "And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand."  (Genesis 14:20)

He is also known for His Knowledge!  He is omniscient or all-knowing.  Numbers 24:16 mentions one who ... "knew the knowledge of the most High."  (Wow!)  While David did not know where the enemy was ... God did!  Also see Psalm 73:11.

He is the Controller of nations too!  "When the most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel."  (Deuteronomy 32:8)  Of course then He can handle Israel ... and her king!

And the Most High God gives counsel, which David badly needed!  "Because they rebelled against the words of God, and contemned the counsel of the most High." Psalm 107:11

And what is the proper response to this Most High God?  Hosea 11:7 tells us.  "And my people are bent to backsliding from me: though they called them to the most High, none at all would exalt him."   He is to be exalted!  Yes!  (And that's exactly what David does the rest of this Psalm!)

But, watch this.

God has done some things for David.  In fact, the King says that God has "performed" all things for him!

The verb here is "gamar" and means to bring to an end, to complete, to accomplish or to perfect!  It is only used 4 other times in the whole Bible!  Here they are:

In Psalm 7:8 it's rendered "come to an end!"  See:  "Oh let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end; but establish the just: for the righteous God trieth the hearts and reins."  God can bring all David's troubles to a quick end ... anytime He chooses.

In Psalm 12:1 it is translated "ceaseth" in the King James Bible.  God can "cease" David's trials too!

It is "fail" in Psalm 77:8.  God the Most High can make David's enemies fail!  He can frustrate their wicked plans! 

And yet David is wise enough to know that even in his calamities ... God is working on him, training him and maturing him for future spiritual growth!  Here's the other time our word is used:  Psalm 138:8 --- "The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands."  God is "perfecting" King David ... even with Saul's threatenings!

The stem from which our verb "perfect" comes ... GMR in Hebrew ... is also the spelling of the proper name Gomer.  That is the name of the Prophet Hosea's wife! The one who sinned and needed so much grace and love and forgiveness!  Aren't you glad God "performed" the Gospel on your behalf?  Sending His only begotten Son to die on Calvary that we might be saved!

What performance!

And if He did the BIG THING that well ... saving our souls ... how do you think He will perform on the little things, like getting us out of the caves of life?

That question really answers itself, doesn't it?

                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 4:

The third verse of Psalm 57 is powerful!

David, in a dark cave somewhere, is running for his life.  King Saul is determined to kill him.

Yet David trusts the Lord!

"He shall send from heaven, and save me from the reproach of him that would swallow me up. Selah. God shall send forth his mercy and his truth."  Psalm 57:3

See that there are some who would "swallow up" David!  This verb is "shaaph" and actually means "to gasp or pant after or breathe heavily" and is used in Hebrew to indicate "snuffing up" something or "swallowing" it completely!

Folks are chasing David vehemently.

An additional burden to our young hero is that those enemies hold him in "reproach."  As a noun "charaph" means blasphemy, injurious speech, verbal abuse or even a taunt.  David does not enjoy being hated and ridiculed.  After all, He is to be the next ruling King of Israel.

He asks God to "save" him!  This verb is "yasha" and means to deliver or preserve or defend or rescue!  It is the Hebrew root for the Greek word that gives us Saviour!  David, in type and symbol here, is calling upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ!  Remember Romans 10:13 --- "Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."

And watch David's faith.  Although deliverance has not yet come ... with him still being in that dangerous cave ... the young Christian trusts that the Lord will yet bring him out of the pit!  "He shall send from Heaven!"  That's thanking God today for a victory that's coming tomorrow!  Praising God for His future acts!  That verb "send" has an "imperfect" Hebrew sense of timing ... meaning this action is not yet complete!  David believed God to be sending and sending and still sending some more help day by day ... help to deliver him ultimately from danger!  On-going continual durative help!

But watch David's definition for help!

He is not expecting an armored tank or a jet fighter or even a small army to come ... just God's MERCY and TRUTH!  "God shall send forth his mercy and his truth."

Mercy is here the great Old Testament word "hesed!"  God's faithful covenant based lovingkindness!

And truth is "emeth" which means surety and faithfulness as well as veracity! God is steady and trustworthy and will not fail David in his hour of need.  One can depend on Him!

David doesn't have to have money or gifts ... He just longs for God's MERCY and GRACE!

After all ... if you have Jesus, you have it All anyway!

Like Paul said:  "Our sufficiency is of God."  2 Corinthians 3:5

                                                                                  --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 5:

David is in a place of great danger!

Yet he unreservedly trusts God for safety!

"My soul is among lions: and I lie even among them that are set on fire, even the sons of men, whose teeth are spears and arrows, and their tongue a sharp sword."  Isaiah 57:4

David is feeling the wrath of his approaching enemies!

He classifies them as lions!  I guess they are just like their father, the devil, who is also a roaring lion according to 1 Peter 5:8.  Those lions "devour."  That Greek verb Peter used means "to swallow down!"

He "lies"  or rests or sleeps ("shakab" in Hebrew) among these wicked folks!  They are all around him!  So David believes Psalm 46:1 --- "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."  (Once in 1st Samuel 24 Saul the King came into the very cave where David was hiding!)

The wicked are further characterized as being "set on fire!"  The Hebrew expression is "lahat" and means to burn or to kindle or to be aflame!  James puts this word picture into context when he reminds us that evil words are fiery too!  "And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell."  James 3:6

"Sons of men" are literally the sons of Adam here!   Adam who first sinned, passing that iniquity down to us all!  "By one man (Adam) sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned."  Romans 5:12

"Teeth," a noun, is used to represent the whole mouth, signifying primarily one's words!  The conversation of the wicked here is compared to "spears and arrows."  A spear is a javelin and is so translated 6 times in the King James Version.  For an exampleof words being compared to arrows ... see Psalm 64:2 which speaks of "the workers of iniquity who whet their tongue like a sword, and bend their bows to shoot their arrows, even bitter words."  Wow!

David further notes that such wicked tongues are like swords too!  While spears and arrows are designed to hurt at a distance ... swords inflict pain and death up close! The wicked use both strategies!  The word is also used to mean a knife or dagger.  I just noticed something.  The Word of God is like a sword in both Ephesians 6:17 and Hebrews 4:12!  Now the words of ungodly men are likened unto the same thing! With this exception ... God's Word brings LIFE and sinful man's words bring DEATH! Solomon says this in Proverbs 18:21 --- "Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof."

What danger here surrounds young David ... but he brings it all to Jesus!

He is our Defender!

                                                                         --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 6:

Today we look at verse 5 of Psalm 57 ... which is also verse 11 of the same Psalm!  It looks to me like these beautiful lines serve as a sort of "chorus" or "refrain" for the whole chapter. 

"Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens; let thy glory be above all the earth." Psalm 57:5

The first verb "be exalted" is in the imperative mood!  The Psalmist believes this to be essential!  God just MUST be exalted! 

And the specific verb used ("rum" but pronounced room in Hebrew) means to lift up or to rise or to extol.  This is the very idea John the Baptist conceptualized when He said of Jesus ... "He must increase, but I must decrease."  John 3:30

The verb's first use in all the Bible occurs in Genesis 7:17 where the Ark of Noah is "lifted up above the earth!"  (That Ark is a Type of Christ Jesus our Lord!)

Notice too that God is to be exalted above the heavens!  He is on earth.  He is in Heaven!  Now He is above the Heavens?  Where is He not?  He is everywhere!  He is omnipresent!

The "glory" of God (in Hebrew = "kabod") means literally His "heaviness" or "gravity" but in King James language it is God's honor or splendor and is perhaps the expression for the sum of all His attributes!

Concerning God's glory being elevated above all the earth, David had not himself seen all the earth!  He did not know its scope or size or position in the solar system! But He did know that His God was bigger than the planet on which he lived!  In this present day of "earth worship"  how we need to exalt God higher and higher ... even above this globe He created years ago!

Verse 5 is both a word of prayer and a word of praise!  But isn't that proper? 

All our prayers should be heavily loaded with praise!

Perhaps David even feels that if God is exalted ... it really does not matter if he is in a cave!

Or maybe he even believes that the more he exalts Elohim God ... the more his own condition will improve too.

Either way, God is being uplifted! 

And for that alone we should praise His Name.

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 7:

Look at the dangers which surrounded young David!

"They have prepared a net for my steps; my soul is bowed down: they have digged a pit before me, into the midst whereof they are fallen themselves. Selah."  Psalm 57:6

This is a full verse of Scripture!

It suggests four looks that the godly David took ... from the cave where he was hiding from a wicked murderous King (Saul).

He looks without ... and sees a net prepared for his feet.  The enemy is hunting him as if he were a wild animal!

He looks within ... and sees discouragement or maybe even depression!  His soul is "bowed down."

He looks ahead ... and sees a pit prepared for his destruction!  That's another "hunting" tactic!

Finally he looks down ... and sees that the pit designed for his destruction is now the prison house of the very enemies who dug it!  They fell into their own pit!

But it is so obvious that David would have never experienced the faith of survive this ordeal had he not been looking another direction too!

He must have looked up!

He did!

Verse 7 (tomorrow, Lord willing) proves that!

"My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise."

Amen!

Today's we've seen the KEY to victory ... when you're in a cave!

                                                                                 --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 8:

To be hidden in a cave and chased by an enemy, David sure has a victorious attitude!

Listen to him:  "My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise."  Psalm 57:7

Once David renews his focus on God's Mercy and Truth ... all is well!

He did that back in verse 3.  "He (God) shall send from heaven, and save me from the reproach of him that would swallow me up. Selah. God shall send forth his mercy and his truth."

The verb "fixed" is "kun" in Hebrew and means established!  Or set!  Or made firm!  Let me show you the first use of the verb in all Scripture:  "And for that the dream was doubled unto Pharaoh twice; it is because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass."  Genesis 41:32

God has "established" David's heart!  He has given our Psalmist friend peace and assurance!

Using this one little word "kun," a truth is immediately seen in verses 6 and 7 of our Psalm.  In verse 6 the enemy prepared ("kun") a net for David's feet, trying to capture and kill him!  But by verse 7 God has "fixed" ("kun" again) David's heart!

See it? 

The devil wants to "fix" a trap for you!

The Lord wants to "fix" YOU!  Your very heart!

Satan seeks to hurt.

The dear Lord seeks to heal!

And do notice the result of such a God-given peace:  a soul that sings and gives praises to God!

That verb "sing" (in Hebrew = "shiyr") means literally "to travel" or "to turn about." The idea pictured here is one who sings everywhere he goes!  No matter what life brings him, he rejoices in the Lord!

Now that's victory!

And the verb "praise" is "zamar."  This one is a little unusual!  Initially we are taught that it had the idea of plucking or striking (strings on an instrument) with one's fingers.  Then it came to mean making any kind of joyful noise (unto the Lord in our context here)!  David, being a musician, would have been drawn to such terminology.  This is his own way of saying he's going to magnify and uplift His Lord for the rest of his life!

Amen!

What resolve!

What determination!

What beautiful faith!

And all this ... while he was in danger in a cave!

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 9:

Verse 8 is interesting!

"Awake up, my glory; awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake early."  Psalm 57:8

David, the sweet Psalmist of Israel, even while hiding in a cave ... in great danger, has determined to praise God!

In fact, it appears that he plans to do so early in the morning!

The Hebrew construction of "I myself will awake early" is unique!  It is structured to read like this:  David says, "I will stir (or awake) the very dawn!"  In other words, David will be up and praising God ... before the sun even rises!

He will be ahead of the sun, which also praises God according to Psalms 19 and 148 and 150!

(See Psalm 119:148 for the same kind of thought, with the night watches in view! David there is going to meditate in the Word of God before the late night hours! "Mine eyes prevent the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word.")

And David does not plan to praise God quietly either!

He has with him his psaltery and harp, two stringed instruments.  David was a musician.  "And David and all the house of Israel played before the LORD on all manner of instruments made of fir wood, even on harps, and on psalteries, and on timbrels, and on cornets, and on cymbals."  2 Samuel 6:5

Actually, according to 2 Chronicles 7:6, David built such instruments of praise. "And the priests waited on their offices: the Levites also with instruments of musick of the LORD, which David the king had made to praise the LORD, because his mercy endureth for ever, when David praised by their ministry; and the priests sounded trumpets before them, and all Israel stood."

According to Amos 6:5 David invented them!

And note too that David is calling upon the very BEST of himself to praise God! "Awake, my glory," and praise the Lord!

Whatever his "glory" is ... it's the most honorable part of the young king-to-be!

Are we giving God our very best?

The BEST of our days?

The BEST of our nights?

The BEST (or first) of our incomes?

The BEST of our talents?

Yes! 

Yes!  He deserves it all!

And it's all the more amazing when this praising is done from the dark caverns of a cave ... with one's enemy close at hand!

Wow!

                                                                            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 10:

Talk about resolve ... and determination!

With his life still in constant danger, David purposes to do something.

Let's listen to him:  "I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people: I will sing unto thee among the nations."  Psalm 57:9

David, running for his life, is hiding from dangerous King Saul in a cave!  We know that from the Psalm's "superscript,"  which says "To the Chief Musician ... Michtam of David, when he fled from Saul in the cave."

As far as we can tell, here in verse 9 the circumstances have not changed.  David still faces the same "calamities" he was confronting back in verse 1. 

BUT his attitude and spirit sure have soared!

Don't misunderstand me now. He seemed to already have victory when this whole thing started.

Verse 1 proves that I think:  "Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast."

Yet he there still had one eye on the dangers and another eye on the Lord!

But by the time he writes verse 9 ... there's no more mention of Saul at all!

It's all about the dear Lord!

Let's read it again:  "I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people: I will sing unto thee among the nations."

The verb "praise" here is great!  In Hebrew it's spelled "yadah" and initially means "to throw, hurl or shoot" something!  David, by the most basic rules of etymology, is "hurling" words of thanks and praise toward heaven ... to the Almighty God who loves and protects him!  Shooting thoughts of gratefulness to Glory!

"Yadah" in the King James Bible is translated occasionally as "shoot" or "cast" or "cast out."  But most often it is rendered as "give thanks" (32 times) and "praise" (53 times).

Additionally, the verb is a Hiphil imperfect grammatically speaking.  It is built on the "causative" stem in Hebrew, meaning there is some CAUSE that has triggered David's praise!  Yes, God's Mercy and Truth!  See verse 3:  "He (God) shall send from heaven, and save me from the reproach of him that would swallow me up. Selah. God shall send forth his mercy and his truth."

The "imperfect" designation of this verb means the action is incomplete.  David is praising God habitually or continually!  He is not through yet ... thanking God!

Also the verb is built on the Hebrew noun stem "yad" that means one's "hand!"  Do you see any connection between your "hand" ... and praising God?  I sure do!  For example, Psalm 63:4 --- "Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name."

Wow!

Then David is going to praise God before the "people" (in Hebrew = "am"). These are the Jews!

But notice immediately that he has also decided to praise God also before the "nations."  These are the Gentiles!  (In Hebrew = "laom")

Everybody is going to hear about the Great God of Israel ... from the lips of King David!  (I would say he has done that very thing too!  Through the many inspired Psalms he's left us!)

And when David says that he will "sing" unto the nations, he uses a verb ("zamar") that literally means to play a musical instrument with one's fingers!  I can imagine him singing and playing now!

Truly his heart is "fixed!"  (See verse 7.)

Firm ... in its disposition of uplifting our dear Lord!

Praise His Name!

This is truly one great verse!

                                                                        --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 11:

How very high David soars in this 57th Psalm!

And perhaps verse 10 is at the very heart of it all!

David, speaking to the Lord God, says:  "For thy mercy is great unto the heavens, and thy truth unto the clouds."  Psalm 57:10

"Mercy" is the key Hebrew word "hesed" once again.  It speaks of God's lovingkindness.  Once even it is translated "pity" in the King James Version of Scripture.  Twelve times it is "goodness" also. 

The adjective "great" (in Hebrew = "gadol") means mighty or high or loud or big in magnitude and extent!  The first time it is used in the Bible is in Genesis 1:16 where the sun is the "greater" light to rule the day!  That sun is a type of Jesus Christ also!

And the noun "heavens," being plural, suggests the Jewish idea of the vastness of the regions beyond this life!  Paul speaks about being "caught up into the third heaven" too.  (2nd Corinthians 12:2)

God's mercy, here being described in a vertical manner, reaches from the lowest depths of sin all the way to the glorious abode of Almighty God!  What scope!  The first time "hesed" is used in the Bible is in Genesis 19:19 where God's mercy is multiplied!

But next David immediately extols God's Truth!

Again, "For thy mercy is great unto the heavens, and thy truth unto the clouds."

Mercy and Truth always go together!

I have actually found 22 times in the Bible where these two "twin" words occur ... each time in the same verse!

God's Mercy hints at His gracious kindness.

God's Truth hints at His unbending Holiness!

God's Mercy saves the lost.

God's Truth judges iniquity!

God's Mercy is always acceptable ... especially when trouble comes!

Yet God's Truth is often rejected ... causing much trouble to come!

And just where is the prefect Fullness Of Mercy and Truth to be found?

Are they ever completely present in one person?

Why, yes!  In Jesus!  Of course!

I'll just let the Disciple John explain it:  "And the Word (Jesus) was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."  John 1:14

Did you see that?

Jesus is full of Grace (a first cousin of Mercy) and Truth!

He is God!

The noun for "clouds" (in Hebrew = "shachaq") also means the sky (7times in the Old Testament)!  David looked upward and saw miles and miles of clouds billowing heavenward.  As he did so he thought, "My God's Truth excels them all!" 

By the way, that word "truth" (in Hebrew = "emeth") certainly indicates the absence of error or deceit ... but also means faithfulness or surety! 

Our God can never lie!  That is impossible!  He IS Truth!  (John 14:6)

But ... He is also truth all the time!  Never erring!  Hence ... faithful!  The Same yesterday, today and for ever!  So says Hebrews 13:8.

Now, lastly, look at this:

Back in verse 3 God's Mercy and Truth come down to earth!  Reaching as low as you and me ... and the Psalmist!  All the way into that cave where David was hiding! Read it with me:  "He (our Lord God) shall send from heaven, and save me from the reproach of him that would swallow me up. Selah. God shall send forth his mercy and his truth."

Then in verse 10, that same Mercy and Truth have abundantly overflowed, reaching upward, through the very clouds right into and above the heavens!

Over-arching and super-abounding Mercy and Truth!

It's just like Psalm 8:1 declares:  "O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens."

One who believes in a God so great ... so Mercy and Truth filled ... can't be in a cave very long!

He's coming out!

                                                                            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 12:

The last verse of Psalm 57 simply repeats the fifth verse!

Word for word!

"Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens; let thy glory be above all the earth."  Psalm 57:5

"Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: let thy glory be above all the earth."  Psalm 57:11

Why the repetition?

We know it's not "vain" repetition.  Jesus forbids that in Matthew 6:7.

Perhaps it's for emphasis.

Maybe it serves as the refrain or chorus for the Psalm as the great Levitical Choirs sing its praises to God!

Or maybe the Holy Spirit is highlighting another Truth in this second rendition of the verse!

That's my evaluation anyway.

In the first use of this verse (verse 5) in our specific Text (Psalm 57) we looked at the first use of the verb "be exalted" in Scripture.  It's located in Genesis 7:17 and describes the Ark of Noah being lifted up above all the earth!  (A picture of Jesus being lifted up above the earth ... on the Cross ... and bringing salvation to the lost! Remember that Ark is a picture of Jesus and salvation in many ways!)

However, in the last use (verse 11) of this verb "lifted up" (in Hebrew "rum" but said as "room") we travel to the last use of the verb in the Bible (Old Testament since it's Hebrew we're studying) ... and find Habakkuk 3:10.  "The mountains saw thee, and they trembled: the overflowing of the water passed by: the deep uttered his voice, and lifted up his hands on high." 

Here the Prophet Habakkuk is describing the Coming of the Lord!  The mountains and waters and depths "lifted up" their hands to God in praise and glory!  This is the Lord's great Second Advent, His Second Coming to earth!

Do you see it yet?

Verse 5 ... the first coming of Jesus ... to save the lost!

Verse 11 ... the Second Coming of Jesus ... to receive praise, glory and honor!

Amen!

And if you doubt that He is coming to receive such adoration, just read 2nd Thessalonians 1:10 where Paul is talking about Jesus and His soon return.  "When He shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed ) in that day."

Amen!

Maybe we've discovered at least one reason WHY the verse is placed here twice by the inspiring Holy Spirit of God.

Remember, David is just the copyist!

Just the recorder!

God is the Author.

Even so ... come Lord Jesus!

                                                                            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

WHAT A PSALM OF PRAISE WE HAVE STUDIED!  DAVID STARTED THE CHAPTER DISCOURAGED AND HIDING IN A CAVE!  (SAUL WAS WICKEDLY TRYING TO KILL THE YOUNG MAN.)  YET THE MORE DAVID TRUSTED AND BELIEVED IN THE MERCY AND TRUTH OF GOD ... THE BRIGHTER THINGS BECAME!   AND BY THE TIME HE GOT TO VERSE 11, HE (WHILE NOT YET LITERALLY OUT OF THAT CAVE) HAD CERTAINLY GOT THE CAVE OUT OF HIM!  HE WAS NO LONGER FEARFUL OR FRETFUL OR OVERLY CONCERNED WITH SAUL.  RATHER ... HE WAS CENTERED ON THE LORD GOD ALMIGHTY!  THAT WILL GET YOU OUT OF ANY CAVE!

 

                                                                                

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