1761.) Psalm 59

Ps59 I will sing

Psalm 59 (The Message)

A David Psalm,
When Saul Set a Watch on David’s House
in Order to Kill Him

This refers to the incident in 1 Samuel 19:11-12, when the murderous intent of King Saul against David was openly revealed and David began his long season of living as a fugitive.

1-2 My God! Rescue me from my enemies,
defend me from these mutineers.
Rescue me from their dirty tricks,
save me from their hit men.

David cried out, My God, meaning it in the most reverent way. Through this Psalm David declared his close and personal connection with God.

  • My God (Psalm 59:1)
  • My defense (Psalm 59:9, 17)
  • My God of mercy (Psalm 59:10, 17)
  • My Strength (Psalm 59:17, 9)

–David Guzik

3-4 Desperadoes have ganged up on me,
they’re hiding in ambush for me.
I did nothing to deserve this, God,
crossed no one, wronged no one.
All the same, they’re after me,
determined to get me.

4-5 Wake up and see for yourself! You’re God,
God-of-Angel-Armies, Israel’s God!
Get on the job and take care of these pagans,
don’t be soft on these hard cases.

6-7 They return when the sun goes down,
They howl like coyotes, ringing the city.
Then suddenly they’re all at the gate,
Snarling invective, drawn daggers in their teeth.
They think they’ll never get caught.

My enemies -- "they howl like coyotes."

My enemies — “they howl like coyotes.”

8-10 But you, God, break out laughing;

“Laughing Jesus” by Ralph Kozak, 1977.

you treat the godless nations like jokes.
Strong God, I’m watching you do it,
I can always count on you.
God in dependable love shows up on time,
shows me my enemies in ruin.

11-13 Don’t make quick work of them, God,
lest my people forget.
Bring them down in slow motion,
take them apart piece by piece.
Let all their mean-mouthed arrogance
catch up with them,
Catch them out and bring them down
—every muttered curse
—every barefaced lie.
Finish them off in fine style!
Finish them off for good!
Then all the world will see
that God rules well in Jacob,
everywhere that God’s in charge.

14-15 They return when the sun goes down,
They howl like coyotes, ringing the city.
They scavenge for bones,
And bite the hand that feeds them.

16-17 And me? I’m singing your prowess,
shouting at cockcrow your largesse,
For you’ve been a safe place for me,
a good place to hide.

Ps59 v16
Strong God, I’m watching you do it,
I can always count on you—
God, my dependable love.

“While the wicked are howling, growling, and snarling (vv. 14-15), the servant of God praises the Lord instead.” 

–Willem A. VanGemeren


Tough times have a way of separating the “wheat” from the “chaff.” That is, when two people face similar dilemmas, one grows closer to God, bears spiritual fruit, and becomes more peaceful. The other, meanwhile, becomes anxious, bitter in spirit, and full of secret doubts about the Lord’s faithfulness. The difference has to do with how each one responds to hardship.

We all know that hardship is part of life. Becoming a Christian does not change that fact (John 16:33). What shifts is our understanding of God’s sovereignty—nothing touches our lives unless He permits it. The Lord allowed a murderous king to pursue David for years (1 Sam. 23). But the fugitive responded to adversity with faith and called God his stronghold and refuge (Ps. 59:16, above).

We are confronted with challenges for many reasons. God intends for them to grow our faith, change our perspective, or deepen our compassion. Sometimes believers reach heaven before they understand why they’ve had to endure suffering. But whatever the trial or God’s intention for it, He is available to help us in our affliction (Ps. 46:1). We can turn toward Him for comfort, guidance, and support. Or we can get angry and resentful that we are not being rescued from our shadowy valley (See Ps. 23:4).

When affliction strips away every crutch, one has only the Lord to depend upon. Can you think of a better position to find yourself in than to be undergirded by our faithful and sovereign God? Though some people are destroyed by that kind of situation, others are built into stalwart believers.

–Charles Stanley



HERE  is one of the wonderful old hymns, “Jesus Christ, My Sure Defense.” The author is unknown, but it was first published (in German) in 1653. As you read the verses, you will be encouraged!


The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Images courtesy of:
guitar and flowers.   http://40.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m8gw7uI3up1r1o6z3o1_500.jpg
howling coyote.     https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/nature-coyotehowling.jpg
Kozak.     https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/jesuslaughing.jpg
relax.     https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/relaxposter1.jpg
verse 16.   http://dawnsnewday.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/image3.jpg
wheat.    http://www.diningchicago.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/wheatfromchaff1.gif

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