Observe: David’s life is again in peril. Alone and discouraged, he hides in the cave of Adullam in fear of Saul (1 Sam 22). Anxiously he cries out for mercy while taking refuge in the Lord (1), trusting God’s vindication while he is in the midst of lions; … forced to dwell among ravenous beasts (4). Yet there’s a repeated refrain: Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; Let Your glory be above all the earth (5,11).
Hebrew poetry uses repetition to express importance and truth; twice David says his heart is steadfast. He will sing and make music (7) loud enough to wake the dawn, so all the nations will hear. His confidence in God’s deliverance becomes praise: For great is your love, reaching to the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies. (10) He ends with the refrain.
Interpret: There are four “Do Not Destroy” ‘miktamim’ (Golden Psalms): 57-59 and 75. Derek Kidner suggests the title may be a snatch of an old song or saying. Spurgeon notes destruction of the wicked and preservation of the righteous are principal themes.
Literal lions and ravenous beasts gather at the mouth of that cave, symbolic enemies ganging up against him. In deepest darkness, he sings his hope in God – no stoic defiance here! His perspective aligns with God’s, and in Him will he find his life preserved.
Tim Keller, commenting on this Psalm, writes: “The universe is an endless ocean of God’s joy and glory. We are caught temporarily in a little drop of sadness here on earth. But eventually it will be removed. Regardless of what happens immediately to believers, eventually it will be all right.”
Apply: It’s so easy to get caught up in news from one-sided perspectives that fosters dread or panic. It’s so easy to become a news junkie, watching for the next roaring lion over the horizon. (Remembering my brief stay in Kharkiv, years ago, I confess I was glued to newsfeeds.) Tragedies abound: illness, needless death, protests, wars, injustice, loss, our own failures (less newsworthy but equally sad).
When our spiritual enemy roars at the gates of our hearts, Spurgeon gives comfort:
· If you are among lion s, you will have fellowship with Jesus and His church.
· If you are among lions, you will be driven nearer to your God.
· If you are among lions, remember that God has them on a leash.
· If you are among lions, remember there is another Lion, of the Tribe of Judah.
Psalm 27 tells us to seek the Lord’s face, to gaze at the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in His temple (His church as together we worship Him), and we find His beauty in the most surprising places -- even caves! In Him we are secure. Problems live on earth; God is far above them – yet with us in them.
Ask: Will you deal with the lions in my life, Lord? How can I align my life to You when what I see around me contradicts all that You are? Will You reveal Your holy perspective through Your word, even amidst lions?
Pray: Lord, only in You will all the evil in this world, all my failure and weakness, be transformed into ‘all right’. But only in You, Jesus; help me to trust this is already so, despite this ‘drop of sadness’ that is life in this world. And then, Lord, Let Your glory be in all the earth. Your perspective is grace, truth, and goodness. Thank You, thank You!
Sing Ps 57 Psalms Project
Be Gracious Unto Me - Worship Community
In 2023, each week's blog is a follow-up reflection written by the preceding Sunday’s preacher to dig deeper into the sermon topic and explore engaging discussion questions.