2020 Bible Reflections

April 24th 2020: Psalm 57

Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me,
    for in you I take refuge.
I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings
    until the disaster has passed.

I cry out to God Most High,
    to God, who vindicates me.
He sends from heaven and saves me,
    rebuking those who hotly pursue me—[c]
    God sends forth his love and his faithfulness.

I am in the midst of lions;
    I am forced to dwell among ravenous beasts—
men whose teeth are spears and arrows,
    whose tongues are sharp swords.

Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;
    let your glory be over all the earth.

They spread a net for my feet—
    I was bowed down in distress.
They dug a pit in my path—
    but they have fallen into it themselves.

My heart, O God, is steadfast,
    my heart is steadfast;
    I will sing and make music.
Awake, my soul!
    Awake, harp and lyre!
    I will awaken the dawn.

I will praise you, Lord, among the nations;
    I will sing of you among the peoples.
10 For great is your love, reaching to the heavens;
    your faithfulness reaches to the skies.

11 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;
    let your glory be over all the earth.

Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;
    let your glory be over all the earth.’
That’s where David ends up, more than once in today’s psalm. But where is he for the majority of the rest of it? He is in deep trouble, in a den of lions, as he puts it, and he is desperate, crying out to God for mercy, for release from the trouble and the fear that he finds himself in.
And yet even in the storm of all this, his plea is that God would be lifted up, that people would know and praise his name. And David wants to make it very clear that, come what may, praising and lifting up the name of God is what he is going to be found doing. This is one of many themes that are repeated throughout the Book of Psalms – the idea of praising in the storm. It sounds good to most of us when we hear it, usually because at the time we are not actually in the midst of a storm ourselves. When the storm actually, finally hits, then it’s interesting. Are we going to be like David and keep on praising throughout the time of storm, the time of trial, or are we going to hold on to our praise, keep it in, keep it ourselves and deny God the joy of our praise until he delivers or releases us from the time of trial, the time of torment? That’s not to say that we don’t all go through things that make praising God a hard thing to do. Of course we do. We’re all living through such circumstances at this very moment, each and every one of us. The choice is ours. Are we going to praise God through the storm, even as we might be clinging on by the merest of fingernails, or are we going to give in and let defeat take hold of us?
Each of us has to answer that for ourselves. Each person, each household, each Church. But I would say that it is in keeping on praising and keeping on lifting up God’s name and trusting in its power that we truly show how free we are.
Something To Do
Praise God with all you have in the tank today, however you like to do it.
Something To Pray
Pray for those who find themselves in ‘a den of lions’ today that they might be strengthened, comforted, keep on praising and that they might be release.