An Overview Of The Old Testament

Part 103 - The Request Of Mercy Through Power And Mercy Belongs To God (Psalms 57-62)
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1. Where did the Psalmist look for refuge?
“(1) 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. (2) I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me. (3) 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” (Psalms 57:1-3).

2. Was the Psalmist at a safe distance from his enemies?
No:
“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” (Psalms 57:4).

3. From our study in Psalms 57, will enemies of the righteous work to trap us?
Yes:
“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” (Psalms 57:6).

See also:

  • “The heathen are sunk down in the pit that they made: in the net which they hid is their own foot taken. The LORD is known by the judgment which he executeth: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. Higgaion. Selah” (Psalms 9:15-16).
  • “(7) For without cause have they hid for me their net in a pit, which without cause they have digged for my soul. (8) Let destruction come upon him at unawares; and let his net that he hath hid catch himself: into that very destruction let him fall” (Psalms 35:7-8).
  • “The wicked have laid a snare for me: yet I erred not from thy precepts” (Psalms 119:110).
  • “The good man is perished out of the earth: and there is none upright among men: they all lie in wait for blood; they hunt every man his brother with a net” (Micah 7:2).
  • “For among my people are found wicked men: they lay wait, as he that setteth snares; they set a trap, they catch men” (Jeremiah 5:26).

4. What do we find out about the heart of the Psalmist in our study?
“My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise” (Psalms 57:7).

    Some examples of passages that use this Hebrews word are:
    • “And he did evil, because he prepared not his heart to seek the LORD” (II Chronicles 12:14).
    • “For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments” (Ezra 7:10).
    • “Oh let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end; but establish the just: for the righteous God trieth the hearts and reins” (Psalms 7:9).
    • “And when Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the ruler of his house, Bring these men home, and slay, and make ready; for these men shall dine with me at noon” (Genesis 43:16).
    • “He shall build me an house, and I will stablish his throne for ever” (I Chronicles 17:12).
    • “O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps” (Jeremiah 10:23).

    5. Who did the Psalmist exalt and sing praises unto?
    “(5) Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens; let thy glory be above all the earth… (8) Awake up, my glory; awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake early. (9) I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people: I will sing unto thee among the nations. (10) For thy mercy is great unto the heavens, and thy truth unto the clouds. (11) Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: let thy glory be above all the earth” (Psalms 57:5; 8-11).

    6. Do some people say one thing while something entirely different is in their hearts?
    Yes:
    “(1) Do ye indeed speak righteousness, O congregation? do ye judge uprightly, O ye sons of men? (2) Yea, in heart ye work wickedness; ye weigh the violence of your hands in the earth” (Psalms 58:1-2).

    - See also:
    Psalms 12:1-3, Proverbs 26:17-28, Proverbs 10:18, Jeremiah 9:3-8, Matthew 15:7-9, and Titus 1:16.

    7. How can you know that Psalms 58:3 is an exaggerated statement?
    a. To do right and wrong is a choice (II Chronicles 7:14, Proverbs 28:13, Isaiah 55:6-7, Jeremiah 26:13, Ezekiel 14:6, Ezekiel 18:30, Ezekiel 33:14-16, Jonah 3:4-10, (Matthew 3:1-2, Matthew 4:17, Matthew 12:41, Mark 6:12, Luke 3:7-8, Luke 13:1-5, Luke 24:47, Acts 2:38, Acts 2:40-41, Acts 3:19, Acts 17:30, Acts 26:20, II Corinthians 7:8-10, II Peter 3:9, and Revelation 2:5).
    b. You know that babies cannot choose right from wrong to commit sin (
    James 4:17).
    c. You know that we are not sinful by nature (
    Deuteronomy 24:16, Ecclesiastes 7:29, Ezekiel 28:15, and Romans 2:5-6).

    8. How vicious are the wicked that are being discussed in the fifty-eighth Psalm?
    “(4) Their poison is like the poison of a serpent: they are like the deaf adder that stoppeth her ear; (5) Which will not hearken to the voice of charmers, charming never so wisely” (Psalms 58:4-5).

    9. What did the Psalmist ask God to do to these wicked individuals we are reading about?
    “(6) Break their teeth, O God, in their mouth: break out the great teeth of the young lions, O LORD. (7) Let them melt away as waters which run continually: when he bendeth his bow to shoot his arrows, let them be as cut in pieces. (8) As a snail which melteth, let every one of them pass away: like the untimely birth of a woman, that they may not see the sun. (9) Before your pots can feel the thorns, he shall take them away as with a whirlwind, both living, and in his wrath. (10) The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance: he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked. (11) So that a man shall say, Verily there is a reward for the righteous: verily he is a God that judgeth in the earth” (Psalms 58:6-11).

    10. As the Psalmist asks for deliverance from his enemies (Psalms 59:1-5), what did the Psalmist say he had done to deserve their rising up against him?
    Nothing:
    “(1) Deliver me from mine enemies, O my God: defend me from them that rise up against me. (2) Deliver me from the workers of iniquity, and save me from bloody men. (3) For, lo, they lie in wait for my soul: the mighty are gathered against me; not for my transgression, nor for my sin, O LORD. (4) They run and prepare themselves without my fault: awake to help me, and behold. (5) Thou therefore, O LORD God of hosts, the God of Israel, awake to visit all the heathen: be not merciful to any wicked transgressors. Selah” (Psalms 59:1-5).

    11. How aggressive and arrogant were the enemies of the Psalmist?
    “(6) They return at evening: they make a noise like a dog, and go round about the city. (7) Behold, they belch out with their mouth: swords are in their lips: for who, say they, doth hear” (Psalms 59:6-7)?

    12. Did the Psalmist want God to utterly destroy his enemies in the fifty-ninth Psalm?
    No:
    “(8) But thou, O LORD, shalt laugh at them; thou shalt have all the heathen in derision. (9) Because of his strength will I wait upon thee: for God is my defence. (10) The God of my mercy shall prevent me: God shall let me see my desire upon mine enemies. (11) Slay them not, lest my people forget: scatter them by thy power; and bring them down, O Lord our shield. (12) For the sin of their mouth and the words of their lips let them even be taken in their pride: and for cursing and lying which they speak. (13) Consume them in wrath, consume them, that they may not be: and let them know that God ruleth in Jacob unto the ends of the earth. Selah. (14) And at evening let them return; and let them make a noise like a dog, and go round about the city. (15) Let them wander up and down for meat, and grudge if they be not satisfied (Psalms 59:8-15).

    13. What was the Psalmist going to do since God was his defense?
    “(16) But I will sing of thy power; yea, I will sing aloud of thy mercy in the morning: for thou hast been my defence and refuge in the day of my trouble. (17) Unto thee, O my strength, will I sing: for God is my defence, and the God of my mercy” (Psalms 59:16-17).

    14. What did God do when He was displeased with His people?
    “(1) O God, thou hast cast us off, thou hast scattered us, thou hast been displeased; O turn thyself to us again. (2) Thou hast made the earth to tremble; thou hast broken it: heal the breaches thereof; for it shaketh. (3) Thou hast shewed thy people hard things: thou hast made us to drink the wine of astonishment. (4) Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth. Selah” (Psalms 60:1-4).

    15. How was the Psalmist going to be saved and triumph?
    “(5) That thy beloved may be delivered; save with thy right hand, and hear me. (6) God hath spoken in his holiness; I will rejoice, I will divide Shechem, and mete out the valley of Succoth. (7) Gilead is mine, and Manasseh is mine; Ephraim also is the strength of mine head; Judah is my lawgiver; (8) Moab is my washpot; over Edom will I cast out my shoe: Philistia, triumph thou because of me. (9) Who will bring me into the strong city? who will lead me into Edom?
    (10) Wilt not thou, O God, which hadst cast us off? and thou, O God, which didst not go out with our armies?
    (11) Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man. (12) Through God we shall do valiantly: for he it is that shall tread down our enemies” (Psalms 60:5-12).

    16. Why did the Psalmist pray to God from the end of the earth and perform vows daily?
    “(1) Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. (2) From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. (3) For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy. (4) I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Selah. (5) For thou, O God, hast heard my vows: thou hast given me the heritage of those that fear thy name. (6) Thou wilt prolong the king's life: and his years as many generations. (7) He shall abide before God for ever: O prepare mercy and truth, which may preserve him. (8) So will I sing praise unto thy name for ever, that I may daily perform my vows” (Psalms 61:1-8).

    17. How much confidence did the Psalmist have in God?
    “(1) Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation. (2) He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defence; I shall not be greatly moved. (3) How long will ye imagine mischief against a man? ye shall be slain all of you: as a bowing wall shall ye be, and as a tottering fence. (4) They only consult to cast him down from his excellency: they delight in lies: they bless with their mouth, but they curse inwardly. Selah. (5) My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him. (6) He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence; I shall not be moved. (7) In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. (8) Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.” (Psalms 60:1-8).

    -Consider:
    “Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength” (Isaiah 26:4).
    -As for pouring out your heart:
    “(12) And it came to pass, as she continued praying before the LORD, that Eli marked her mouth. (13) Now Hannah, she spake in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard: therefore Eli thought she had been drunken. (14) And Eli said unto her, How long wilt thou be drunken? put away thy wine from thee. (15) And Hannah answered and said, No, my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit: I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but have poured out my soul before the LORD” (I Samuel 1:12-15).

    18. How can we understand Psalms 62:9?
    The verse says:
    “Surely men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree are a lie: to be laid in the balance, they are altogether lighter than vanity” (Psalms 62:9).
    -The overall context instructed not to trust in men (
    Psalms 62:5-6). Therefore, it does not matter whether they are high or low, it is vanity to trust in man (Psalms 118:8-9).

    19. Is it wise to trust in wealth?
    Nope:
    “Trust not in oppression, and become not vain in robbery: if riches increase, set not your heart upon them” (Psalms 62:10).
    -Consider also:
    Proverbs 13:7; 15:16; 16:8-9, Proverbs 23:4-5, Ecclesiastes 5:10-11; 6:7, and Isaiah 55:2.

    20. To whom does power and mercy belong?
    God:
    “(11) God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God. (12) Also unto thee, O Lord, belongeth mercy: for thou renderest to every man according to his work” (Psalms 62:11-12).