Opening Prayer

Great God, there is no one who can stand against you. I thank you that you cover me on all sides. I praise you because there is nothing through which you cannot bring yourself glory.

Read PSALM 59

Psalm 59[a]

For the director of music. To the tune of “Do Not Destroy.” Of David. A miktam.[b] When Saul had sent men to watch David’s house in order to kill him.

Deliver me from my enemies, O God;
    be my fortress against those who are attacking me.
Deliver me from evildoers
    and save me from those who are after my blood.

See how they lie in wait for me!
    Fierce men conspire against me
    for no offense or sin of mine, Lord.
I have done no wrong, yet they are ready to attack me.
    Arise to help me; look on my plight!
You, Lord God Almighty,
    you who are the God of Israel,
rouse yourself to punish all the nations;
    show no mercy to wicked traitors.[c]

They return at evening,
    snarling like dogs,
    and prowl about the city.
See what they spew from their mouths—
    the words from their lips are sharp as swords,
    and they think, “Who can hear us?”
But you laugh at them, Lord;
    you scoff at all those nations.

You are my strength, I watch for you;
    you, God, are my fortress,
10     my God on whom I can rely.

God will go before me
    and will let me gloat over those who slander me.
11 But do not kill them, Lord our shield,[d]
    or my people will forget.
In your might uproot them
    and bring them down.
12 For the sins of their mouths,
    for the words of their lips,
    let them be caught in their pride.
For the curses and lies they utter,
13     consume them in your wrath,
    consume them till they are no more.
Then it will be known to the ends of the earth
    that God rules over Jacob.

14 They return at evening,
    snarling like dogs,
    and prowl about the city.
15 They wander about for food
    and howl if not satisfied.
16 But I will sing of your strength,
    in the morning I will sing of your love;
for you are my fortress,
    my refuge in times of trouble.

17 You are my strength, I sing praise to you;
    you, God, are my fortress,
    my God on whom I can rely.


  1. Psalm 59:1 In Hebrew texts 59:1-17 is numbered 59:2-18.
  2. Psalm 59:1 Title: Probably a literary or musical term
  3. Psalm 59:5 The Hebrew has Selah (a word of uncertain meaning) here and at the end of verse 13.
  4. Psalm 59:11 Or sovereign

New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


‘When you’re between a rock and a hard place, it won’t be a dead end – Because I am God, your personal God, The Holy of Israel, your Savior.’1

Think Further

The context of today’s psalm is David’s difficult in-between years – after being anointed by Samuel but before being crowned king. He didn’t yet enjoy the security of a fortress for, as the superscription reveals, Saul was bent on destroying him and David wasn’t even safe in his own home! Hemmed in by threats on his life, David’s response is not to seek a safe house or military stronghold but to turn to a safe person. The psalm begins with a plea that God would be his fortress (v 1) and ends with the confident affirmation that God is indeed his fortress (vs 16,17).

David’s life was in danger (vs 1–4). In a twice-repeated refrain, he compares his enemies to a pack of wild dogs: they growl, prowl, and howl (vs 6,7,14,15)! The ‘but’ of verse 8 is a crucial hinge-point: ‘But you laugh at them, Lord; you scoff at all those nations’ (v 8).2 In this second section of the psalm, although threats haven’t dissolved and foes remain undefeated, despair gives way to a strong note of hope. Adopting God’s perspective sends David’s confidence soaring: not only will enemy attacks fail, God’s justice will prevail (vs 10b–13).

Times are bad when Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy first step into Narnia, for it is ‘always winter and never Christmas.’ Yet, just hearing that ‘Aslan is on the move’ inspires courage, hope, and joy, even though it is still winter.3 As the story progresses, the children observe signs that winter is melting away into spring. In our psalm, the knowledge that God is on the move, ever-present, in control and at work fuels David’s determination to ‘watch’ expectantly (v 9) and leads to joyful and grateful confidence that God will indeed act (vs 16,17).


During the coming week, practice affirming gratefully, confidently, joyfully: “Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, ‘It is well, it is well with my soul!’”4

Closing prayer

Almighty God, you know those things that keep me awake at night, that trouble me throughout the day. I come to you, my defender and deliverer, for relief.

Last Updated on August 20, 2023 by kingstar

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