the director of music. To the tune of “The Lily of the Covenant.”
A miktam of David. For teaching. When he fought Aram Naharaim
and Aram Zobah, and when Joab returned and struck down twelve
thousand Edomites in the Valley of Salt.
Comments: The historical context provided by the title
is slightly confusing in that the historical text shows David
or his commanders having complete victories yet the tone of the
psalm shows David in a very negative frame of mind. Perhaps it
was the fact that he was having to fight so much to make his land
secure that is behind this. He acknowledges a time of shaking
[v.1-4] and cries to God to help [v.5]. Then he takes comfort
in the fact that God had ordained this land for them [v.6,7] and
had often acted against their enemies [v.8,9] which leads him
to appeal to the Lord to help now [v.10,11] ending in a note of
confidence in God [v.12]. A psalm from a time of uncertainty that
brings assurance from what God has said and done in the past.]
David acknowledges before the Lord, they are in a time of shaking
have rejected us, God, and burst upon us;
you have been angry—now restore us!
have shaken the land and torn it open;
mend its fractures, for it is quaking.
have shown your people desperate times;
you have given us wine that makes us
for those who fear you, you have raised a banner
to be unfurled against the bow.
He cries to Him for help, for deliverance
us and help us with your right hand,
that those you love may be delivered.
Yet he takes comfort in that God ordained this ‘Promised Land'
has spoken from his sanctuary:
“In triumph I will parcel out Shechem
and measure off the Valley of Sukkoth.
is mine, and Manasseh is mine;
Ephraim is my helmet,
Judah is my scepter.
He also recognises that God is Lord even over their (three) common
is my washbasin,
on Edom I toss my sandal;
over Philistia I shout in triumph.”
will bring me to the fortified city?
Who will lead me to Edom?
He now appeals to the Lord to act on their behalf
it not you, God, you who have now rejected us
and no longer go out with our armies?
us aid against the enemy,
for human help is worthless.
God we will gain the victory,
and he will trample down our enemies.
Thoughts: Living in a ‘fallen world' often means strife
and difficulties that emanate from the presence of Sin in mankind.
We may find ourselves in times of uncertainty and the answer from
this psalm is to pray and remind ourselves of who God is and what
He has said and done as we lay our petitions before Him. See a
further example of this in the New Testament prayer of the early
church in Acts 4:24-30]
to Psa 61