Ep.137: Psalm 59: To Howl Or Sing.

Hello, I’m Daniel Westfall on the channel “Pray with Me”. 

In Psalm 59, the poet describes his enemies this way:
  They return at evening
      snarling like dogs,
      and prowl about the city,
  they wander around looking for food
      and howl if not satisfied (v. 15). 

In contrast the poet says of himself,
    I will sing of God’s strength,
      in the morning I will sing of his love (v. 16). 

The word pictures of howling dogs and a singing poet highlight the story of Psalm 59. It begins with the poet’s enemies roaming the city like vicious dogs, snarling and howling over the garbage, threatening anyone who gets in their way. The poet says he has done nothing to deserve their violence. He describes himself as honorable and righteous, saying:
      Fierce men conspire against me
      for no offence or sin of mine, Lord.
    I have done no wrong, yet they are ready to attack me (vv. 3-4).  

The poet urges God to act on the basis of the covenant he made with Israel. Listen to his outspoken appeal to get God’s attention. 
    Get off your couch, God,
        Look at my plight.
    Rouse yourself from your lethargy,
        Punish the nations (v. 4-5). 

The relationship between God and his people is like the traditional marriage covenant: “for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, till death do us part.” The poet feels he is keeping his side of the bargain, but God is sleeping on the job. The poet reminds God that things are getting bad down here. He is sick with worry and poor in resources. If God is truly committed to a “better or worse” relationship, now would be a good time for him to act. 

If God does this, the poet’s “worse” will turn to “better”, his dog-like enemies will stop howling, and he will sing his praise to God. 

Let’s pray. 

    Deliver us from our enemies, O God;
        be our fortress against those who attack us.
    Rescue us from evildoers
        and save us from those who are after our blood (vv. 1-2).

O God, as the Coronavirus ravages the world, we turn to you. Do you see what’s happening down here? Do you care? 

We remember other pandemics. In the 12th century, the Bubonic plague killed a third of the people in Europe.  In 1918 the Spanish flu killed 50 million people. And now the Coronavirus is pandemic, fueling the media with news and the people with fear and the economy with uncertainty. Lord, look upon your world as we fight this enemy of disease. 

With the poet, we shift our focus from our strong enemies to you.
  We will sing of your strength,
      in the morning we will sing of your love,
  for you are our fortress,
      our refuge in times of trouble (v. 16).

I’m Daniel on the channel “Pray with Me”.