Today we can peer into the mind and heart of an ancient follower of Yahweh through the lens of their Psalms. In the opening chapter, while fleeing from Saul, David relates, “I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me. He will send from heaven and save me; he will put to shame him who tramples on me.”
In Psalm 58 he draws a contrast between the LORD and other gods: Do you indeed decree what is right, you gods? Do you judge the children of man uprightly? No, in your hearts you devise wrongs; your hands deal out violence on earth…. O God, break the teeth in their mouths; tear out the fangs of the young lions, O LORD! … Mankind will say, "Surely there is a reward for the righteous; surely there is a God who judges on earth."
Praying that the LORD would protect [him] from those who rise up against [him], David calls on the LORD to “Rouse yourself to punish all the nations; spare none of those who treacherously plot evil.” It is a request grounded in the belief that you, O LORD, laugh at them; you hold all the nations in derision... My God in his steadfast love will meet me; God will let me look in triumph on my enemies.
When Israel suffers defeat, it is because O God, you have rejected us, broken our defenses; you have been angry; oh, restore us. For the LORD has spoken: “Moab is my washbasin; upon Edom I cast my shoe; over Philistia I shout in triumph…,” therefore David cries, “Oh, grant us help against the foe, for vain is the salvation of man!”
And when justice seems far off there is promise: Those of low estate are but a breath; those of high estate are a delusion; in the balances they go up; they are together lighter than a breath. Put no trust in extortion; set no vain hopes on robbery; if riches increase, set not your heart on them. Once God has spoken; twice have I heard this: that power belongs to God, and that to you, O LORD, belongs steadfast love. For you will render to a man according to his work.
Our verse for this week is 2 Timothy 3:16: All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.
Psalms 57 through 64. Now let’s read it!
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,