Since Adam and Eve rebelled against God in the Garden of Eden, the world has been broken. As one writer expressed, we live in a world where people “exhibit a corruption of thought, emotion, intention, speech, and disposition.” This impacts every area of our life: work, school recess, even a well-planned vacation. Things are not the way they were supposed to be.
Today’s reading expresses the emotion of living in a broken world. David feels surrounded by adversaries who want to take him down. He describes them as enemies, attackers, evildoers, bloodthirsty, people who lie in wait, conspirators, and slanderers (vv. 1–5). He pictures them like vicious, wild dogs prowling the streets, waiting to pounce (vv. 6, 14). This psalm reminds us of how persistent and pervasive evil is in our world.
But Psalm 59 also reminds us of a deeper reality. God is David’s strength and fortress (v. 1). David can call to God for deliverance knowing that He is able to hear and powerful enough to act (vv. 5, 8). While this psalm is full of the violence and scheming of the wicked, its final word returns our focus to God’s love and faithfulness. “You, God, are my fortress, my God on whom I can rely” (v. 17). The word translated “rely” is the Hebrew word for God’s covenant love, hesed. God is love and will remain faithful to His promises. David knows this and even though his enemies “prowl about the city,” he declares, “but I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love” (vv. 14, 16).
>> Over 100 years ago after a revival in Wales, William Rees wrote the hymn “Here is Love,” which reminds us that at the cross, “Heaven’s peace and perfect justice / Kissed a guilty world in love.” Look up the lyrics to this hymn today and join with David in singing of God’s love (v. 16).
Like David, we live in a broken world. And like David, we cry out for God’s mercy and justice. Use the words of Psalm 59 as your prayer today: “You, God, are my fortress, my God on whom I can rely” (v. 17).