PSALMS 57 SINGING IN A CAVE
OUR NEED FOR TENDER CARE
David is hiding in a cave & a hostile army was outside seeking to kill him!
If we were holed up in a cave, hiding from our father in law who is a
raging madman how would we respond?
God had promised David that he’d be King
But wow, major disappointment, that wasn’t coming true
Now, really, the last thing we’d be doing, really, would be writing praise songs in a cave.
But David, is singing in the cave! And he’s not singing the blues!
He’s exalting the Lord!
More then all that. The Spirit of God, through David, is teaching us how to
think & act in times when we’re holed up in a cave, when God’s promises
don’t seem true.
David, no matter what crushing extremes God allowed him to endure,
was all about reacting by glorifying God!
The Hebrew word glorify is (kabod)
It’s a loaded word that describes weight, heaviness, worthiness, reputation, honor.
It’s used of those who are individuals of substance or weight.
It’s like saying “He’s a heavyweight in his field.”
We mean, “This person has substance & must be reckoned with.”
When kabod is applied to God, it refers to His intrinsic worth.
It means that God is worthy of all honor because of who He is,
a God who is perfect in all of His attributes & ways.
To glorify God is to ascribe honor & praise to God for who
He is & for what He has done.
We’re to show forth His excellencies.
We’re to exalt Him.
To glorify God means we make Him look good
We display how good He really is through our life.
Whether, then, when we eat or drink or whatever we do,
We do all to the glory of God. 1 Cor. 10:31
So we promote O God’s glory & honor
That’s our aim in all that we do.
O Lord, Discipline us in everything
to act in such a way that others are inspired by our expressions to praise & honor
You God as You display Your character shining through our life.
Our first thought would be
Please, are You kidding us come on Lord. Have a heart.
Why on earth are You allowing this to happen to us?
You anointed me as king; I didn’t choose the job. Why don’t You remove Saul?
HE’S OUR ONLY RELIANCE V.1
Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me:
We’re never clear as to why God allows threatening aggressors to harass us
Why would God have us dive into a cave being overwhelmed by our oppressors hate?
We’re taught here how to react & respond to oppressors.
We need to Glorify & magnify God.
We should compose praise & sing in the cave.
Mercy is our cry when we realize our real condition
Mercy is our call when we know who we can alone rely on
“David’s spirit rising up in prayer, is like a bell that rings out,
Just as a bell strikes & gongs on both sides” Joseph Caryl
“Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me.”
We don’t rely on human merit. We need You mercy
“Be gracious to me, O God, be gracious to me.”
God’s grace & mercy refers to His undeserved unmerited favor.
This is one of the most difficult concepts for our proud hearts to grasp.
We profess to know Christ. We profess to understand the concept of God’s grace.
So we can’t come to God on the basis of our own goodness:
We can’t claim: God, I’ve been extra good lately.
I’ve read my Bible & gone to church & I put money in the offering.
Now, here’s what I want You to do ….Now here’s what we’re asking for,
And really, by the way “Why this trial, God, when we’ve been so good?”
God owes us nothing. We don’t earn anything by our behavior.
We are trusting in God alone for His unearned mercy.
We’re not trusting in human merit. Our only way to approach God is through grace.
“When overwhelmed in a sense of trouble & danger
We’re pushed to come at once to the throne of God’s grace for help”
“Repetition “be merciful be merciful” shows an intensity of desire”
“Mercy is what we need; to remove our sense of guilt, to break our moral chains,
to clear our spiritual vision, to quicken & harmoniously develop all the powers
of our new nature”
David didn’t cry for mercy to earn the mercy of God; mercy can’t be earned.
He cried for mercy to tell God that He was his only hope.
His soul trusted in God & nothing else; there was nothing else to trust in.
“How can the Lord be unmerciful to a trustful soul?
Our faith does not deserve mercy, but it always wins it
from the sovereign grace of God when it is sincere.”
HE’S OUR ONLY RETREAT
for my soul trusts in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings
will I make my refuge, until these calamities be over-past.
Being in a cave is a visual of trusting inside the shelter of God’s surrounding cover
Baby chicks take refuge under their mothers wings when predators are intimidating
He wasn’t trusting in natural means (the cave) for protection
He was trusting in supernatural means (God’s mercy)
But God used the shelter of the cave (natural means) to protect David
HE’S OUR ONLY REALIZATION V.2
I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performs all things for me.
Prayer is the language of trust. The psalms are primarily a prayer journal.
Prayer is an acknowledgment that our need is not limited, but totally unlimited.
We have constant prayer challenges.
We need the Lord’s blessings in every area & at every moment.
Prayer says to God & to everyone else around us,
We’re not self‑sufficient.
We can’t handle situations in our own strength,
We can only make it in Your strength, Lord!”
Please we need Your strength.
HE’S OUR ONLY REPRESENTATIVE V.3
He shall send from heaven
This is poetic Anthropomorphic expression “human shaped”
anthrōpos (human being) + morphē (shape)
It’s a concept called anthropomorphism, of ascribing
human characteristics to a spirit beings or object
God reveals His arm Deut. 33:27
God reveals His hand Ps. 18:16; 144:7
God reveals His help Ps. 20:2
God reveals His grace & truth that He sends“from heaven,”
God is giving the realization of His wonderful, extraordinary deliverance
As Spurgeon notes:
“God is sure to find an ark for His Noahs if the floods should cover the whole earth;
and when they cannot be preserved any longer on the earth,
He will catch them away to Himself in heaven;
He will surely take care of His own:”
and save from the reproach of him that would swallow me up. Selah.
“He shall send from heaven, and save us.”
If there’s just one of us in danger, He’ll rend the heavens to save us:
not only from danger to our life, but from danger to our character:
“from the reproach of him that would swallow us up.”
Often, our enemies are so fierce & cruel that they’re like some huge python
With gaping jaws they want to swallow us up, they want to devour us,
They want to make an end of us, they want to make one meal of us,
if they could; but God will not allow it.
He will send from heaven & deliver us from
the reproach of all that would swallow us up
God shall send forth his mercy & his truth.
When hell sends its temptations to defile us,
When the world sends its persecutions to destroy us,
When our own heart wails in it’s unbelieving fears to distract & sink us,
God sends His mercy & His truth to save us
His truth is our shield & buckler
It is of because of the Lord’s mercy that we’re not consumed,
God’s mercies are new every morning & His faithfulness is great
God sends His mercy to comfort & protect us
God sends His truth to confound & correct our oppressors
I’M FEELING HOWLED AT AND HUNTED V.4
My soul is among lions
Lions are very strong in biting, rending, and tearing.
Lions are loud in their roar in their infidelities & their blasphemies
Lions are cruel in their degrading reproaches & misrepresentations
I’M FEELING THE HEAT OF HATE & I LIE EVEN AMONG
them that are set on fire
It is weird when others are so steaming hot & passionate about spreading
hate about & then they tell others they love❤️ us. Really?
THEY HARBOR HELLISH HOSTILITY
even the sons of men, whose teeth are spears & arrows & their tongue a sharp sword
The arrows & swords & spears, are symbolic of the hellish artillery of unbridled tongues!
A human tongue is soft, but it can cut to the very quick;
The wounds from a cruel tongue are not easily healed.
Many of us, as long they live, carry in us the scars that were made by a slanderous tongue.
As Calvin noted
“God himself was slandered by the old serpent in the garden of Eden
It’s not surprising that we’re still slandered by the serpent’s seed”
HE IS REVEALED V.5
AS HIGHER THAN THE HEAVENS
Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens; let thy glory be above all the earth.
God is bigger than our problems!
Trust is only as good as its object & a trustworthy object inspires trust.
But sometimes it takes intense trials to get us to look to the Lord & discover how trustworthy He is.
When Jesus was transfigured in front of them they saw no man but Jesus only!!!
We need the eyes of our heart opened to Jesus
We need to see Christ our Lord transfigured before us
Our problems are never bigger than God
So we pray: Exalt Yourself O God! Manifest Yourself!
It drives me crazy, but our present circumstances are a slur on God Himself
Let us see You exalted over them & glorified through all we released to You Lord!
AS A HELPER IN THE HOLE V.6
They have prepared a net for my steps; my soul is bowed down: they dig
a pit before me, into the midst whereof they are fallen themselves. Selah.
John Phillips wrote of a pastor in one of the Soviet-occupied countries of Europe.
He had an attractive daughter who worked in the office of a Soviet collective.
The communist party secretary gave her a choice—either she become his mistress or her father would be arrested & his church closed.
Under continued pressure she gave in. When she discovered that she was going to have a child she hung herself. She left a note in her pocket explaining why she had done so.
A comrade found the letter and confronted the man with it. The party secretary tore it
up & forged another which he put in its place. The forged letter said that she had been raped by her father & could no longer stand the shame.
The dead girl’s father was arrested, his church closed & he was sent to prison for his heinous crime. In jail, the pastor was constantly beaten by other prisoners who had a special aversion to sex offenders, especially those guilty of the kind of crime of which this pastor was accused.
All this time God was silent. Why? One day a new prisoner was brought into this pastor’s cell. It was the man responsible for his daughter’s death, for the closing of his church,
for the lies & slanders on his own good name, for the torment he had experienced.
The communist had been imprisoned for embezzlement. The noble pastor, made Christlike by his sufferings, actually forgave the man who had destroyed him.
God had triumphed!
Not just in terms of a few short years of time, but in terms of all eternity.
God is sovereign.
We may not always be able to trace His mysterious workings.
We must learn to trust where we cannot trace.
HE IS OUR REFRESHING 7-11
ATTACHING US TO PRAISE
REPAIRING THE INNER PERSON
My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed:
Praise is not our natural response in a time of trial.
Our natural response is to complain and get angry at God.
We naturally become depressed, discouraged & cranky.
But even though David’s enemy had fixed a net to catch him (57:6)
David had fixed his heart (57:7) to praise God.
The repeated affirmations show that it was a matter of deliberate choice:
“I will sing, yes, I will sing praises!”
We fix our heart to praise & we fix our heart by praise.
ROUSING THE INSPIRED PRAISE
I will sing and give praise
Fix our heart on praise Lord.
Make our heart steadfast, immovable & always abounding in You work Lord in praising;
Give us hearts of resolute purpose to praise; we will sing; we will praise;
Make us determined to live a life of perpetual praise.
Expand our hearts in the Power Of Perpetual Praise.”
Make praise the permanent pattern in our lives
Delight us that we would perpetually praise the Lord.
Whenever Robert G. Lee signed his name he wrote under it
I will bless the Lord at all times His praise shall continually be in my mouth Psalms 34:1
AWAKING US TO PRAYER V.8
EXCITING THE SPEECH
Awake up, my glory;
Awake up, my glory
Please Lord, Don’t let lethargy set in.
O God, Don’t let us droop from exhaustion & fatigue.
Let us Praise You giving all there is of us responding to all we know of You—
Let us Praise You with all of us acknowledging
out loud to all the beauties we know of You.
Cause us to worship You Lord in spirit & in truth. John 4:24
Inspire our Worshipping to You our Lord in spirit by
letting Your Holy Spirit energize our praise to God.
Enable our Worshipping of You Lord in truth
through Your filling us in God’s Words,
Empower us in Worshipping You God in truth by liberating
us to no longer hide how we feel about You as our God.
Place us in opportunities to be boldly truthful about how we feel about You God
ENABLING THE SONG
awake, psaltery and harp
We have to wake up to our need to perpetually give praise to the Lord
Jesus is worthy of continuous reverence
The entire universe of things, living & non-living—even the rocks—
are in one great paean of praise to our Lord!
All Your works will praise You, O Lord & all believers will bless You
The rocks, the trees, the river, the ocean, the sun, the moon & the stars—
The flowers say, “Praise the Lord.”
The beasts of the field say, “Praise the Lord.”
The rivers say, “Praise the Lord.”
The stars, like chandeliers in the sky, say, “Praise the Lord.”
“All thy works shall praise thee …”
So everything that God has created has been created to give Him praise
EXERCISING THE SCHEDULE
I myself will awake early
The four Angelic creatures have each of them six wings about him & they
were full of eyes within: and they rest not day & night, saying, Holy, holy, holy …”
Why are they saying, “Holy, holy, holy,”
Because Holy is the Father,
Because Holy is the Son our Lord Jesus Christ
Because Holy is the Spirit,
We will wake up early
They rest not day or night
How can we rest?
We have a grand opportunity every moment to venerate & adore
We worship a triune God—
Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was & is & is to come
AROUSING US TO PUBLIC PRAISE V.9
I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people: I will sing unto thee among the nations.
And I beheld & I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne & the
creatures & the elders & the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand,
and thousands of thousands; saying with a loud voice,
Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power & riches & wisdom & strength,
and honor & glory & blessing.
Adrian Rogers notes
“We are with multiplied millions of beings in the glory—
angelic beings—that are worshipping the Lord?”
Thousands & thousands & ten thousand times ten thousand & thousands
of thousands adoring & venerating the Lord.
Soon we’ll be singing with the voices of a hundred million
singing with our hearts swollen & brimming over in worship
“O Head once full of bruises, So full of pain & scorn,
Mid other sore abuses, Mocked with a crown of thorn;
O Head e’en now surrounded With brightest majesty,
In death once bowed & wounded On the accursed tree.
Thou Countenance transcendent! Thou life-creating Sun!
To worlds on Thee dependent—Yet bruised & spit upon:
O Lord, what Thee tormented Was our sins’ heavy load,
We had the debt augmented Which Thou didst pay in blood.
We give Thee thanks unfeigned, O Savior, Friend in need,
For what Thy soul sustained When Thou for us didst bleed.
Grant us to lean unshaken Upon Thy faithfulness,
Until, to glory taken, We see Thee face to face.”
ALERTING US TO PERSONAL PITY V.10-11
For thy mercy is great unto the heavens,
and thy truth unto the clouds.
David is proving through his poetic writings that God is worthy of praise.
Even while hiding in a cave of extreme difficulty
God’s goodness is found in His lovingkindness & His truth & faithfulness v.3 & v.10
“Lovingkindness” is seen in that He cares for & nurtures us with never-ending love.
“Truth” points to God’s faithfulness. God is consistent & trustworthy.
He never fails. No matter how severe the situations.
We’re never disappointed when we trust God..
No matter what adversity Paul was experiencing.
While in prison, facing possible execution,
He worshipped & praised the Lord saying
“Christ shall even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death”
We praise God’s loyal love & faithfulness in trial,
because Satan tempts us to doubt God’s loyal love & faithfulness.
Demons tempt us to think, “If God loves us, why is this happening to us?”
David’s is singing from the cave,
“God, Your mercy, Your grace, You lovingkindness is great unto the heavens
and Your truth to the clouds! Be exalted above the heavens, O God; let Your
glory be above all the earth.”
HIS ILLUSTRIOUSNESS V.11
Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: let thy glory be above all the earth.
We can’t praise & sulk.
We do at times groan out our praise.
Praise & irritation cannot exist at the same time.
God has given us the “garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. Isaiah 61:3
If we have a spirit of heaviness.
God wants to change our clothes.
God gives us a “garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.”