Psalm 57 — Heaven’s Help — Reading the Psalms


For the Chief Musician; set to Al-tashheth. A Psalm of David: Michtam: When he fled from Saul, in the cave.

1 Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me;
For my soul taketh refuge in thee:
Yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I take refuge,
Until these calamities be overpast.
2 I will cry unto God Most High;
Unto God that performeth all things for me.
3 He shall send from heaven, and save me,
When he that would swallow me up reproacheth;   Selah
God shall send forth his mercy and his truth.
4 My soul is among lions;
I lie among them that are set on fire,
Even the sons of men, whose teeth are spears and arrows,
And their tongue a sharp sword.
5 Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens;
Let thy glory be above all the earth.
6 They have prepared a net for my steps;
Thy soul is bowed down:
They have digged a pit before me;
They are fallen into the midst thereof themselves.     Selah
7 My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed:
I will sing, yea, I will sing praises.
8 Awake up, my glory; awake, psaltery and harp:
I myself will awake right early.
9 I will give thanks unto thee, O Lord, among the peoples:
I will sing praises unto thee among the nations.
10 For thy mercy is great unto the heavens,
And thy truth unto the skies.
11 Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens;
Let thy glory be above all the earth.

When we are overwhelmed by the workers of iniquity, when our sorrows rise to fill all we can see, when we feel treachery rising from below and from around every corner, we can cry unto God Most High and be heard. Praise God to be heard down here below. Praise God for his salvation. He shall send from heaven and save me.

That line jumped out at me in my reading today. “He shall send from heaven and save me.” Yes, of course it’s from heaven, ’cause that’s where God is! Even so, let the idea dwell in your heart for a moment: here below, surrounded by sorrows and drowning in depression, failed by humanity’s efforts to help, our help is from Heaven. He shall send help from Heaven. Not some earthly patch job, nor some short-term bandaid to cover over symptoms, but the honest and true Son of God, the word made flesh, incarnate who walked this earth, heaven sent for our help and hope.

No wonder David can say, “My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed.” This is no “fixing what’s broken”, though that’s a neat idea. Rather, “fixed” means steadfast and sure, confident, determined or prepared. With help from above, our hearts may be fixed.

Do not doubt. Do not fear. Sure, what you see ahead is scary, but what do you see above?


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