The Word Made Fresh
(For the worship leader: To the tune of “Do Not Destroy.” A song of David when he hid in a cave from Saul.)
1Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy!
My soul looks to you for safety,
and I will hide in the shadow of your wings
until the danger is past.
2I call out to God Most High,
whose purpose for me is guaranteed.
3God will respond from heaven and rescue me,
making those who walk over me ashamed.
I will receive God’s constant love and care.
4I lie down among greedy lions that prey on others.
Their teeth are spears and arrows.
Their tongues are sharpened swords.
5You are praised, O God, above the heavens.
May your glory cover the whole world!
6They set up a trap for me while my spirit was low.
They dug a pit in my path but fell into it themselves.
7My heart is loyal, O God, my heart is loyal.
I will sing and compose a tune.
8Wake up, my soul! Wake up, harp and lyre!
I will awaken the morning!
9I will raise thanksgivings to you, LORD, for everyone to hear.
I will sing praises to you throughout all the nations,
10because your love is greater than the clouds above
and you are as dependable as the skies.
11Be praised above the heavens, O God!
Let the brightness of your presence cover the earth!
Superscription: the 44th psalm ascribed to David, this one ostensibly composed on one of the occasions when he was hiding from Saul in a cave (see, for example, 1 Samuel 22:1 and 24:3). “Do not destroy” may be a reference to a tune or the title of a musical prelude (see also Psalms 58, 59 and 75) but is probably simply an instruction to preserve the psalm.
1-3: The psalm begins with an expression of trust in God and a hint that enemies are lurking in the shadows.
4: “I lie down among greedy lions” is intended figuratively, of course, but we wonder if the imagery identifies the threat as being from within the household of the author, for those would be the people among whom he would lie down.
5: The description of the threat is interrupted by an acclamation of God’s exalted status, which is repeated in the last verse.
6: We return to the struggle and find that the threat has been thwarted and the adversaries have been caught in their own designs.
7-10: The threat has passed with the passing of the night. Dawn comes and the author is safe. God’s praises are sung, and thanksgivings are said.
11: Verse 5 is repeated.
If you have ever felt threatened by someone or some situation and then experienced the relief of discovering that your fears were for naught, this psalm is for you. Praise the LORD!