Psalm 57

57:0Saul was king of Israel. David was one of his servants. David's job was to make music when Saul was sad. This happened often. People liked David very much. Saul did not like this. He tried to kill David. David ran away. He hid in a cave. Saul did not find him. Bible students think that David wrote Psalm 57 at this time. They also think that he wrote it so that people could sing it to music that they called ‘Do not destroy.’ Psalm 57 is a miktam. This means that it had a hidden meaning, or had special teaching in it. There are two stories in the Bible about David hiding in a cave. One is in 1 Samuel 22, the other in 1 Samuel 24. We do not know which one this psalm is about.


This is for the music leader.

He must use the music called ‘Do not destroy.’

This is a miktam of David, when he ran away from Saul into the cave.

57:0The psalm is in two parts: verses 1-5 and verses 6-11. Both end with the words ‘God, lift yourself above the skies. Lift your glory above all the earth’ (verses 5 and 11). God is already above the skies, in his home in heaven. These two verses mean ‘God, show everyone that you are Lord of everything.’

1 Be gracious to me, God, be gracious to me.

I have looked for a place to hide in that is near to you.

I will hide under the shadow of your wings until the danger is past.

2 I will pray to God, the Most High God,

to the God who will finish his plan for me.

3 He will send a word from heaven and he will save me.

He will stop the people that are trying to catch me.


God will send me his kind love and his truth.

4 There are lions all round me!

I must lie down near man-eating animals!

They are men and their teeth are like spears and arrows.

Their tongues are like sharp swords.

5 God, lift yourself up above the skies.

Lift your glory above all the earth.

57:5Verses 1-5: Here David is asking God for help. He asks God to be gracious, or to ‘have mercy.’ (Look at Psalm 56.) He wants God to be kind to him and save him from Saul. In verse 1 he says that he will hide under the shadow of God's wings. This is like a mother bird hiding her babies under her wings. She hides them from danger. This is a picture of God hiding David from danger. In verse 2 ‘his plan for me’ means ‘all the things that God wants to happen to me.’ In verse 3 heaven is where God lives. His word is what he wants to happen. His truth is everything that he says. In verse 4 David sees Saul and all his other enemies as wild animals: they want to eat him like a lion eats smaller animals. ‘Their tongues are like swords’ probably means the unkind things that they say. They hurt David.

6 My enemies put a net for my feet.

I was very sad because of my trouble.

They dug a hole in front of me, but they fell into it!


7 God, I have decided to be yours always!

I will sing your praises as well as I can!

8 Wake up, harp and lyre.

I will wake up the dawn!

9 Lord, I will thank you in front of all the people.

I will sing your praises everywhere.

10 Your kind love is great. It is higher than the clouds.

Your truth reaches to the skies.

11 God, lift yourself up above the skies.

Lift your glory above all the earth.

57:11Verses 6-11: Here David is thanking God because God saved him. Saul did not find David in the cave! In verse 8 David tells his harp and his lyre to wake up. This means that he has not made music on them. They have been quiet, or ‘asleep!’ Now he wants them to make music to praise God. He will start so early in the morning that he will ‘wake up the dawn.’