David was in trouble—due to no fault of his own. He had been a model citizen. In fact, he had proven himself a true national hero during a military crisis when the courage of Israel’s warriors had failed them. As you know from I Samuel 17, David had unintentionally made a name for himself on the battlefield by killing Goliath of Gath—the champion-giant of Israel’s archenemy, the Philistines.
But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble. Psalm 59:16
As a result of this heroic act, David, still a young man, was recruited into King Saul’s army, and fast-tracked right to the top as captain and confidante to the moody and maniacal king. He was even given Saul’s daughter, Michal, as his wife. But things turned bad when the unstable king began to show signs of irrational and insane jealousy toward David. It got so bad that he took out a hit on David’s life.
This psalm was written when David got wind of Saul’s plan, forcing him to leave his wife, abandon his home and flee for his life. As you can see from the title given in the Psalter (Psalm 59:1), Saul had sent his henchmen to stake out David’s house in order to carry out their immoral and illegal plot (Psalm 59:3). And according to David’s song, they were doing more that just trying to murder him: They were attempting to assassinate his character in the eyes of a nation that had come to adore him as their warrior-hero (Psalm 59:10-11). So David writes about them and puts a tune to it—a song that immortalizes their evil and invites divine destruction down upon their heads.
So what does a psalm like this have to do with you? Is there anything in David’s diatribe meant for your edification today? My answer is “yes”—this psalm is edifying and it does have everything to do with you. You see, although I doubt that you will ever have a “hit” taken out on your life, chances are there will be people in your life from time to time who will try to assassinate your character and ruin your reputation. When that happens, you can reach back to David’s experience and, if nothing else, remember this one thing:
Though people can kill your body, assassinate your character, and ruin your reputation, they can never steal your song.
At the end of the day, evil people will be no more, but your integrity will keep you in favored standing with the only One who has the power of eternal life and death. Powerful people may try to bring you down, but God is your “Strength”; they may try to force you out, but you have One whose name is “Fortress”. (Psalm 59:9,16) They may make your life miserable, but you belong to One who is your “Shield”. (Psalm 59:11)
Evil people and unfair times will pass, but God stands forever—and since you belong to Him, you will stand forever, too! So go ahead friend and sing. I normally don’t recommend Elton John songs for worship, but you may want to even sing one of his: I’m Still Standing.
Just Saying…The Puritan preacher, Thomas Watson said, “Eternity to the godly is a day that has no sunset; eternity to the wicked is a night that has no sunrise.”