Psalm 59 is another of those great cries for deliverance, for liberation from evil which occur throughout the psalter. But praying psalms like these must always give the Christian pause for thought. The psalmist here seems pretty sure that the enemy from whom he must be delivered is external, is someone else ‘out there’:
- DELIVER me from mine enemies, O God: defend me from them that rise up against me.
- O deliver me from the wicked doers: and save me from the blood-thirsty men.
- For lo, they lie waiting for my soul: the mighty men are gathered against me, without any offence or fault of me, O Lord.
But for us it is not so clear. We know that the dividing line between good and evil runs, not down some political or national borderline, but right through the centre of every human heart. I cannot say to God that there is ‘no offence or fault in me’, and if I am to be delivered by the saving grace of God then that deliverance needs to start in me and with me before I turn my attention to anyone else, and so that is the turn and tenor of my response to this psalm.
As always you can hear me read the psalm by clicking on the title or the ‘play’ button’
These poems will all be gathered together and published on January 30th under the title David’s Crown. I am just working on the proofs now and there is already an amazon page for the book if you wish to pre-order it Here
The breach between my practice and my prayer
Exposes me to malice both without
And deep within. I’m only too aware
That I can’t pray this psalm, without some doubt
That I myself might be amongst the ones
Who run around the walls with greedy snout
And grudge if they’re not satisfied. My groans
In prayer to you are sometimes nothing more
Than my own dog’s desire for juicy bones.
Deliver me O Lord, and show me your
Patience and your mercy, set me free
Not from the sins of others, or the score
I sometimes keep of their iniquity,
But from my own deep-seated faults and failings,
From my false self, O Lord, deliver me.
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