Before Psalm 59 actually begins, the composer jots down some notes:
For the director of music. To the tune of “Do Not Destroy”. Of David. A miktam. When Saul had sent men to watch David’s house in order to kill him.
This interesting side note is not assigned a verse number, but it sure sets the scene. David is peeking out between the curtains at night and sees King Saul’s gangsters are back again. They are like mad dogs, lurking in the shadows, waiting for a chance to attack. David knows he is on the top of Saul’s hit list and that the thugs are there to assassinate him. 1 Samuel 19:11 verifies the story: “Saul sent men to David’s house to watch it and to kill him in the morning.”
So what does David do? What any man would do in that situation. He picks up his pen and journal and writes lyrics to a song that’s been going through his head all day! Instead of sharpening his sword and forming an escape plan, David writes. He sets down before God everything that is on his mind. “Deliver me! Save me! Protect me!” and “Bring them down! Consume them in your wrath! Show no mercy!” His fear and his desire for revenge pour out in complete honesty. Once all that is off his chest and he has cleared his head, his heart is able to speak: “I sing praise to you; you, O God, are my fortress, my loving God.”
That’s what I love about David. He always comes back around to praise and worship. Even when his house is surrounded by hit men sent by the king, he finds a song to sing. Even when his life is in utter chaos, David is confident in his God.
I need to remember David’s example when all my worries howl at me in the night and nip at my heels. After I’ve cried and complained to God, I need to remember to come back around and wrap it all up with praise. And when I can’t come up with praise-filled words of my own, I’ll borrow some from David.