“But I will sing of Your power; yes, I will sing aloud of Your mercy in the morning; for You have been my defense and refuge in the day of my trouble. To You, O my Strength, I will sing praises; for God is my defense, my God of mercy.” Psalm 59:16–17
Psalm fifty-nine was written in the early days of Saul’s hunting for David to take his life. Up until this point Saul has been trying to do away with David by continually sending him on dangerous missions fighting against the Philistines in the hope that he would die in battle.
At the beginning of that years war season David had been promised that if he was able to kill one hundred Philistines that Saul would give him his daughter Michal as his wife. David and Michal cared for each other and David was so eager to prove himself that when the war season had ended he had doubled the required dowery Saul had asked for.
But Saul wasn’t happy. His hidden goal was that David would have died during all the fighting required to win Michal as his bride. But it had all backfired. David was more of a hero now than ever and Saul had to give Michal to him or lose all his honor before the people.
But Saul wasn’t done. A year later, after another successful war season, he returned to plotting to take David’s life. This time he tried to pin David to the wall with a spear as David played the harp for him and when that failed he sent his men to watch David and to capture him in his home and to kill him.
But Michal was familiar with her father’s way of working and she warned David that Saul would kill him in the morning if he didn’t escape that night. So she helped David escape through a window, put an image in the bed to make it look like he was in it and then told the soldiers that David was very sick and was sleeping. This deception allowed David to get far away.
In Psalm fifty-nine David expresses all his anger and frustration to God. He doesn’t deserve Saul’s wrath. He’s done nothing except try and serve Saul to the best of his ability and his repayment is a death sentence.
Still, as David runs for his life, not knowing that living life on the run will be his life for the next several years, but knowing that it will take a miracle to change Saul’s heart toward him, he still has it in him to end this psalm with praise to God for his power and protection.
David sets the example for us. The circumstances of our lives are never so bad that we’re without reason to give God praise. No matter what our immediate situation in life is like God is still on the throne, all the power and authority is still his, his hand is still over us to bless and defend, and he will hold the oppressor accountable for all the evil he has done.
Like David, even during times of hardest trials, we should always lift up God’s name in praise.