David is hiding in a cave, on the run from a jealous king Saul. Saul has accused him of treason, but David is innocent and so asks God for mercy (Psalm 57:1a)—not for the mercy of strength but the mercy of God’s protection. David imagines God like a mother hen, hiding him from Saul’s stalking (Psalm 57:1b). He cries for God to vindicate his name and refute the accusations Saul has spread (Psalm 57:2).
David’s confident that God will answer these prayers. He believes God will send vindication from heaven for him, and shame on Saul for his unjustified and violent crusade (Psalm 57:3a). Saul is like a lion; his fangs are spears and his tongue is a sword (Psalm 57:4). But God is faithful and will send love from heaven (Psalm 57:3a). He prays that God in all his glory will soon come down from heaven and cover the earth (Psalm 57:5).
Then David transitions from lamenting his suffering, to praising God in the middle of it. He knows Saul’s accusations of guilt will become Saul’s downfall (Psalm 57:6). Despite his circumstances, David is confident. His heart even sings under oppression in hope that God will comfort him with his presence soon (Psalm 57:7). David might be covered in darkness, but he is innocent. Unswerving, he plays his harp and sings his song through the night until God brings the dawn (Psalm 57:8). Even if David’s rescue is not immediate, and even if David is exiled from his homeland, David will still sing because God is faithful and his love extends to wherever there is sky or clouds (Psalm 57:9). Then David prays again that God will bless him with his presence and come down from heaven and cover the earth in all his glory (Psalm 57:11).
Where is the Gospel?
God answers David’s prayer in Jesus. Jesus is all God’s glory in the flesh (Hebrews 1:3). And as David asked, Jesus came to protect his people from the accusations of their enemy like a hen protects her chicks under her wing (Matthew 23:37). Jesus does this by defeating the lies of a greater enemy than Saul—Satan.
Like Saul accused David, Jesus allows Satan to accuse and condemn him in our place. He lets the enemy dig his pit and willingly lies down in it (John 10:18). But when Jesus died on the cross he also vindicated us from our enemy’s accusations (Colossians 1:22). He becomes guilty of everything our enemy could rightfully accuse us of, so that we can become innocent and vindicated by his death in our place (1 Peter 2:24).
And even worse for the enemy’s plan, Jesus rose from his tomb because he was not guilty. Forever, Jesus stands vindicated and the vindicator of all who cry out in hope to God’s faithfulness, love, glory, and power shown on the cross. That means with even more confidence than David, we can sing in the night because our enemy has fallen into his own trap (1 Corinthians 2:8)! And there is no lying king or spiritual power left to accuse or condemn us.
See for Yourself
I pray that the Holy Spirit will open your eyes to see the God who sends his love and faithfulness from heaven. And may you see Jesus as God’s glory in the flesh, who vindicates everyone who cries out to him.