Psalm 59

Psalm 59  •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 8
External enemies; the might of human power judged
Psalm 59 gives more the external enemies. The same wickedness is found there, but the might of human power with it. But they also must be judged, that wickedness may be set aside. Nor was it the sin of Israel against them that brought the heathen on them (however God might chasten them for sin against Him, so that He was justified). The suffering remnant look therefore for the intervention of Jehovah to judge them. And Jehovah shall judge all the heathen. They are not destroyed, but scattered, yet practically, as power, consumed; and many, as we know, slain.
This psalm speaks of no restoration of blessing. It is judgment, and judgment going on and not yet finished. And this judgment of the proud and wicked enemies will go on. Though rising up in rage to a head of wickedness, they will be sore smitten and consumed. All the heathen are concerned in it, but I apprehend that it is especially the apostate power animated of Satan-partially the king of Daniel 8 perhaps. It will be remarked here that, the moment it is in contrast with the heathen, the name of Jehovah is introduced. The personal address is still under the name of God, for the people are still outside. (See verses 3, 5 and 8 for Jehovah, and verses 1, 9-10 and 17 for the personal address.) Note, the result is, that God rules in Jacob unto the ends of the earth. Verses 14-15 are, I apprehend, a challenge. Let the heathen be as hungry dogs about the city, the believer will sing of Jehovah’s power. It is at the close of the tribulation.
The connection between Israel and Messiah shown by David
This psalm presents another phase of the connection of Israel and Messiah, and shows how David became the fitted instrument whom God had attuned to tell Messiah’s and the remnant’s sufferings. “Slay them not, lest my people forget.”1 Now, this is not the language of the king, as such, but of Jehovah. The only case where “my people” is used is 2 Samuel 22:4444Thou also hast delivered me from the strivings of my people, thou hast kept me to be head of the heathen: a people which I knew not shall serve me. (2 Samuel 22:44), or Psalm 18:4343Thou hast delivered me from the strivings of the people; and thou hast made me the head of the heathen: a people whom I have not known shall serve me. (Psalm 18:43), where Christ is the speaker. But when Christ is born, He is called Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins. Now Jesus was the personal verifying of that which was said of Jehovah. In all their afflictions He was afflicted, as in Isaiah 63. It is Jehovah who gets the tongue of the learned (Isa. 50). So that “my people,” where not directly of Jehovah which is frequent, is Christ entering into the sorrows of Israel, but in the love of Jehovah to them-no doubt as man (or how could He have actually suffered?) but still in the sympathies of Jehovah-yet, and because He is Jehovah, perfectly entering into them. It is thus He wept over Jerusalem, saying, “How often would I have gathered thy children together!” But that was Jehovah. Hence, though He can say “we,” because He graciously takes a place among the children, yet, in saying “we,” it brings in all His own value and excellency into the cry. “I” and “me” may often take up the case of an individual of the remnant; but in case of such an expression as “my people,” we clearly get One who stands in another position-not merely David. He says (like Moses) to Jehovah, “thy people” ever, and that is all right, but One who, in whatever sorrow, could say, as Jehovah, when spoken of by the Spirit, “my people,” and enter into their griefs with divine sympathy, and a righteous call for divine judgment. I apprehend that, though the enemies are the heathen, yet their complete intimacy and affinity with the wicked among the Jewish people is clearly intimated here. The same thing is found in Isaiah 66. They are all melted into one system and state of wickedness.
(1. If the title be right, David was not yet king de facto, and the Spirit of Christ in him spoke anticipatively of the title of the anointed one; but evidently in view of another epoch. Note too here all Israel is in view of the desires of faith, though no deliverance even of the Jews be yet accomplished.)