Chewing on Psalm 57 this morning.
First thing that grabbed my attention was the seeming incongruity between the songwriter’s wretched circumstance and the songwriter’s worshipful response.
My soul is in the midst of lions; I lie down amid fiery beasts — the children of man, whose teeth are spears and arrows, whose tongues are sharp swords. . . .
I will sing and make melody! Awake, my glory! Awake, O harp and lyre! I will awake the dawn! I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to You among the nations.
(Psalm 57:4, 7b-9 ESV)
In the midst of lions, yet waking the dawn with a two-piece band and songs of thanksgiving. From lying down with fiery beasts to getting up with songs of praise. Huh? How do you get there from here?
I get how the song starts: “Be merciful to me, O God.” Desperation 101. Help! When you’re in quicksand you need a rope.
But from there to “Be exalted, O God”? How’s that possible?
Short answer: A steadfast heart.
My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast! I will sing and make melody!
(Psalm 57:7 ESV)
A steadfast heart. That’s the anchor for the soul, tethering the soul to the One who can provide refuge for the soul (57:1).
A heart fixed on the sovereignty of God. Dealing with tragedy by crying out to God Most High. Maintaining focus on the God who can be counted on to fulfill His purpose for us (57:2).
A heart set firmly on the nature of God. The God whose steadfast love is “great to the heavens”, whose faithfulness stretches to the clouds (57:10).
A steadfast heart. That’s the secret sauce that allows the soul bowed down in suffering to turn their face heavenward and sing of a Savior. The secure foundation that exchanges hurt for a harp and loss for a lyre. The unwavering conviction that settles all conflict.
If God is for us, who can be against us?
(Romans 8:31b ESV)
To be sure, there is a place for the song of lament in the midst of deep trials. But, through a steadfast heart, there is also the place for praise, thanksgiving, and the exalting, and the exalting again, of the Name that is — and always has been, and always will be — the Name that is above all names.
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let Your glory be over all the earth! . . .
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let Your glory be over all the earth!
(Psalm 57:5 , 11)
A steadfast heart, that’s our anchor for the soul.
By His grace. For His glory.