Psalm 60 Devotional
by Pastor Lawrence
Even with the superscription given concerning David’s conflict with the Edomites, we are not entirely sure what happened and when. But like with many of the psalms, this one is timeless in its applications. It seems that there was either a military or a political defeat of such magnitude that it made David and Israel feel that God was working against them.
You can feel the raw emotion in the beginning of his prayer: “you have rejected us…you have been angry…you have made your people see hard things…you have given us wine to drink that made us stagger.” Somehow the enemies of Israel had overwhelmingly defeated them in such a way that they were in shock. The whole earth seemed to be quaking and tottering in the turmoil.
David’s prayer is for help. “Restore us…repair the breaches…give salvation by your right hand.” Even as he calls out to his heavenly king, he acknowledges that he stand under a greater banner than his own and that all who stand under God’s banner are safe. So he calls out to the God who hears his prayer.
Beginning in v.6, David takes comfort in the Word of God concerning God’s power to defeat his enemies. For God has already promised to give to Israel all the land from Shechem to the Vale of Succoth, or all the land from the west to the east. God already owns the territory that is in dispute on the eastern side of the Jordan River: “Gilead is mine; Manasseh is mine,” he says. And the Lord will work through the tribes on the western side of the border to secure those lands. He will use Ephraim as his helmet and Judah, David’s own tribe, will function as his scepter to reign over those lands that seemed to have been lost to the enemy.
The Lord has assured his people that as much as their enemies have boasted in their strength, they are worthless servants in God’s sight. In v.8, he refers to Moab as his washbasin, or the receptacle at which he washes his dirty feet. Edom is seen as the lowly slave upon whom he casts his filthy shoes. And the Lord simply states that he shouts in triumph over Philistia as if the battle has already been won.
With these promises remembered, David asks in v.9 “Who will bring me to the fortified city?” That is the impregnable city of Petra in the rocks. He acknowledges that he cannot do it without God’s help, but he feels that God has abandoned his armies, rejecting them as his people. So once again, he cries out to God to help them against the foe, for only with his help will they tread down their enemies.
Anytime God’s people see the success of the wicked and feel the bitter pain of defeat, they are urged in a similar manner to cry out to God for help, to rally under his banner, to remember his promises, and to put their trust in the Lord rather than in men. For our God will break down all the fortifications of the wicked, and the meek shall inherit all the earth.