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Monday, January 19 2015

Psalm 59: What Were They Thinking?

"To the chief Musician, Altaschith, Michtam of David; when Saul sent, and they watched the house to kill him"

One of the great many benefits of reading all of the Holy Scriptures is that it provides a complete view. For example, most people are familiar with the Crucifixion (see The Day That The Messiah Was Crucified), as recorded in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. There, we have eyewitness accounts of the people who were looking up at Jesus. But the Psalms also provide the only eyewitness account of the Crucifixion through the Messiah's own eyes, as He looked down from the Cross (see David's View From The Cross). Those who don't bother to read the "Old Testament" deprive themselves, not only of what the Messiah saw, but of what He was actually thinking.

"22:16 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet. 22:17 I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me. 22:18 They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture." (Psalm 22:16-18 KJV)

Those who read all of the Bible are given a whole view of the things that happened (see Holy Bible Reading Plan With Study Notes). For example, Saul's attempts to kill David - Saul's most loyal and battle-successful warrior (a bizarre situation that shows just how foolish and twisted that Saul's thinking had become; see Saul's Impeachment and The Anointing Of David) as recorded in 1 Samuel, is the psychological basis for David's writing of the Fifty-ninth Psalm.

David and Saul

"19:1 And Saul spake to Jonathan his son, and to all his servants, that they should kill David. 19:2 But Jonathan Saul's son delighted much in David: and Jonathan told David, saying, Saul my father seeketh to kill thee: now therefore, I pray thee, take heed to thyself until the morning, and abide in a secret place, and hide thyself: 19:3 And I will go out and stand beside my father in the field where thou art, and I will commune with my father of thee; and what I see, that I will tell thee.

19:4 And Jonathan spake good of David unto Saul his father, and said unto him, Let not the king sin against his servant, against David; because he hath not sinned against thee, and because his works have been to thee-ward very good: 19:5 For he did put his life in his hand, and slew the Philistine, and the LORD wrought a great salvation for all Israel: thou sawest it, and didst rejoice: wherefore then wilt thou sin against innocent blood, to slay David without a cause?" (1 Samuel 19:1-5 KJV)

Saul had become very unstable in his word and behavior. He repeatedly promised not to harm David, just before he made another attempt to kill him.

"19:6 And Saul hearkened unto the voice of Jonathan: and Saul sware, As the LORD liveth, he shall not be slain.

19:7 And Jonathan called David, and Jonathan shewed him all those things. And Jonathan brought David to Saul, and he was in his presence, as in times past." (1 Samuel 19:6-7 KJV)

Loyal David delivered many battle victories for Saul, to which Saul attempted to kill David - David was at greater danger at home than on the battlefield against the Palestinians ("Philistine" and "Palestinian" are merely different English-language pronunciations of a single Biblical word; see Where Is Palestine?).

"19:8 And there was war again: and David went out, and fought with the Philistines, and slew them with a great slaughter; and they fled from him.

19:9 And the evil spirit from the LORD was upon Saul, as he sat in his house with his javelin in his hand: and David played with his hand. 19:10 And Saul sought to smite David even to the wall with the javelin; but he slipped away out of Saul's presence, and he smote the javelin into the wall: and David fled, and escaped that night." (1 Samuel 19:8-10 KJV)

So it was then that Saul sent assassins to David's house to kill him.

David and Michal

"19:11 Saul also sent messengers unto David's house, to watch him, and to slay him in the morning: and Michal David's wife told him, saying, If thou save not thy life to night, to morrow thou shalt be slain. 19:12 So Michal let David down through a window: and he went, and fled, and escaped. 19:13 And Michal took an image, and laid it in the bed, and put a pillow of goats' hair for his bolster, and covered it with a cloth.

19:14 And when Saul sent messengers to take David, she said, He is sick.

19:15 And Saul sent the messengers again to see David, saying, Bring him up to me in the bed, that I may slay him. 19:16 And when the messengers were come in, behold, there was an image in the bed, with a pillow of goats' hair for his bolster.

19:17 And Saul said unto Michal, Why hast thou deceived me so, and sent away mine enemy, that he is escaped?

And Michal answered Saul, He said unto me, Let me go; why should I kill thee?" (1 Samuel 19:11-17 KJV)

The Fifty-ninth Psalm is about that very incident, a "Michtam of David; when Saul sent, and they watched the house to kill him."

"59:1 To the chief Musician, Altaschith, Michtam of David; when Saul sent, and they watched the house to kill him.

Deliver me from mine enemies, O my God: defend me from them that rise up against me. 59:2 Deliver me from the workers of iniquity, and save me from bloody men.

59:3 For, lo, they lie in wait for my soul: the mighty are gathered against me; not for my transgression, nor for my sin, O LORD. 59:4 They run and prepare themselves without my fault: awake to help me, and behold. 59:5 Thou therefore, O LORD God of hosts, the God of Israel, awake to visit all the heathen: be not merciful to any wicked transgressors. Selah.

59:6 They return at evening: they make a noise like a dog, and go round about the city. 59:7 Behold, they belch out with their mouth: swords are in their lips: for who, say they, doth hear? 59:8 But thou, O LORD, shalt laugh at them; thou shalt have all the heathen in derision.

59:9 Because of his strength will I wait upon thee: for God is my defence. 59:10 The God of my mercy shall prevent me: God shall let me see my desire upon mine enemies. 59:11 Slay them not, lest my people forget: scatter them by thy power; and bring them down, O Lord our shield. 59:12 For the sin of their mouth and the words of their lips let them even be taken in their pride: and for cursing and lying which they speak. 59:13 Consume them in wrath, consume them, that they may not be: and let them know that God ruleth in Jacob unto the ends of the earth. Selah.

59:14 And at evening let them return; and let them make a noise like a dog, and go round about the city. 59:15 Let them wander up and down for meat, and grudge if they be not satisfied. 59:16 But I will sing of thy power; yea, I will sing aloud of thy mercy in the morning: for thou hast been my defence and refuge in the day of my trouble.

59:17 Unto thee, O my strength, will I sing: for God is my defence, and the God of my mercy." (Psalm 59:1-17 KJV)

Fact Finder: What does "countenance" mean in the Holy Bible?
See What Is Your Countenance Saying?


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This Day In History, January 19

379: Roman Emperor Gratian promoted Flavius Theodosius to "Augustus" (see A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars), thereby giving him authority over all the eastern provinces of the Roman Empire (see a map of the Roman Empire in Israel In History and Prophecy: Aelia Capitolina).

1419: In the Hundred Years War between England and France, the French city of Rouen surrendered to Henry V, completing his conquest of Normandy.

1493: The First Treaty of Barcelona; Charles VIII of France ceded Roussillon and Cerdagne to Spain in order to gain its neutrality while he invaded Italy.

Miles Coverdale 1523: In Switzerland, Ulrich Zwingli published his 67 Articles, the first manifesto of the Zurich Reformation which attacked the authority of the Pope.

1563: The Heidelberg Catechism was first published in Germany. Written by Peter Ursinus and Caspar Olevianus, it comprised a balanced statement of Calvinist tradition, and was soon after accepted by nearly all of the Reformed churches in Europe.

1569: Miles (or Myles) Coverdale died at age 80. The Church of England reformer published the first complete printed English-language Bible. He completed the translation of The Old Testament which William Tyndale had left unfinished at his death in 1536.

1783: William Pitt became the youngest-ever Prime Minister of England at age 24.

1889: The Salvation Army split, as one faction within the denomination renounced allegiance to founder William Booth. Booth's son Ballington and his wife Maud led the U.S. splinter group, which in 1896 incorporated itself as a separate denomination known as the "Volunteers of America" (regardless of its self-proclaimed all-inclusive name, the new organization actually only involved the United States of America; the Salvation Army continued in Canada and the numerous other countries that also exist throughout the vast continents of North and South America).

1899: Britain and Egypt established joint control over Sudan.

1915: The first casualties to result from an air raid over Britain occurred when a Zeppelin dropped 6 bombs on Yarmouth. 2 people died and 3 were injured.

1921: Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador signed the Pact of Union.

1943: Crown Princess Juliana, later to become Queen of the Netherlands, gave birth in Ottawa to Princess Margriet. The Princess and her family took refuge in Canada to escape the German occupation of the Netherlands during the Second World War. The Government of Canada temporarily extended the Netherlands embassy status in Ottawa to include the Queen's private hospital maternity room so that the moment of the birth was in Netherlands sovereign territory.

1966: Indira Gandhi was elected prime minister of India in succession to Lal Shastri who had died on January 11. Shastri had succeeded Gandhi's father, Jawaharlal Nehru.

1975: 20 people were injured at the airport in Paris, France, after Arab terrorists attempted a grenade attack on an El Al jumbo jet and then seized three hostages.

1983: Klaus Barbie, notorious SS chief of Lyon in Nazi-occupied France, was arrested in Bolivia.

1983: The Apple Lisa, the first commercial personal computer from Apple to have a graphical user interface and a computer mouse, was introduced.

1986: The first computer "virus" was released into the public; a boot-sector virus was created by the Farooq Alvi Brothers in Lahore, Pakistan, reportedly to prevent piracy of their software products.

1991: During the (first) Kuwait War (to liberate Kuwait from Iraq's invasion and occupation of the country), Iraq's Saddam Hussein began launching "Scud" missiles on Haifa and Tel Aviv the day after U.S. forces began bombing Iraq. Hussein's intention was to provoke an Israeli entry into the war and thereby cause the Arab allied forces to quit the war against Iraq. The Israelis did not respond, even after suffering 13 dead, 200 wounded, and 4,000 buildings damaged.

1997: Palestinian terrorist leader Yasser Arafat returned to Hebron for the first time in more than 30 years and joined 60,000 celebrating Palestinians after Israel handed over 80% of the city to Palestinian control. There remained 500 Jewish settlers in Hebron (where Abraham, Isaac and Jacob/Israel, along with their wives Sarah, Rebekah and Leah, are buried in a family tomb; see A Biography Of Abraham: Mamre in Hebron) along with 130,000 Palestinians.


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