Psalm 59—Kill them not, lest my people forget

(17 verses, 1:25 to read)


  • David prays for deliverance from Saul who has sent men to watch and kill him.


  • Verses 1-2 are a plea for God to deliver David from Saul. Compare 1 Samuel 19.
  • Verses 3-5 describe the men sent by Saul and implore the Lord to “awake” and “rouse” Himself for David.
  • Verses 6-7 describe again the men sent by Saul to kill David. These verses parallel vv. 14-15.
  • Verses 8-10 are descriptions of God that offer a comparison of David’s enemies.
  • Verses 11-13 include what may seem as a strange request, but the desire here is for all the world to know the enemies of God are evil and ultimately defeated.
  • Verses 14-15 parallel vv.6-7.
  • Verses 16-17 offer a faithful reply to God’s steadfast love.


  • In verse 11, David asks that God “Kill them not, lest [his] people forget.” If you have no earthly struggle or suffering of any kind, you will become your own false-god, trusting in yourself. David prays that his enemies “totter,” that God “consume them in wrath…till they are no more,” and that God “kill them not.” On the surface it’s terribly confusing, but several things are true that will help our understanding.
    • God desires not the death of the wicked but that he turn from his evil ways and live. God desires that all would reach repentance.
    • It is perfectly just for God to destroy evil.
    • For us to refuse to forgive people until they’ve suitably apologized and repented is to deny that the blood and righteousness of Jesus avails for all sinners everywhere.
    • Vengeance belongs to the Lord.
    • Seeing God “consume [David’s enemies] in wrath…till they are no more” should bring those who see and hear of it to repentance. Jesus says in Luke 13, “Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”


  • Blessed Lord, You have caused all Holy Scriptures to be written for our learning. Grant that we may so hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them that, by patience and comfort of Your holy Word, we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Post below, or join the conversation in our Facebook group.

– Pastor Tyler Holt


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