Study Guide – Psalm 57:1-5

Psalm57-1-5

1 Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy!
    I look to you for protection.
I will hide beneath the shadow of your wings
    until the danger passes by.
2 I cry out to God Most High,
    to God who will fulfill his purpose for me.
3 He will send help from heaven to rescue me,
    disgracing those who hound me. Interlude
My God will send forth his unfailing love and faithfulness.

4 I am surrounded by fierce lions
    who greedily devour human prey—
whose teeth pierce like spears and arrows,
    and whose tongues cut like swords.

5 Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens!
    May your glory shine over all the earth. NLT

 

Read verses 1-2. What kind of situation usually causes someone to cry out for mercy?

 

The background of this psalm concerns a time when David was fleeing for his life from King Saul. David had hidden in a cave (1 Samuel 22) while Saul intended to kill him even though he had done nothing wrong. With this situation in mind, why would David cry out to God for mercy… and purpose?

 

Why do some psalms compare God’s protection to being in the “shadow of God’s wings” (see Psalm 63:8, Etc.)?

 

:::: DIGGING DEEPER :::::

At another point David wrote that he “walked in the shadow of death.” If you have time, consider the contrast between the metaphor of these two “shadows”.

 

In verses 2-4, describe the scene. What is causing David to cry out? Imagine what would cause David to use the analogy of “fierce lions”.

 

Apply this situation practically now. Where you felt like life was barreling down on you. What times in your life have you felt a need to cry out for mercy from God?

 

::::: EQUIPPING CHALLENGE :::::

 

Read verse 5. In the midst of his anxiety, how is David able to stop and praise God? How could you bring yourself to do this when your times of trouble come?

 

Ken Castor

Ken Castor is a husband, dad, pastor, writer and teacher. He serves as a professor at Crown College, Minnesota, where he equips students to pursue Jesus-Centered Faith and Next Generation Ministry. For 20+ years he's focused on equipping the next generations in places like the U.S., Canada, and Northern Ireland. He's the author of Grow Down (Simply Youth Ministry, 2014), Make a Difference (Broadstreet, 2016), the Blue-Letters Editor of the Jesus-Centered Bible (Group, 2015) and numerous other articles and Bible Study guides. But, whenever possible, he gets down on the floor and builds Lego with his kids. Connect with him @kencastor.

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