Study Guide – Psalm 58


1 Justice—do you rulers know the meaning of the word?
    Do you judge the people fairly?
2 No! You plot injustice in your hearts.
    You spread violence throughout the land.
3 These wicked people are born sinners;
    even from birth they have lied and gone their own way.
4 They spit venom like deadly snakes;
    they are like cobras that refuse to listen,
5 ignoring the tunes of the snake charmers,
    no matter how skillfully they play.

6 Break off their fangs, O God!
    Smash the jaws of these lions, O Lord!
7 May they disappear like water into thirsty ground.
    Make their weapons useless in their hands.
8 May they be like snails that dissolve into slime,
    like a stillborn child who will never see the sun.
9 God will sweep them away, both young and old,
    faster than a pot heats over burning thorns.

10 The godly will rejoice when they see injustice avenged.
    They will wash their feet in the blood of the wicked.
11 Then at last everyone will say,
    “There truly is a reward for those who live for God;
    surely there is a God who judges justly here on earth.” NLT


Read verses 1-2. Are these questions relevant in our world today?


In verse 3, why might the writer of this psalm, David, come to this conclusion? How does our upbringing contribute to our behavior when we are later given influence over others?


Describe the meaning of David’s metaphor in verses 4-6.


What different metaphors does David switch through in verses 6-9? Even if these comparisons seem insensitive at first, describe the confident conviction he has in choosing these metaphors.


Read the last two verses of this psalm. What does David believe will happen eventually?



Eventually, David implies, the godly will know a reward. But in the meantime, how are the godly to live in an unjust world? What can this psalm teach us about our attitude and action towards injustice?

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