Read: Psalm 58:1; 1 Samuel 19:1 – 7
In Psalm 58 David complained to God about the “mighty ones” or “rulers” who did not speak righteousness and permitted Saul to go on with their persecution of David. By contrast, Jonathan spoke up for David and his voice influenced Saul for a time. Jonathan had the courage to stand up for what was right, even when he had to stand alone.
Think About It: Have I ever had to stand alone for what is right? Have I ever been afraid to do so? What is the potential impact of even a single voice that speaks up for righteousness? Do I really believe that I can make a difference?
Prayer: That the Lord will grant me courage to speak up for the right, even if I have to stand alone.
Read: Psalm 58:2; 6 – 9; Mark 8:34 – 38
The rulers about whom David complained worked evil in their hearts; they no doubt imagined how they would profit by cooperating with Saul.
Think About It: What was the fate of those wicked leaders who gave their support to Saul and persecuted David? Am I ever tempted to do wrong in order to profit in some way? What can help me deal with that temptation?
Prayer: For wisdom to see the true results of moral failure.
Read: Psalm 58:4 – 5; Matthew 13:11 – 16
The rulers who acquiesced to Saul were like deaf cobras who could not be charmed; they had stopped their ears to the truth. This is a warning for would-be evangelists. No matter how persuasive our speech, hearts are not won by the skill of the evangelist, but by the work of the Holy Spirit.
Think About It: Was there ever a time when I had stopped my ears to the truth of the Gospel? How was it that I heard and understood the truth? What does this tell me about the work of evangelism?
Prayer: That God would open the hearts and minds of those to whom I witness and for whose salvation I pray.
Read: Psalm 58: 6 – 11
This section of Psalm 58 is a lesson on how to pray. David asked boldly for what he wanted. He left vengeance to God. He based his request on God’s glory.
Think About It: In vv. 10 – 11 how specifically would God be glorified if He answered David’s prayer? Do I structure my prayers so that they are based on God’s glory? Am I willing, like David, to leave vengeance to God?
Prayer: That my focus in prayer might be more on God’s glory than on getting what I want.
Read: Psalm 58:1 – 2; 2 Kings 8:27; 2 Kings 12:2
Psalm 58 provides a warning to would-be reformers. While it is true that some systems are more liable to corruption than others, the basic problem is usually not with the system but with the people who run the system. What made the government of Judah evil or good depended on the king’s relationship with the Lord.
Think About It: What does this tell me about the relationship between Christianity and politics? What is the proper role of the church in relation to government?
Prayer: For the salvation of our leaders; for the spiritual health of our Christian leaders.
Read: Psalm 58:3; Romans 3:9 – 28
David observed that the wicked are estranged from God from birth.
Think About It: Are the wicked of whom David speaks a special case of humanity? According to Romans 3, was I born at peace with God? How did I get from the category of the wicked into the category of the righteous? Is this a basis for personal pride?
Prayer: Thank God for His saving grace.
Read: Psalm 58:3; John 8:44; James 3:1 – 12; Matthew 12:34; Luke 6:45
Lies are a prominent symptom of sinful human nature. The devil himself is a proficient liar, and his work is especially evident in the speech of the ungodly. James observes that a person’s control of their tongue is a good measure of their spirituality.
Think About It: Why is speech so closely related to spirituality? What do my words reveal about me?
Prayer: For my words to be true and an overflow of a heart that is full of holiness and love.