Psalm 60

Psalm 60 is a great example of the conversation nature of prayer. It also has all the marks of the kind of faith-filled approach to God that the psalms enjoin to us. The first line may seem more like despair than faith: “You have rejected us.” However, in this statement is a bold covenant ‘provocation.’ God had promised that he would not reject his people ultimately and David knows this. But, at this time, as David is away on a military campaign in the far north (2 Sam. 8:3), he hears about misfortunes at home. The Edomites have taken advantage of his absence to attack from the south. David’s prayer is a complaint to God which highlights the tension between this situation and God’s covenant promise to his people. This is a faith appeal and God answers him. God reminds David that all the tribes of Israel belong to him to divide up at his will. It is not for the Edomite’s to lay a hand on these territories. God will now go to the territories of Edom and Moab and claim them too. The picture of using Moab as a washbasin and tossing his shoes upon Edom is the picture of a man coming home, tossing his shoes off and washing himself to then take his rest. This is a picture of God taking charge. Following this answer David voices his plea. Even after God’s answer David pushes his case “boldly before the throne of grace” (Heb.4:16). His only hope against the fortified cities of Edom is for God to do something, and as long as God remains inactive in this situation his people remain ‘rejected’ and the covenant promise remains unfulfilled. This is a prayer of unrelenting faith from one who knows God’s love and God’s promise and who therefore won’t take ‘no’ for an answer.

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