Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast.
2 I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me.
3 He shall send from heaven, and save me from the reproach of him that would swallow me up. Selah. God shall send forth his mercy and his truth.
4 My soul is among lions: and I lie even among them that are set on fire, even the sons of men, whose teeth are spears and arrows, and their tongue a sharp sword.
5 Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens; let thy glory be above all the earth.
6 They have prepared a net for my steps; my soul is bowed down: they have digged a pit before me, into the midst whereof they are fallen themselves. Selah.
7 My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise.
8 Awake up, my glory; awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake early.
9 I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people: I will sing unto thee among the nations.
10 For thy mercy is great unto the heavens, and thy truth unto the clouds.
11 Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: let thy glory be above all the earth.
The title of Psalm 57 “Prayer for Safety” fits chronologically after Psalm 56 asking God for mercy. 1 Samuel 22:1 states, “David left Gath and escaped to the cave of Adullam.” That’s when all “those who were in distress or in debt or discontent gathered around him, and he became their leader.” (22:2) But in his heart he was alone with his fears and doubts and confusion over how God’s call for him to be king would ever be fulfilled. To all appearances, Saul was in charge of his destiny—Saul on the throne, and David a fugitive hiding in a cave.
While in the cave he wrote this Psalm and regained his courage with an amazingly positive tone of confidence and praise. He declares, “I will take refuge in the shadow of Your wings until the disaster has passed.” And while waiting for things to change in his favour, he says, “I cry out to God Most High, to God, who fulfils [his purpose] for me.”
As Ellen White says, “If there was much more praising the Lord, and far less doleful recitation of discouragements, many more victories would be achieved.” (Evangelism, p.499).