# 203 A journey through the Psalms. Psalm 59 Wild dogs and a Cessna.

On our recent trip we met a friend who for 2 weeks a couple of times a year has an unusual task to do to help the sheep and cattle farmers of mid-west Australia. It all relates to “wild dogs” roaming the vast farming lands killing off some of the farmers animals, particularly lambs and calves. They are considered to be a major pest species impacting on grazing industries across mainland Australia. These dogs are generally a hybrid breed of the native Australian Dingo and feral domestic dogs which were introduced into Australia with the first settlers. It is estimated that stock losses from these wild dogs in the rangelands of Western Australia alone are estimated at $25 million per annum.

So, my friend sits in a light plane (a Cessna) with the pilot and drops small items of poison (considered safe for other native animals but particularly tempting to these dogs) onto the land over which they fly to eradicate some of these pests. It certainly doesn’t rid the land of all these “wild dogs”, but it keeps their number down to a manageable number, and farmers have mentioned that stock losses reduce after this intervention.  

Our psalm today reveals that David had his own troubles with “wild dogs”, but of the human variety. He says:

Deliver me from my enemies, O God;
    be my fortress against those who are attacking me.
Deliver me from evildoers
    and save me from those who are after my blood.

See how they lie in wait for me!
    Fierce men conspire against me
    for no offense or sin of mine, Lord.
I have done no wrong, yet they are ready to attack me.
    Arise to help me; look on my plight!
You, Lord God Almighty,
    you who are the God of Israel,
rouse yourself to punish all the nations;
    show no mercy to wicked traitors.

Then he says:

They return at evening,
    snarling like dogs,
    and prowl about the city.
See what they spew from their mouths—
    the words from their lips are sharp as swords,
    and they think, “Who can hear us?”
But you laugh at them, Lord;
    you scoff at all those nations…

And again later in the psalm:

14 They return at evening,
    snarling like dogs,
    and prowl about the city.
15 They wander about for food
    and howl if not satisfied

I wonder if you have any such “wild dogs” in your life? And if so, how do you handle them? Let’s see if we can learn something useful from what David did.

Obviously, he prayed! He knew that ultimately God is more powerful than his enemies and He alone would help David. And so, he says;

You are my strength, I watch for you;
    you, God, are my fortress,
10     my God on whom I can rely.

And confidently states:

God will go before me
    and will let me gloat over those who slander me.
11 But do not kill them, Lord our shield,
    or my people will forget.
In your might uproot them
    and bring them down.
12 For the sins of their mouths,
    for the words of their lips,
    let them be caught in their pride.
For the curses and lies they utter,
13     consume them in your wrath,
    consume them till they are no more.
Then it will be known to the ends of the earth
    that God rules over Jacob…

He then completes his prayer by singing praise concerning who God is and what God is going to do in delivering him from these “snarling…dogs”. He says:

16 But I will sing of your strength,
    in the morning I will sing of your love;
for you are my fortress,
    my refuge in times of trouble.

17 You are my strength, I sing praise to you;
    you, God, are my fortress,
    my God on whom I can rely.

Father, no matter what the circumstances of our lives, you call us to trust you and to sing. Thank you that you are our strength, our fortress, our refuge, the One on whom we can rely on to work out your purposes and bring justice and redemption. Today I choose to sing of your great love. Amen.

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