Psalm 57 is probably written right after Psalm 56. The background is recorded in 1 Sam 22:1-2, where David fled Achish king of Gath and went to the cave of Adullam. People of distress and in debt started to come to David, and he became the captain over them, a total of approximately 400 men. Later on David, together with his men, was hiding from Saul in a cave in Engedi (1 Sam 24:3), where David had an opportunity to kill Saul but didn’t.
This Psalm has a style of repetition of words within a verse. i.e. gracious and refuge in v1, send in v3, exacted in v5, steadfast and sing in v7, awake in v8, among in v9.
This Psalm is a record of a day a David’s life as a fugitive. Verse 4 records his lying down and verse 8 his waking up to greet the dawn.
v1: [shadow of your wings]. David’s worship and prayers turn the cave into a Holy of Holies where he could hide under the wings of the cherubim on the mercy seat of the ark. David wanted wings of dove in Psalm 55:6 to fled from his enemies, but what he really needs is the wings of God, where he could safely hide.
v4: [my soul is among lions]. Saul and his men are like lions trying to chase and destroy David. A young sister who grew up in our church shared that she felt like among the lions on her internship jobs during the summers in her college years. Satan prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). Praise to the Lord because He is loving and truth (v3), He will send from heaven to save us (v3). In the case of the young sister in Christ, God sent another sister in Christ from our church to her work place so that she can have a spiritual companion. Maybe you are in darkness right now, but the dawn will surely come (v8), put our trust in the Lord, and we will awaken the dawn and give our glory and thanks and praises to God among the nations (v9).
v10: In verse 3, God sent his loving kindness and His truth from heaven to save David. In verse 10, God’s loving kindness is great to the heavens, His truth reached up to the cloud!
v11: Repeat of verse 5. Even thought David was hiding from his enemy in the cave, his praises, prayers and thanks giving have turn the cave into a Holy of Holies. His praises to God has reach above the heavens, and result is God received all the glory. Are you in a cave in your life now? Are you praying and trusting God will deliver you? Are you coming under the shadow of His wings? Are you praising God for what He has done, what He is doing and what He will do? Let’s turn the cave into the Holy of Holies!