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  • Writer's pictureThe Bald Believer

Bernie and the Boys

Psalm 59:1–8

To the chief Musician, Al-taschith, Michtam of David; when Saul sent, and they watched the house to kill him.

1  Deliver me from mine enemies, O my God:

Defend me from them that rise up against me.

2  Deliver me from the workers of iniquity,

And save me from bloody men.

3  For, lo, they lie in wait for my soul:

The mighty are gathered against me;

Not for my transgression, nor for my sin, O Lord.

4  They run and prepare themselves without my fault:

Awake to help me, and behold.

5  Thou therefore, O Lord God of hosts, the God of Israel,

Awake to visit all the heathen:

Be not merciful to any wicked transgressors. Selah.

6  They return at evening:

They make a noise like a dog,

And go round about the city.

7  Behold, they belch out with their mouth:

Swords are in their lips:

For who, say they, doth hear?

8  But thou, O Lord, shalt laugh at them;

Thou shalt have all the heathen in derision.


Have you ever been awakened by a persistent pack of barking dogs?

I sure have.

I had an older dog named Bernie, part basset, part every other breed possible. He had this droopy face that made him ugly yet irresistibly lovable. Old Bernie couldn't see, and every sound spooked the poor fella. He would often bark at the sound of a leaf floating to the earth. Dogs don't like to bark alone, so all the neighbor's dogs would join in a united chorus, singing threats and curses against that leaf that dared to fall.

Everyone in the Bartlett home had complimentary passes to a nightly performance from Bernie and the boys. I would be awoken from my slumber and scream for the concert to cease until finally understanding that to Bernie; we were only joining the canine chorus. Many a night, I would reluctantly stagger to the door and command Bernie to stop; he would turn and look my direction with that droopy face and obey, for a while. He would stay quiet the rest of the night or until I got comfortably back under the covers.

Bernie is no longer in the land of the living, and the late-night gigs from Bernie and the boys have gone with him.

Don't worry, I didn't take him out, although I was tempted a few times.

In the end, I think that leaf finally got him.

We loved that pup.

We miss him,

just not at night.

What does the music of Bernie and the boys have to do with this Psalm?

Notice the introduction.

To the chief Musician, Al-taschith, Michtam of David; when Saul sent, and they watched the house to kill him.

The story can be found in 1 Sam 19, when Saul dispatched assassins to David's house. David's wife, Michal (the daughter of Saul), helped David escape by pulling a Ferris Bueller. They arranged a decoy, making it appear that David was in bed sick, giving him time to getaway. I imagine before David fled, those rascals talking about David among themselves. Thinking David was asleep, they laughed as they lied, making false accusations and boasting of their plans to capture and kill him. David compared them to a pack of barking dogs in the night.

Psalms 59:6 They return at evening: they make a noise like a dog and go round about the city.

In this scenario, the enemies of David were Bernie and the boys, and he was the leaf.

Psalms 59:7 Behold, they belch out with their mouth: swords are in their lips: for who, say they, doth hear?

Their words were more than threats; they hurt the heart like daggers plunged into David's soul. Those soldiers thought nobody heard their discussions, but David listened in, and more importantly, God did too!

That was the comfort to which the Psalmist clung while being mocked outside his window; God, the righteous judge, always has the last laugh.

Psalms 59:8-9 8 But thou, O LORD, shalt laugh at them; thou shalt have all the heathen in derision. 9 Because of his strength will I wait upon thee: for God is my defense.

So, what lessons do we learn from David's pack of barking dogs?

Words Are Hurtful

Words may not break bones, but they do splinter spirits. We must learn to control the sword behind our lips. Responsible weapon ownership is critical; we must handle the ones concealed behind our lips with great care. I am haunted by things I've said and will forever live with regret over the damage my language has inflicted.

Words Are Heard

We may think that we have spoken in silence, but we must understand that the things we say are always heard, if not here, then in Heaven. This truth brings conviction but can also bring comfort. God hears when we speak wrongly but also hears when we are the target of wicked words.

Many laugh at the expense of God's people today, but we have confidence that our God will laugh last.

Do you have another thought on this passage? I would love to read it in the comments.



My 2021 Bible Reading Plan

May 10, 2021

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