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Summary:  An Ancient poem written by King David which is recorded in the Bible

Date:  Unknown.  Sometime during David's reign (1040 to 970 B.C.)

Location:  Israel, Middle East

 - Introduction -


   Through the ages, armies of the world have endeavoured to use tactics to gain victory over the enemy. Clever tactics can allow a small band of troops to defeat a massive force. Psalm 60, which was set in a time of fierce conflict, illustrates two vastly different strategies. The Israelites had aggressive neighboring countries trying to invade them. Despite this, the Lord was allowing their king, David to crush the opposition. Israel’s armies were decisively winning the day. However, a rude shock was coming. God tested His chosen people with a stinging defeat. Their king, David responded with an attitude of trust.  

An illustration of David and his men

    Here's what happened:


    After King David’s coronation the Israelites were prevailing over their adversaries. God had allowed them to decisively defeat their worst rivals, the Philistines. The Moabite armies had been crushed. Now David, who wanted to restore control along the Euphrates river, marched his victorious army on a northward trail where he battled with King Hadadezer of Zobah. The Lord gave David victory wherever he went.


    Then unexpectedly, God allowed the Edomites, who lived near the southern part of Judah to assail Israel from below. David and his army were still in the north. This sly surprise attack which succeeded, left the Israelites astonished and confused. They felt rejected by God. David begins his psalm with a national lament.


    Prevailing over his circumstances however, was his steadfast trust in God Almighty. The rest of the psalm expresses the Lord’s sovereignty and control over all nations. David declares,

“For the help of man is useless. Through God we will do valiantly,

For it is He who shall tread down our enemies.” David sent Joab, his General to engage the Edomites. The combat took place in the Valley of Salt, just below the Dead Sea. Joab triumphed remarkably, slaughtering 12,000 of the enemy. The Edomites became subject to David, who put garrisons throughout their land. God gave David victory because of David’s trust.


    Through his military achievements against the Philistines and Moabites, the king had witnessed the fact that God’s mighty hand was at work. When David experienced an unanticipated setback and his enemies seemed to successfully use man’s strategies, he relied on the Lord. King David knew the help of man was useless and His tactic was trusting the King of Kings who faithfully delivered him.

Written and Researched By

Shea Mitchell

Psalm 60 is one of a collection of 150 poems recorded in the Bible.  It was written by King David.
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