“Awake my soul.” (Psalm 57:8)
The inscription at the beginning of Psalm 57 reads, “Of David. A miktam. When he had fled from Saul into the cave.”
The meaning of the term miktam is disputed. Some definitions suggest that it is a musical notation or a title for a psalm connected with expiation of sin.
You may remember reading about that since we discussed that term in the book. Here’s something interesting--check this out--according to the inscription, David wrote this while he was in a cave! A cave? Which cave? Why a cave? When was he in a cave fleeing from Saul? Scholars believe this psalm likely refers to the story found in I Samuel 24.
In that story, King Saul went into a cave to relieve himself, not knowing that David and his men were hiding deep within the dark cavern. While both men were in the cave, David snuck up behind the unsuspecting Saul and cut off a piece of his robe! When Saul finished his business and left the cave, David (who had already secretly left the cave) called to him and showed him the piece of cloth. David used the bit of fabric to remind a startled and surprised King Saul that David was a man of good character. After all, if David was close enough to cut off the king’s hemline, he was close enough to cut off the king’s head!
Fabric in hand, David pled his case. He longed to show King Saul that the king misunderstood David’s intentions. David also vowed not to bring harm to Saul. David asked of Saul, "Against whom has the king of Israel come out? Whom are you pursuing? A dead dog? A flea? May the LORD be our judge and decide between us. May He consider my cause and uphold it; may He vindicate me by delivering me from your hand." (I Sam. 24:14, 15) Saul temporarily relented from his pursuit of David and went so far as to acknowledge that David would one day be established as king. Hmmm…interesting.
Just for your information, I Samuel 22:1; II Samuel 23:13; and I Chronicles 11:15 all refer to David taking refuge in the cave of Adullam. This seems to be a sort of “base of operations” for David, even after he was crowned king.
So, here’s some take-away—if you ever find yourself in a cave, don’t become a “victim,” offer up a “miktam!” Okay, I know that was corny!
Just a little” awake” trivia!