Psalm 60

Talks for Growing Christians

Trusting the Lord when Facing Setbacks

Psalm 60

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Lesson Number 45

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. God allows temporary setbacks.
  2. God promises overwhelming victory.
  3. God bestows valued faith.

Practical Application

  1. How do you handle temporary setbacks?


  1. What was David’s purpose in writing this psalm?
  2. What temporary setback was David experiencing in this psalm?
  3. Why do 2 Samuel 8, 1 Chronicles 18, and Psalm 60 give apparently contradictory credit for the victory against the Edomites?
  4. Explain the oracles pronounced against Moab and Edom in verse 8.
  5. Who would lead the Israelites in victory over the Edomites?


  1. David wrote this psalm to teach God’s people to trust the Lord for His protection in times of threat and temporary setback.
  2. According to the title, David’s armies were fighting battles on three fronts. Apparently while David was fighting in the north of Israel, the Edomites took advantage of the situation and invaded Israel in the south. This setback put the nation in a predicament as we see in verses 1-5. General Joab and his brother Abishai were sent to deal with the Edomites and returned victorious (see 2 Samuel 8, 1 Kings 11, and 1 Chronicles 18).
  3. The fact that David, Abishai, and Joab are given credit in the various accounts respectively is no contradiction when you consider the military chain of command. All are given credit as it should be – David, the king, General Joab, the leader of the armed forces, and Abishai the field commander.
  4. The idea of Moab as God’s wash basin and Edom under God’s shoe is that these countries would be reduced to servant states under Israel, God’s people.
  5. It was God who allowed the temporary setback and it is God who will lead Israel and bring them victory.


  1. David recognized that God had allowed a temporary setback in the battle with his enemies. God allows temporary setbacks in our lives today to teach us patience, humility, dependence, or for discipline. Recall a time when you have experienced a setback in your life. What was the purpose in the end?
  2. David was confident that Israel would not only be victorious, but they would be valiant in victory – that is brave and having valor. As Christians we are involved in spiritual warfare. Discuss how the Lord gives us victory in spiritual battles. Have you experienced this victory valiantly?


  1. When you face a temporary setback do you quit or press on? The next time you face a setback, remember that God has promised overwhelming victory, if you will rely on Him.

Key Verses

  • “O God, You have cast us off; You have broken us down; You have been displeased; Oh, restore us again!” Psalms 60:1
  • “Give us help from trouble, for the help of man is useless.” Psalms 60:11

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