Hello, I’m Daniel Westfall on the channel “Pray with Me”.
In the current batch of psalms, the Big Issue topics are
the poet’s desperate situation,
his dangerous enemies, and
his incessant pleas for help.
In Psalm 56, the tone changes. Though enemies still threaten and life’s situations are still desperate, the poet presents
a more-settled faith,
a more-solid relationship with God,
a more-peaceful approach to his many troubles.
Let’s look at three expressions of faith in Psalm 56.
First, the poet says,
When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.
In God, whose word I praise–
In God I trust and I am not afraid.
What can mere mortals do to me? (vv. 3-4).
The poet feared enemies who pursued and warriors who attacked. But instead of being paralyzed with fear, he actively counteracts it by putting his trust in God. If God protects him, mere mortal enemies have no power against him.
Psalm 56 presents a second statement of faith, as the poet says,.
Record my misery,
put my tears in your bottle,
are they not in your book?
Then my enemies will turn back
when I call for help.
This I know that God is for me (vv. 8, 9b).
Do you see God as one who stores your tears in his bottle? As one who records your sorrows in his book? These are strangely comforting thoughts leading to the poet’s greatest affirmation of faith: “This I know that God is for me.” Throughout the psalms, the poet has struggled with the problem of faith, namely, “Is God for us, is he against us, or is he just a disinterested observer?” Here the poet presses past his fear and doubts into God’s presence, gaining strength and confidence that God is his friend and his helper.
The poet makes a third statement of faith at the end of Psalm 56:
You have delivered me from death
and my feet from stumbling
that I may walk before God
in the light of life (v. 13).
God delivered the poet from stumbling in the darkness of fear and anxiety. He now walks with God in the light of life.
Our father, with the poet, we make our statement of faith:
When we are afraid,
we will put our trust in you.
What can mere mortals do to us?
Sometimes, O Lord, our world frightens us. Wars and epidemics threaten. Civilized discourse vanishes. Our very lives are passing away. But we trust you. Watch over us, protect us from evil and disease, look out for our well-being. To you the author of goodness, we surrender our fear. We receive your peace and your protection.
Our father, you see and treasure our tears. You store them in your bottle. You record them in your book. We invite you to transform the deep sadness of our lives into memories of your goodness, the narrative of our pain into the story of your healing.
We join the poet in his great statement of faith, “We know you are for us.” We are often alone, often hated, often in danger. We thank you for being on our side. Thank you for being our strong friend, our strong God, our strong defender. Teach us to walk with you in the light of life.
I’m Daniel on the channel “Pray with Me”.