Psalm 56

Psalm 56
The Wandering Remnant Maintains Confidence in God
Psalm 56. The inscription indicates that this is a psalm of David. It was written in the style of “Jonathelem-rechokim”, meaning “a silent dove in the far off lands” or “the dove of silence (among) strangers”. This style is suited to the historical and prophetic setting of the Psalm. Historically, it was written by David “when the Philistines took him in Gath”, meaning David was outside of the land, in hiding from Saul. Prophetically, this Psalm gives us the expressions and prayers of the remnant when they are fleeing from Antichrist, and hiding in the mountains and countries that surround Israel.
To the chief Musician. On Jonathelem-rechokim. Of David. Michtam; when the Philistines took him in Gath.
1 Be gracious unto me, O God; for man would swallow me up: all the day long fighting he oppresseth me.
2 Mine enemies would swallow me up all the day long; for they are many that fight against me haughtily.
3 In the day that I am afraid, I will confide in thee.
vv.1-3 The Oppression of the Enemy. The faithful cry out to God because of the oppression of the enemies. The enemies would “swallow up” the faithful if God would allow it. The enemies are numerous, and the remnant is small. But yet from the very outset they have their confidence in God.
4 In God will I praise his word, in God I put my confidence: I will not fear; what can flesh do unto me?
v.4 God and His Word. The remnant and found a sure place to put their trust. In the Word of God, and in God Himself, they can trust. The Word of God becomes a sure foundation for faith, because on it God has staked His own honor. God Himself is a rock which cannot be moved. In light of these things, what can mere “flesh” do to one whose confidence is placed on such an immovable foundation?
5 All the day long they wrest my words; all their thoughts are against me for evil.
6 They gather themselves together, they hide themselves; they mark my steps, because they wait for my soul.
7 Shall they escape by iniquity? In anger cast down the peoples, O God.
8 “Thou” countest my wanderings; put my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?
9 Then shall mine enemies return backward in the day when I call: this I know, for God is for me.
vv.5-9 God’s Sympathy for His Suffering Saints. The faithful remark on the animosity of the wicked; wrestling with their words, plotting against them, gathering together against them, marking their steps, and waiting for their soul. The question is rhetorical: “shall they escape by iniquity?” They have confidence in God to cast down “the peoples”, enemies both Gentile and Jewish. Yet in spite of all of this, they know that God is sympathizing with them, noticing every tear they cry, and taking note of their wanderings. The are confident in ultimate victory, because they know God is for them; “this I know, for God is for me”.
10 In God will I praise his word; in Jehovah will I praise his word.
11 In God have I put my confidence: I will not fear; what can man do unto me?
vv.10-11 Confidence in God and His Word. Again, the remnant express their confidence in God and His Word. Notice that they can speak first of God’s Word, and then of Jehovah’s Word. The first is God as He is intrinsically, the second is God in covenant relationship with Israel. What can man do to those who have put their confidence in God?
12 Thy vows are upon me, O God: I will render thanks unto thee.
13 For thou hast delivered my soul from death; wilt thou not keep my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living? 
vv.12-13 Anticipation of Deliverance. The remnant anticipate deliverance, the repaying of their vows to God in thanksgiving. God will keep their feet from falling, their soul from death, so they “may walk before God in the light of the living”.
Tagged with: