Psalm 56:1-13 A Lament Psalm by David
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Psalm 56:1-13 God Is For Me
Years ago, I had lunch with the pastor that married me. Well, he married me and my wife, together. Anyway, he said there was a place in the Bible that said, “God is for me” (v. 9). I thought, “That’s cool. I wonder where.” Well, here it is. Did you ever wonder if God was on your side? He is, if you’ve trusted Him for salvation in Jesus Christ. If you haven’t, the Bible says you are at war with Him (cf. Eph. 2:15-16 NASB “enmity” means “at war with”). So He is still “for you” but you are at war with Him. So, quit it.
Psalm 56 is the first of four psalms described as a mikhtim in the superscription. A mikhtam can best be summed up by looking at 1 Cor. 15:58,”Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.” David was secure in the Lord and wanted to share that security with others in the mikhtams. Literally, mikhtam means “engraven” or “permanent.” David was fixed, secure (cf. Ps. 57:7).
David had been through all kinds of difficulties in his life (cf. Paul in New Testament times, 2 Cor. 6:4-10). The occasion of this psalm was probably the same as Ps. 34 when he was fleeing King Saul and hid amongst the inhabitants of Gath. Cath was Goliath’s hometown. He was the one David had slain with a slingshot (cf. 1 Sam. 17). You might remember that David feigned insanity to be spared by the Gathites, Gathians, the people of Gath (cf. 1 Sam. 21:10—22:1).
David again implores God to save his life since he is being “trampled” under good (v. 1a, 2a).
Several times David states that when he is afraid he will put his trust in God (v. 3b, 4b, 11a). As a result, his fears were quenched (v. 4c, 11a). God will allow us to lose everything so that when the smoke clears it will be just us and Him. A.W. Tozer once said, “It is doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly until he has hurt him deeply.” Do you feel snubbed by God? Are you being hurt deeply? Hang in. You will be blessed greatly. Where do you think the psalms came from? They came from men who were hurt deeply.
David puts things in perspective. Mere men cannot harm him (v. 4d, 11b). What is the worst a person can do to you? A person could kill you. But then you’d be with God. Paul said, “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Phil. 1:6).
Men were twisting what he said (v. 5a), planning harm for him (v. 5b), and shadowing him (v. 6). So David asked God to subdue them (v. 7).
David knew that God knew his sufferings as if He had stored up his tears in a bottle and written his story in a book. Which, come to think of it, He did (v. 8).
David not only knew that God was on his side, he knew it because he loved God’s Word (v. 4a, 10). In verse 9, it is spelled out that God is for us, but it is also written all over the pages of Scripture.
David has used the word hesed, that is, God’s binding, covenantal love, before. But in verse 12, he says the same thing in other words, “Your vows are binding upon me, O God.” And for that, David, rightly, gives thanks (v. 12b).
David vows to continue to represent God because of His faithfulness (v. 13). Remember he said he would teach sinners His ways (cf. Ps. 51:13).
We are called not just to be saved sinners in this life, we are called to be disciples (cf. Eph. 4:1). Being a disciple entails suffering. But then the blessings are tremendous (cf. John 10:10). How are you doing? If you are slacking, remember that God is for you!
Proverbs 11:8 Final Destination
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You might be thinking, how can verse 8 be true? Haven’t righteous believers been martyred for the faith over the centuries and even now? Well, then they went immediately to a place of bliss (v. 8a). That might not be what you’d like to think but it is certainly better than the alternative.
However, the more evildoers do their evil, the more attention they draw (v. 8b). And the more attention they draw, the more chance they will be sent to a place they don’t want to be, for eternity.
The best thing an unbeliever can do is to trust Christ and become righteous. Then the wicked will not take the place of the righteous in trouble but in destination.
What is your final destination? If you have trusted Christ, you can be sure you will go to Heaven when you die (cf. John 5:24; 1 John 5:13).