Psalms 56

Text:

"1 Be gracious to me, O God, for man tramples on me; all day long an attacker oppresses me; 2 my enemies trample on me all day long, for many attack me proudly. 3 When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. 4 In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me? 5 All day long they injure my cause; all their thoughts are against me for evil. 6 They stir up strife, they lurk; they watch my steps, as they have waited for my life. 7 For their crime will they escape?  In wrath cast down the peoples, O God! 8 You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book? 9 Then my enemies will turn back in the day when I call. This I know, that God is for me. 10 In God, whose word I praise, in the Lord, whose word I praise, 11 in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me? 12 I must perform my vows to you, O God; I will render thank offerings to you. 13 For you have delivered my soul from death, yes, my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of life."

Lexicon:

vs. 1 - be gracious (chanan) - "to show favor, to have mercy on, to show consideration, to bend or stoop in kindness to an inferior, to bestow, to give, to be favorably inclined to someone"

vs. 3 - put my trust (batach) - "to hasten for refuge, to set one's hope and confidence on anyone, to feel safe, to fear nothing for oneself, to cause to trust, to make secure"

vs. 8 - kept count (caphar) - "to score with a mark or tally as a record, to recount intensively, to inscribe, to count exactly or accurately, to narrate"

vs. 8 - tossings (nowd) - "the wandering of an aimless fugitive, exile, flight"

vs. 8 - book (cepher) - "book of life, God's record book"

vs. 9 - this i know (yada') - "to learn, to perceive, to recognize, to confess, to distinguish, to ascertain by seeing, to be aware of, to observe with the eyes"

vs. 12 - my vows (neder) - "a promise to God, anything vowed, a vowed sacrifice, a votive offering (objects deposited without intention of recovery or use)"

vs. 12 - render (shalam) - "to cause to be at peace, to complete, to finish, to make whole or good, to recompense, to restore, to be safe and whole, to be paid or performed, to make peace with anyone, to be a friend to anyone"

vs. 13 - delivered (natsal) - "to snatch away or out of danger, to rescue, to save, to deliver from sin and guilt, to pull out, to recover, to preserve, to pluck out"

vs. 13 - death (maveth) - "Hades, pestilence, ruin, Death (personified), the realm of the dead"

vs. 13 - walk (halak) - "to go along, to go through or over a place, to follow any manner of life, to live, to go forward, to walk in truth or uprightness, to walk with God"

What does this reveal about God's character?

God is our refuge.  In Him we are safe and have nothing to fear.  He bestows undeserving mercy and kindness on us. He sees and stores our tears, not one goes unnoticed.  God is our deliverer.  He rescues us from danger and sin.  He saves us from Hell through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.  God is supreme.  He is the Judge and Ruler over all.  Those who believe in Him are recorded in the Book of Life (Revelation 3:5, 20:12).

Questions:

1) Who do I run to when I need to be rescued?  My spouse, friends, children, co-worker, pastor, counselor?  Or do I run to God?

2) On what or whom does my hope and confidence rest?  

3) How have I seen the mercy, kindness, goodness and salvation of the Lord in my life?  Although God is not visible, His acts can be seen.  Take some time to remember God's hand in your life and thank Him for His mercy.

4) Is my name written in the Book of Life?  All those who believe in Jesus Christ as Savior will be written in the Book of Life.  If you have trusted in Christ, you are safe.  If you have resisted the prodding of the Holy Spirit, heaven is not your final destination.  If you would like to put your faith in Jesus Christ as your Savior, please visit our Resources page to pray a prayer of salvation.

5) What vows have I made to God that I'm not performing?  Has He laid something on your heart and mind, but you haven't quite worked up the courage or made the time to follow through to completion?  Renew the vow of your calling today, and ask God for the grace, strength, time and resolve to carry out the mission to which He has called you.

Prayer:

Father God, I trust in you as my refuge.  You are my safe place from troubles.  You have said that we will have troubles in this world, but you have promised that you have already overcome this world (John 16:33).  We have nothing and no one to fear.  What can man do to us?  (Romans 8:31, Psalms 56:4).  Thank you for being trustworthy.  Your word tells me you can be counted on, and I have seen the evidence in my life time and time again.  Father, bring to my remembrance the great acts performed by your mighty hand.  Take the scales off my eyes so that I can see your goodness, mercy and kindness present in my life.  I give thanks to you for who you are and all you've done. Father, I pray you would keep my feet from falling.  Keep me firmly grounded in your Word and walking on the path of righteousness.  Give me renewed strength and resolve to fulfill your calling to go into all the world and preach the Gospel (Mark 16:15).  I want to please you.  May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer (Psalms 19:14).  In Jesus' name I pray, Amen!