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Dave Burnette's Commentary

Psalm Chapter 56

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: David, Asaph, Solomon, Heman, Ethan, Moses, and the Sons of Korah
Date Penned: (1440-586 BC)
Overview: Poetry for the Expression of Praise and Worship to God (c 1-150)
Theme: The Second Book of Psalms (c 42-72)
Message: When Friends Hurt Us (v 1-23)

Psalms 56 Commentary

(56:1) David and Saul - This was probably written on the same occasion as Psalm 34, when David fled from Saul to Philistine territory. He had to pretend to be insane before Achish when some servants grew suspicious of him (1 Samuel 21:10-15).

 (56:3-4) Fearing God - How much harm can people do to us? They can inflict pain, suffering, and death. But no person can rob us of our souls or the future beyond this life. How much harm can we do to ourselves? The worst thing we can do is to reject God and lose a future with him in eternity. Jesus said, "Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul' I (Matthew 10:28). Instead, we should fear God, who controls this life and the next.

 (56:8) God Cares - No matter what our sorrows are, God cares! Jesus reminded us further of how much God understands us- he knows even the number of hairs on our heads (Matthew 10:30). Often we waver between faith and fear. When you feel so discouraged that you are sure no one understands, remember that God knows every problem and sees every tear.

 (56:9-11) Fear - Fear can paralyze us from taking action. It can even cause physical problems. And what could be more fearful than an enemy pressing in from all sides? Faced with this situation, David suggested several antidotes for fear: (1) Remember that God is always by your side, (2) trust him to help you, and (3) praise him for fulfiling his promises in the past. This will give you confidence that God will continue to fulfill his promises to give you inner peace and ultimate rescue. When faced with persecution, insecurity, or insurmountable odds, use these methods to overcome your fear.

(56:13) God's Presence - In God's presence we experience life and light. When God gives life to us, we have no need to fear stumbling or death. God's light illuminates the journey and helps guide us in our decisions. We have the freedom to remain steady in his presence.

Dave Burnette's Life Application

Facing Your Fears

Each day, we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter, making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today, we continue in the Book of Psalms with Chapter 56. In our text today, we see a theme of trusting in God amidst fear. In making an application, we see the truth: if God is for us, then those against us will never succeed. I love verse 3, which says - What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. This verse shows us that we can face our fears by trusting the Lord. Today, we face many fears and uncertainties, but we need to trust the Lord, who tells us that He will never leave us or forsake us. How about you? Are you facing a fear or fearful moment in your life? Let us learn from our Psalm and Text today to remember that the key to passing through our fears is to place our faith in the Lord.


Psalm 56

Psalm 56

 1Be merciful unto me, O God: for man would swallow me up; he fighting daily oppresseth me.

 2Mine enemies would daily swallow me up: for they be many that fight against me, O thou most High.

 3What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.

 4In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.

 5Every day they wrest my words: all their thoughts are against me for evil.

 6They gather themselves together, they hide themselves, they mark my steps, when they wait for my soul.

 7Shall they escape by iniquity? in thine anger cast down the people, O God.

 8Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?

 9When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for God is for me.

 10In God will I praise his word: in the LORD will I praise his word.

 11In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me.

 12Thy vows are upon me, O God: I will render praises unto thee.

 13For thou hast delivered my soul from death: wilt not thou deliver my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living?