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Matthew Henry's Commentary

Psalm Chapter 56

avid seeks mercy from God, amidst the malice of his enemies. (1-7) He rests his faith on God's promises, and declares his obligation to praise him for mercies. (8-13)

Verses 1-7: Be merciful unto me, O God. This petition includes all the good for which we come to throne of grace. If we obtain mercy there, we need no more to make us happy. It implies likewise our best plea, not our merit, but God's mercy, his free, rich mercy. We may flee to, and trust the mercy of God, when surrounded on all sides by difficulties and dangers. His enemies were too hard for him, if God did not help him. He resolves to make God's promises the matter of his praises, and so we have reason to make them. As we must not trust an arm of flesh when engaged for us, so we must not be afraid of an arm of flesh when stretched out against us. The sin of sinners will never be their security. Who knows the power of God's anger; how high it can reach, how forcibly it can strike?

Verses 8-13: The heavy and continued trials through which many of the Lord's people have passed, should teach us to be silent and patient under lighter crosses. Yet we are often tempted to repine and despond under small sorrows. For this we should check ourselves. David comforts himself, in his distress and fear, that God noticed all his grievances and all his griefs. God has a bottle and a book for his people's tears, both the tears for their sins, and those for their afflictions. He observes them with tender concern. Every true believer may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and then I will not fear what man shall do unto me; for man has no power but what is given him from above. Thy vows are upon me, O Lord; not as a burden, but as that by which I am known to be thy servant; as a bridle that restrains me from what would be hurtful, and directs me in the way of my duty. And vows of thankfulness properly accompany prayers for mercy. If God deliver us from sin, either from doing it, or by his pardoning mercy, he has delivered our souls from death, which is the wages of sin. Where the Lord has begun a good work he will carry it on and perfect it. David hopes that God would keep him even from the appearance of sin. We should aim in all our desires and expectations of deliverance, both from sin and trouble, that we may do the better service to the Lord; that we may serve him without fear. If his grace has delivered our souls from the death of sin, he will bring us to heaven, to walk before him for ever in light


David 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 Psalm with Chapter 56. In our text today we see a theme of trusting in God when in the midst of fear. In making application we see the truth : if God is for us, then those against us will never succeed. I love verse 3 that says - What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. This verse shows us that we can face our fears as we place our trust in the Lord. Today we face many fears and uncertainties but we simply need to trust the Lord who tells us that He will never leaves 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.

 

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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?