Observe: David is petitioning the Lord for mercy amongst the malice of his enemies (verse 1-7). He then declares his obligation to praise God for His mercies despite those enemies (verses 8-13).
Interpret and Application: David is fleeing from Saul – again! However, he decides to flee to Gath where the Philistines live. Why would he do this as the Philistines were enemies of both Saul and David? It’s a death sentence for sure! However, David acted like a crazy person when he got there which would assure him that the Philistines wouldn’t kill him. They never killed anyone who was crazy in those times. David pleads with God for mercy from his enemies after listing all their schemes and wickedness. However, in between these “lists”, David wholeheartedly puts his faith and trust in the Lord, knowing that he has nothing to fear because of God’s word. (verses 3 & 4). He goes on to say that God has both a book and a bottle in which He stores our tears of sin and affliction. How wonderful to know that when we at last see Him He shall “wipe every tear from (our) eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain (Rev. 21:4) and God will wipe away every tear from (our) eyes” (Rev. 7:17). Did you notice that David once again repeats verses 3 & 4 in verses 10 & 11? We need not fear if we trust the Lord and His word. Mere mortals can do nothing to harm us. I know that in my life I falter in this often. My husband David calls me a “control aficionado” and I have to admit that this is a very difficult part of my life to hand over to the Lord. I want control more than I give the Lord the reins of my life. However, I think I’m learning! One of my daughters is quite distraught at the way the world is heading and is concerned about how this will affect Christians. My answer to her is: “Well…what’s the worst that can happen? We may lose our lives, but think of where we’ll be headed then!” We will head to a place where God will wipe away all our tears. David’s vows of thankfulness follow his pleas for mercy because he knows that God has delivered us from sin whose wages are death. (Rom. 6:23) David desired that God would keep him from even the appearance of sin. We should do so as well, so that we may give better service to the Lord and serve Him without fear.
Prayer: Lord, we thank You that we can trust Your word and not fear! Keep us from even the appearance of evil and keep us in Your ways so that when we meet You face to face all of our tears will be wiped away and we will do nothing but rejoice in Your presence. Amen.
Song: Psalm 56 - Jason Silver
In 2023, each week's blog is a follow-up reflection written by the preceding Sunday’s preacher to dig deeper into the sermon topic and explore engaging discussion questions.