Posted: June 7, 2010
I want to begin a study this week of Psalms 56. It is in this Psalm that fear and faith meet. The title of the Psalm is, to the chief musician, Jonath-elem-rechokim, Michtam of David, when the Philistines took him in Gath. The word Jonath-elem-rechokim means the cry of the Dove. The Dove in the Bible is a picture of the Holy Ghost. It is a Michtam Psalm, which is a Psalm of instruction. The people, of who were the kinfolk of Goliath, have imprisoned David. It is here that the Holy Spirit makes groaning and uttering through David.
It is in this place of grave danger for his life, that David encourages himself in the Lord. In verses 1-4 David meditates on God's Compassion. We are told in the book of Job that God has a hedge of protection around his people. God can remove this hedge and let the enemy in to test his people. God's people can through sin and rebellion step out of this hedge into the realm of being unprotected. Going down to Gath, is where David stepped out from this hedge of protection. In our text, I can hear from David's heart the cry of the lone Dove.
While meditating on God's Compassion in verses 1-3 we find David's Desire. David's desire is that God will show him compassion on the things that are without. David's enemies are seeking daily to swallow him up in verses 1-2. He has gone down to Gath, the hometown of Goliath. These people hate David with a passion. This is their great chance to devour him. They have a great appetite for the blood of the one who killed their strongest soldier, Goliath. When the mouths of our enemies are opened against us, we must open our mouth in prayer to the Lord. David addresses his desire to the Most High. The word ‘O’ is a word used in a prayer of desperation. He calls upon the Most High as the one who sees all, knows all, and shall conquer all of his enemies.
In verse three David desires that God show him compassion on the things that are within. David admits his weakness in the phrase, what time I am afraid. I can testify to times of great fear. I have on more than one occasion had my shadow scare me in a motel. It is never wrong to be afraid, but it is wrong to stay there. God has not given us a spirit of fear. When we are afraid lead us Lord to do what David did. We see what he did in the phrase, I will trust in Thee. The word trust means to rest the whole being upon another.
In verse four we find David’s Devotion. It is here that he gives us some of the keys of coming to a place of trust. David is lifting up the Word of God to a point of praise. God said that he put his Word above His name. His Word is the source of all our comfort. David tells us because of this relationship to the Word, he has already put his trust in God. I see that fear of all flesh has bowed to faith in God’s Word.
Let us remember when fear assails us, may we run to the Word and trust in our God. The songwriter said it best with the words, “I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus name, on Christ the solid rock I stand all other ground is sinking sand”.