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Bible Commentaries

Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible

Psalms 56



Verses 1-13

To the chief Musician upon Jonathelemrechokim, Michtam (a golden Psalm) of David, when the Philistines took him in Gath.

Psalms 56:1-2. Be merciful unto me, O God: for man would swallow me up: he fighting daily oppresseth me. Mine enemies would daily swallow me up: for they be many that fight against me, O thou most High.

David was in such peril from man that he cried to God to come to our rescue. Man was merciless to him, so he prayed, “Be merciful unto me, O God.” His enemies were many and mighty, so he appealed to the One who was almighty; who could destroy them, or put them all to flight.

Psalms 56:3. What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.

He is a happy man who can trust in God when he is afraid, but he is still happier who can say, “I will trust, and not be afraid.”

Psalms 56:4. In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.

The trusting soul is a singing soul, and it soon becomes a courageous soul. Faith in God drives out the fear of man: “In God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.”

Psalms 56:5-6. Every day they wrest my words: all their thoughts are against me for evil. They gather themselves together, they hide themselves, they mark my steps when they wait for my soul.

David had many enemies, Saul, Doeg the Edomite, the Philistines, and some even in his own household, but all their malice and craft were in vain since the Lord was on his side. We too have enemies who wrest our words, whose thoughts against us are evil, who lay traps for us, and lie in ambush to take us unawares; but we need not fear any of them, not even the great adversary himself, if we are trusting in the Lord.

Psalms 56:7. Shall they escape by iniquity? in thine anger cast down the people, O God.?

They sought to cast him down, so he prayed to the Lord to cast them down, and we know how graciously the Lord answered his supplication.

Psalms 56:8. Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?

David was such a wanderer at that time that he might not remember all the places where he had hidden away from Saul, but God had a record of them, and even of his tears: “are they not in thy book?” There is nothing that concerns the Lord’s chosen people that is not noted and remembered by him.

Psalms 56:9. When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for God is for me.

David’s confidence in God was not misplaced, he who can truthfully say, “God is for me,” need not fear however many may be against him.

Psalms 56:10-11. In God will I praise his word: in the LORD will I praise his word.

In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me. He repeats the declarations he made in verse 4; such holy confidence may rightly be published again and again. It is most pleasing and honouring to the Lord, and it is most likely to lead other tried believers to follow such a worthy example. The praising and trusting man fears not what man can do unto him.

Psalms 56:12. Thy vows are upon me, O God I will render praises unto thee.

David had not forgotten the vows that he had made unto the Lord. Vows should not be lightly made; but, once made, they should be sacredly remembered, and faithfully performed.

Psalms 56:13. For 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?

So the Psalm ends, as it began, with prayer, a prayer that was most graciously answered, as we can see if we turn to Psalms 116:8-9 : “Thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling. I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living.”


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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Spurgeon, Charle Haddon. "Commentary on Psalms 56:4". "Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible". 2011.

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