When we are surrounded on all sides with difficulties and dangers because of enemies,
we have but one retreat the mercy of God.
Faith in Him will surely banish fear.
1 Be merciful unto me, O God: for man would swallow me up; he fighting daily oppresseth me.
2 Mine enemies would daily swallow me up: for they be many that fight against me, O thou most High.
3 What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.
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.
5 Every day they wrest my words: all their thoughts are against me for evil.
6 They gather themselves together, they hide themselves, they mark my steps, when they wait for my soul.
7 Shall they escape by iniquity? in thine anger cast down the people, O God.
8 Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?
9 When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for God is for me.
10 In God will I praise his word: in the LORD will I praise his word.
11 In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me.
12 Thy vows are upon me, O God: I will render praises unto thee.
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?
Psalm 1 – J. Vernon McGee
Psalm 56 – “What Can Man Do unto Me?”
This psalm was composed under the same circumstances as Psalm 34. See I Samuel 21. What a strange medley is here shown—David feigning madness and composing psalms! Commenting on Psalm 56:3, one says that Isaiah’s resolve is still better: “I will trust, and not be afraid,” Isaiah 12:2. Note, the magnificent refrain at the close of each of the first two strophes, Psalm 56:4, 10. The psalmist asks: “What can flesh do?” “Nothing,” is the Apostle Paul’s emphatic answer. Neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers can hurt a man who makes God his stronghold, Romans 8:31.
Let us use the last verse for our life-prayer. Live as one on whom God’s vows rest. Thank Him that by His Cross and Passion He has delivered thy soul from death. Could He have done so much at such cost, and then fail? Surely He must deliver our feet from falling, Psalm 116:8, or all the past will have been in vain. Whenever the shadows gather, and past sins threaten, and the enemies of your soul seek to overthrow, plead this prayer: Thou hast… wilt not Thou? —Through the Bible Day by Day
Psalm 56:13—Thou hast delivered:… wilt not Thou deliver?
It has been a wonderful deliverance! The blood and righteousness of Christ have satisfied the demands of a holy law. Into our souls, dead in trespasses and sins, He has poured the power of an endless life. The very life of God Himself has become resident within us, through the grace of the one Man, Christ Jesus. We cannot be hurt by the second death. We have eaten of the flesh, and drunk of the blood of the Son of Man, and ours is the everlasting life. Death and the grave for ever behind us, before is the city, whose streets are never shadowed by death or crying.
And will not God finish what He has begun? Has He given us life, and will He not give us all that is necessary for right and holy living? Does not the one necessarily involve the other, as the gift of the body involves the bestowment of food and clothing? Have we been saved by Christ’s death? Shall we not also be saved by his life? Will it not be for the glory of God that we should walk worthy of the high calling? Trust Him, child of God, whatever the traps and pitfalls, whatever the slipperiness and difficulty of keeping a foothold; believe that He is able to keep you from stumbling, and that his ability is only exceeded by his love. Let your Guide bind you by a strong rope to Himself as you start each morning in his company.
The answer to these reasonings, the fulfillment of our hopes, comes back to us from Romans 5:8-9, “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.” —Our Daily Homily