“Be merciful to me, O God, for men hotly pursue me; all day long they press their attack. My slanderers pursue me all day long; many are attacking me in their pride. When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?” ~ Psalm 56:1-4 NIV
If the burdens of this world were like a human, chasing after me, it’d be a lifelong chase, and a daily one too. Each morning I wake, I put on my running shoes and clothes, eat something small, be out the door, and run. Sometimes, there is no time for rest. Other times, I am so exhausted from running, I collapse. For David, he could not stop running. I find it hard to believe, a man so devoted to the Lord since his youth, had to be on the run for fear of being killed by King Saul. As a boy, David would play his harp for Saul so that the evil spirit could leave him (1 Samuel 16:23). But somehow, Saul went through such a change that his feelings towards David turned to jealousy. This gets worse of course because David is not running from Saul just because. He is running because Saul wants to kill him.
“All day long they twist my words; they are always plotting to harm me. They conspire, they lurk, they watch my steps, eager to take my life” (Psalm 56:5-6). As these verses continue from the verses above, I catch an image of Jesus talking to the Pharisees. Once Jesus was becoming “known” within the land, I’m pretty sure people were watching Him like a hawk. Just an example, in Matthew 15 and 16, the Pharisees were mentioned approaching Jesus with questions to stump Him. Yet He, being divine, was able to stump them back. How flooded Jesus must have felt with those questions and eyes; and yet, it didn’t stop Him from His ministry and serving God. He kept going. He kept running. But He didn’t run away from them, no. He was running towards something else.
“On no account let them escape; in your anger, O God, bring down the nations. Record my lament; list my tears on your scroll—are they not in your record” (Psalm 56:7-8)? For some of us while on the run, don’t think about those emotional, tearful moments. For some, it’s a waste of time. For others, it shows weakness. But do you know that the Lord knows of every single tear we cry? Do you think He cannot or does not know how much of a battle it is to be chased by evil? If God can “bring down the nations,” He can also understand our humanness when we are trying to battle our life’s problems. The Lord won’t let them escape.
“Then my enemies will turn back when I call for help. By this time I will know that God is for me. In God, whose word I praise, in the Lord, whose word I praise—in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me” (Psalm 56:9-11)? In verse 9, David already has faith that the Lord will be on his side. These are powerful words because when we are in the midst of evil, we forget to declare and persist in the promises and word of God. Not only so, notice how verses 10 and 11 are a repetition of verse 4. Now, I’m sure there are many reasons why this is. David was a psalmist and a musician so this could just be the chorus of this psalm. On the other hand, I like to think of the repetition as a reminder. My human tendency of easily forgetting needs to be reminded constantly that God is more powerful than man. Even when we are running from our enemies trying to escape, “What can man do to me?” With our hope and trust in the Lord, man can do nothing to us.
“I am under vows to you, O God; I will present my thank offerings to you. For you have delivered me from death and my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before God in the light of life” (Psalm 56:12-13). I love how this passage ends. It just reconnects back to the beginning. Although in the middle David pours out all that is happening in his life, even before this, he gave God glory and praise. Moreover, he did this again at the end of the passage. I admit, I don’t always remember to give God praise and to thank Him after being rescued from a chase. I’d be so thankful that I stopped running. But the run isn’t over, especially in a Christian’s life. It’s a constant, daily battle. But as David reminds us, the Lord will deliver us.
Hope ou enjoyed today’s post. We love hearing from you! ❤