PSALM 55:1-11 – 6/21/21
“Give ear to my prayer, O God; and hide not thyself from my supplication. Attend unto me, and hear me,” vs. 1 and 2a.
Worse than any dread and distress David faces, is the thought that God would abandon him. So right off the bat David entreats God three times. “Do you hear me, God? Do you care?” He prioritizes this because if this matter is affirmed, he can handle whatever giant calamity breathes fire in his face. If God does not hear him or care, the smallest foe will bring him down. He invokes Jewish custom that if a man sees a neighbor in trouble and ignores him, he is said to be hiding from him. Jesus echoes this sentiment centuries later on the cross, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” (“My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Mt. 27.)
“I mourn in my complaint, and make a noise; Because of the voice of the enemy, because of the oppression of the wicked; for they cast iniquity upon me, and in wrath they hate me. My heart is sore pained within me: and the terrors of death are fallen upon me. Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me, and horror hath overwhelmed me,” vs. 2b-5.
Our mighty man is consumed with terror to a point of paralysis. Fear and distress rise within him and threaten to ravage him. Trouble torments him like ravenous lions circling in for the kill. Someone’s lose words are about to cost him his life. He is utterly terrified. And with good reason – his enemy means business.
Knowing that God hears him, and will therefore act, David mounts on the wings of the predatory twins Horror and Terror and they fly him to God’s throne room. May all your sufferings and turmoil, no matter their source, consistently fuel you to the throne room.
“Before the throne of God above
I have a strong and perfect Plea
A great high priest whose name is Love
Who ever lives and pleads for me.”
“And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest. Lo, then would I wander far off, and remain in the wilderness. Selah. I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest,” vs. 6-8.
Does the present danger transport David back to better days of his difficult youth? Does he remember his prowess at slaying the lion and the bear in the wilderness? Does he remember rushing giant Goliath and felling him like a grand oak? Our mighty man is not one to escape. Those murderous predators he could handle.
The ones that currently hem him in baffle him. He does not understand their ways. Their venomous tongues have brought him to the end of himself. Their slander and threats are more than he can bear. He prefers the deadly sand storms and tempestuous wadis. Those were as rest to him compared to these vicious attacks.
“Lord, confuse the wicked, confound their words, for I see violence and strife in the city. Day and night they prowl about on its walls; malice and abuse are within it. Destructive forces are at work in the city; threats and lies never leave its streets,” vs. 9-11.
Because the enemy uses their tongue to destroy David, he calls upon God to shatter that self-same weapon. They pride themselves in the use of their words to annihilate him. He knows that his God confounded language at the Tower of Babel. He sees how they elevate themselves to the place of God by seeking to take lives. The results are that violence, strife, malice, abuse, destruction, threats, and lies prowl around the city like so much filthy vermin.
If you find yourself in David’s dusty sandals today, fly to the father. He hears you. He cares. Then you can say with him, “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I have been saved from my enemies. The cords of death entangled me; the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me. The cords of the grave coiled around me; the snares of death confronted me. In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears.” Ps. 18:2-6.