WHAT CAN MAN DO TO ME?
Lord, you call me to trust you. Indeed, you are trustworthy and there is nothing I need to fear. Thank you for your watch care.
Read PSALM 56
For the director of music. To the tune of “A Dove on Distant Oaks.” Of David. A miktam.[b] When the Philistines had seized him in Gath.
1 Be merciful to me, my God,
for my enemies are in hot pursuit;
all day long they press their attack.
2 My adversaries pursue me all day long;
in their pride many are attacking me.
3 When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.
4 In God, whose word I praise—
in God I trust and am not afraid.
What can mere mortals do to me?
5 All day long they twist my words;
all their schemes are for my ruin.
6 They conspire, they lurk,
they watch my steps,
hoping to take my life.
7 Because of their wickedness do not[c] let them escape;
in your anger, God, bring the nations down.
8 Record my misery;
list my tears on your scroll[d]—
are they not in your record?
9 Then my enemies will turn back
when I call for help.
By this I will know that God is for me.
10 In God, whose word I praise,
in the Lord, whose word I praise—
11 in God I trust and am not afraid.
What can man do to me?
12 I am under vows to you, my God;
I will present my thank offerings to you.
13 For you have delivered me from death
and my feet from stumbling,
that I may walk before God
in the light of life.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectPonder for a moment what makes you afraid. It could be a specific individual threat, or a global one. It could be one person or many. It could be a real threat or imagined. What makes you afraid?
David was in a dangerous situation (see 1 Samuel 21:10-15). He had fled from threats in his homeland and had to pretend to be mad to survive in enemy territory. The threats were real, and the danger was significant. David was afraid. All he could do was cry out to God and pray for deliverance. In the first seven verses, David prayed for God to destroy his enemies. After all, if the battle was between God and his enemies, his enemies had no hope of winning.
From verse 8 to the end, David reiterates the basic idea of the psalm. When he is afraid, he will trust in God. So, he calls on God to keep track of his tears and answer his prayer for deliverance (vs 8-11). He looks forward to praising God for the life he anticipates in answer to his prayer (vs 12,13).
When we put all the threats of evil humans on one side of the scale and God’s care for us on the other, reality becomes clear. Humans are not more potent than our good God.
It seems obvious, but it is the right way to respond. What makes you afraid? When we are afraid, let’s continue to put our trust in God.
Gracious God, sometimes it seems that I take my fears and anxieties everywhere but to you. Forgive me, and help me to remember that I am not alone, that your strength and protection are mine—always.
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