Psalms 56

1 To the overcoming on the dumb culver of far drawing away, the comely song of David, when the Philistines held him in Gath. God, have mercy on me, for a man hath defouled me; all day he impugned, and troubled me. (To the overcomer, for the silent dove, for it went far away, the comely song of David, when the Philistines held him in Gath. God, have mercy on me, for men have persecuted me; all day long they impugned, and troubled, me.)
2 Mine enemies defouled me all day; for many fighters were against me. (My enemies persecuted me all day long; yea, many fight against me.)
3 Of the highness of day I shall dread; but God, I shall hope in thee. (From the height of the day, I have fear; but God, I put my trust in thee.)
4 In God I shall praise my words; I hoped in God, I shall not dread what thing flesh, or man, shall do to me. (Yea, I shall praise God with my words; for I trust in God, and I shall not fear what any person shall do to me.)
5 All day they cursed my words; against me all their thoughts were into evil. (All day long they cursed my words; all their thoughts were against me for evil.)
6 They shall dwell, and they shall hide; they shall ambush mine heel. As they abide my life (But though they lie in wait for my life),
7 for nought shalt thou make them safe; in ire thou shalt break (al)together peoples. (it is they who shall not escape; for in thy anger, God, thou shalt break them all in pieces.)
8 God, I showed my life to thee; thou hast set my tears in thy sight. As and in thy promise, Lord; (God, thou knowest my troubles; thou hast set my tears before thee. Be they not in thy Book, O Lord?)
9 then mine enemies shall be turned aback. In whatever day I shall inwardly call thee; lo! I have known, that thou art my God. (On whatever day I shall call to thee, then my enemies shall be turned back; for lo! I know this, that thou art with me, my God.)
10 In God I shall praise a word; in the Lord I shall praise a word. (I shall praise God with my words; yea, I shall praise the Lord with my words.)
11 I shall hope in God; I shall not dread what thing man shall do to me. (I put my trust in God; and I shall not fear what anyone shall do to me.)
12 God, thine avows be in me; which I shall yield praisings to thee. (God, thy vows be upon me/God, I shall pay my vows to thee; I shall give praises to thee.)
13 For thou hast delivered my life from death, and my feet from sliding; that I please before God in the light of them that live. (For thou hast rescued my life from death, and my feet from slipping, or stumbling; so that I can walk before God in the light that shineth on the living.)

Images for Psalms 56

Psalms 56 Commentary

Chapter 56

David seeks mercy from God, amidst the malice of his enemies. (1-7) He rests his faith on God's promises, and declares his obligation to praise him for mercies. (8-13)

Verses 1-7 Be merciful unto me, O God. This petition includes all the good for which we come to throne of grace. If we obtain mercy there, we need no more to make us happy. It implies likewise our best plea, not our merit, but God's mercy, his free, rich mercy. We may flee to, and trust the mercy of God, when surrounded on all sides by difficulties and dangers. His enemies were too hard for him, if God did not help him. He resolves to make God's promises the matter of his praises, and so we have reason to make them. As we must not trust an arm of flesh when engaged for us, so we must not be afraid of an arm of flesh when stretched out against us. The sin of sinners will never be their security. Who knows the power of God's anger; how high it can reach, how forcibly it can strike?

Verses 8-13 The heavy and continued trials through which many of the Lord's people have passed, should teach us to be silent and patient under lighter crosses. Yet we are often tempted to repine and despond under small sorrows. For this we should check ourselves. David comforts himself, in his distress and fear, that God noticed all his grievances and all his griefs. God has a bottle and a book for his people's tears, both the tears for their sins, and those for their afflictions. He observes them with tender concern. Every true believer may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and then I will not fear what man shall do unto me; for man has no power but what is given him from above. Thy vows are upon me, O Lord; not as a burden, but as that by which I am known to be thy servant; as a bridle that restrains me from what would be hurtful, and directs me in the way of my duty. And vows of thankfulness properly accompany prayers for mercy. If God deliver us from sin, either from doing it, or by his pardoning mercy, he has delivered our souls from death, which is the wages of sin. Where the Lord has begun a good work he will carry it on and perfect it. David hopes that God would keep him even from the appearance of sin. We should aim in all our desires and expectations of deliverance, both from sin and trouble, that we may do the better service to the Lord; that we may serve him without fear. If his grace has delivered our souls from the death of sin, he will bring us to heaven, to walk before him for ever in light.

Chapter Summary

Psalms 56 Commentaries

Copyright © 2001 by Terence P. Noble. For personal use only.