Monday, February 25, 2008

Studying Psalm 56

1 Observation
What are some of the key ideas repeated throughout the Psalm?
• Men hotly pursue me
• They press their attack
• My slanderers pursue me all day long
• All day long they twist my words
• They conspire, they lurk, they watch my steps

What situation was David in when the psalm was written?
• He was seized by the Philistines in Gath.

Is there repetition of words you observe? Locate them.
• In God, whose word I praise,
In God I trust; I will not be afraid,
What can mortal man do to me?
• Verses 4, verses 10-11

Why do you think there is a repetition?
• Emphasis to show that trust in God when under seizure

2 Interpretation
Key idea: Walking in darkness with God’s light

V1-2 – lament
V3-4 – trust in God
V5-9b – affliction and imprecation
V9c-11 – trust in God
V12-13 – thanksgiving

David, in his captivity, acted like a madman to save himself. More than that, he put his trust in the Lord, knowing that God is for him (v9) and will deliver him (v13). This is reflected in his composure and tranquility in the face of fear.

In times of adversity and sufferings, how then do we live our lives? Depend on our own strength and wisdom or truly put our trust in the Lord who surely delivers us? Live your life like that of David:
• Remember God’s promises (v3-4)
o In God, you do not need to be afraid
• Receive God’s acts of vindication (v8-9)
o If God is for you, who can be against you?
• Rest in thanksgiving to God (v12)
o You can walk before God in the light of life

3 Application
Are you going through difficult times? Is there a rough path which you wish it will end soon? Can you trust in Him and apply these principles so that even in such times, you still give thanks, knowing that He will deliver you?

Source (Angela Tan's notes)
• The Expositor’s Bible Commentary Volume 5
Frank E. Gaebelein – General Editor
Zondervan Publishing House

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