Clearly Clouded Communication

Psalm 56:1-13

Prayer for Relief from Tormenters

Be merciful to me, O God, for man would swallow me up; Fighting all day he oppresses me. My enemies would hound me all day, For there are many who fight against me, O Most High. Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God (I will praise His word), In God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me? All day they twist my words; All their thoughts are against me for evil. They gather together, They hide, they mark my steps, When they lie in wait for my life. Shall they escape by iniquity? In anger cast down the peoples, O God! You number my wanderings; Put my tears into Your bottle; Are they not in Your book? When I cry out to You, Then my enemies will turn back; This I know, because God is for me. In God (I will praise His word), In the Lord (I will praise His word), In God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? Vow made to You are binding upon me, O God; I will render praises to You, For You have delivered my soul from death. Have You not kept my feet from falling, That I may walk before God in the light of the living?

I read scriptures like this one penned by David and I’m often quick to think “I have not tormentors or enemies like he speaks of here.”

Even in all my complaining of separation of church and state, I don’t arise each morning feeling as if I am oppressed, as if enemies hound me all day, that they hide in wait for me. I’m not vain enough to think that anyone, especially those who think ill of me, waste their time thinking about me all day. Whether those thoughts are evil or not.

Am I being hunted? Surely not. I am fine. I am safe. Protected. Taken care of.

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. John 10:10a

Despite my feeling of safety and protection, I, like David, am absolutely being hunted.

However, I am not alone.

In this one Psalm, the words I will not fear and I will not be afraid both appear.

What causes David to use these phrases? Where does he get his fearlessness from?

Preceding both of those phrases is the answer.

In God I have put my trust; (v. 4) and In God I have put my trust; (v. 11).

What does it take to dispel fear? Trust in God.

Notice what is present here. Enemies are present, and fear is present.

David was a man after God’s own heart. He wasn’t perfect. Far from it, actually. He was most definitely human. Flawed. Fearful. Faithful.

Yet in the midst of his storm, David trusted God, praised His word, and cried out to Him in faith believing that He would stop his enemies in their tracks.

Not only was David willing to admit his fear, he admitted his tears. He reminded God that God Himself knew how many steps he had taken, and had collected each of his tears in His bottle and recorded them in His book.

Then David goes on to remind God how he knows that his enemies will be turning back. God is for me…who can be against me?

David made promises to God. He knew the depth of those vows. He also knew that no amount of works would ever repay the mercies the Lord had granted to him.

You know, sometimes I can read a Psalm and look at it for it’s poetic beauty. I can lose myself in the lyrics and lines. I can be amazed at the talent and ability of the writer. And I can totally miss the message.

I’ve been focusing on words this month. Watching what I say, listening to what others say, and trying to listen past the words into the heart.

How does that affect my relationship with God?

I read this Psalm tonight as part of my daily reading, and the thing that jumped out at me was David talking to God. Specifically David reminding God out loud of what scripture said, of how David interpreted scripture, and what David was in faith believing for God to do for Him as a result of his faith.

Sure, David did some whining. I see it. I won’t throw any stones. I whine more than anyone else I know. But when it comes down to it, David acknowledged, requested, praised, and persevered.

Sometimes I hastily throw up a request to God followed by a Your will be done, and I forget about it. I’d like to say my “forgetting about it” is a reflection of my faith, but in truth it’s just me thinking He’s going to do whatever He’s going to do regardless of my request. So, I throw the need out there and then try not to get my hopes up that way I’m not disappointed when things don’t work out.

That’s so not how God wants me to approach Him, to talk to Him. Where’s the honesty in that conversation? Where’s the truth?

This week I want to focus my focus on words specifically in prayer. Am I truly being “clear like plastic wrap” when I approach the King of Kings or am I hoping he can see through my veiled requests to the heart of the matter?

He already knows the truth, but until I ask Him in faith believing, I don’t believe He’ll barge His way into my life.


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