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From Distress to Trust (Psalm 55)


cffblog6.jpgSeptember 20, 2017 (Wednesday)

We know neither the author nor the circumstances of this Psalm. The writer has strong enemies and a dear friend has joined their forces, even as he continues to present himself as a friend. Like Jeremiah, he longs for a quiet place "away from it all." Like Jesus, he is betrayed by a close friend. The Psalmist begins by expressing his distress, then moves to indignation and finally to trust in God.

Psalm 55
New International Version (NIV)
For the director of music. With stringed instruments. A maskil of David.


I. MAY GOD HEAR ME IN MY DISTRESS (1-3)

1 Listen to my prayer, O God,
do not ignore my plea;
2 hear me and answer me.
My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught
3 because of what my enemy is saying,
because of the threats of the wicked;
for they bring down suffering on me
and assail me in their anger.
4 My heart is in anguish within me;
the terrors of death have fallen on me.
5 Fear and trembling have beset me;
horror has overwhelmed me.

II. I LONG TO ESCAPE TO A QUIET PLACE (6-8)

6 I said, "Oh, that I had the wings of a dove!
I would fly away and be at rest.
7 I would flee far away
and stay in the desert;
8 I would hurry to my place of shelter,
far from the tempest and storm."

III. INIQUITY RULES THE DAY (9-11)

9 Lord, confuse the wicked, confound their words,
for I see violence and strife in the city.
10 Day and night they prowl about on its walls;
malice and abuse are within it.
11 Destructive forces are at work in the city;
threats and lies never leave its streets.

IV. MY FRIEND HAS TURNED AGAINST ME (12-15)

12 If an enemy were insulting me,
I could endure it;
if a foe were rising against me,
I could hide.
13 But it is you, a man like myself,
my companion, my close friend,
14 with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship
at the house of God,
as we walked about
among the worshipers.
15 Let death take my enemies by surprise;
let them go down alive to the realm of the dead,
for evil finds lodging among them.

V. I KNOW GOD WILL DELIVER ME (16-18)
16 As for me, I call to God,
and the Lord saves me.
17 Evening, morning and noon
I cry out in distress,
and he hears my voice.
18 He rescues me unharmed
from the battle waged against me,
even though many oppose me.

VI. I KNOW GOD WILL JUDGE MY FOES (19)
19 God, who is enthroned from of old,
who does not change--
he will hear them and humble them,
because they have no fear of God.

VII. MY FRIEND IS A HYPOCRITE (20-21)

20 My companion attacks his friends;
he violates his covenant.
21 His talk is smooth as butter,
yet war is in his heart;
his words are more soothing than oil,
yet they are drawn swords.

VIII. GOD CARES FOR THE RIGHTEOUS AND DEFEATS THE WICKED (22-23)
22 Cast your cares on the Lord
and he will sustain you;
he will never let
the righteous be shaken.
23 But you, God, will bring down the wicked
into the pit of decay;
the bloodthirsty and deceitful
will not live out half their days.
But as for me, I trust in you.

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