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Comfort in the Midst of Persecution.
To the chief musician upon Jonathelem-rechokim, the word not only denoting the melody according to which the hymn was to be sung, "The dove of silence of distant places," but also the subject of the psalm, David being the uncomplaining, meek dove, driven from home to wander in exile, Michtam, a poem of epigrams, of David when the Philistines took him in Gath, the event being recorded 1 Samuel 21:10-12.
v. 1. Be merciful unto me, O God; for man would swallow me up, panting for his soul with greedy desire, with snorts of rage; he, fighting daily, oppresseth me. The contrast is that of the majesty of God and the puny might of men.
v. 2. Mine enemies would daily swallow me up, always lying in wait like beasts of prey; for they be many that fight against me, O Thou Most High, rather, "they fight in the pride of their hearts. "
v. 3. What time I am afraid, for there seems to be good reason for fear, I will trust in Thee, for in this trust he could successfully overcome his fear.
v. 4. In God I will praise His Word, since it is according to His promise that believers are delivered from their enemies; in God I have put my trust, in His faithfulness and mercy; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me, or, more emphatically, "I trust in God, I do not fear; what can flesh," mere man, "do unto me?" Cf Psalms 91:1-3.
v. 5. Every day they wrest my words, vexing his affairs, interfering with their proper care, harming his business; all their thoughts are against me for evil, their entire conduct being full of malice.
v. 6. They gather themselves together, after the manner of cowardly adversaries, they hide themselves, to lie in wait, they mark my steps, when they wait for my soul, their object being to take his life.
v. 7. Shall they escape by iniquity? literally, "By iniquity deliverance to them?" Will the ways of wickedness really bring lasting success? In Thine anger cast down the people, O God, namely, all the nations opposing Him.
v. 8. Thou tellest my wanderings, counting how often and how far David had to flee before his enemies; put Thou my tears into Thy bottle, carefully measuring and preserving them as a record of his misery; are they not in Thy book? calculated and stored in the memory of the Lord.
v. 9. When I cry unto Thee, then shall mine enemies turn back, the help of God coming with great readiness, at once; this I know, for God is for me, that "He is God on his side. "
v. 10. In God will I praise His Word; in the Lord will I praise His Word.
v. 11. In God have I put my trust; I will not be afraid what man can do unto me. Cf v. 4.
v. 12. Thy vows are upon me, O God; he is under obligation to render thanks to the Lord; I will render praises Unto Thee, as his duty of gratitude dictated.
v. 13. For Thou hast delivered my soul from death, he already had numerous evidences of God's deliverance in his life; wilt not Thou deliver my feet from falling that I may walk before God in the light of the living? Instead of being brought to the realm of death as a result of the plans of the enemies, he knows that he will enjoy the light of God's face in the full enjoyment of the life preserved by the almighty power of the Lord, a foretaste of heavenly joy.
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Kretzmann, Paul E. Ph. D., D. D. "Commentary on Psalms 56". "Kretzmann's Popular Commentary". https://studylight.org/
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