“Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge.” David wanted to live. He looked for the Lord to protect him and to save him from those who were seeking his speedy demise. He believed that God had a purpose for his life, and that the Lord’s intentions for him would be fulfilled.
Because of the “steadfast love and faithfulness” of God, David knew that he would be saved and that his enemies would be stopped. This important man in the history of Israel knew that his life was in danger. Yet even though he might “lie down amid fiery beasts,” the Lord would protect him.
David was not primarily concerned about true wild animals such as lions or bears. People with their sharp tongues were after him. Yet these adversaries were no match for God.
David’s chorus, repeated twice in Psalm 56, is a great expression of praise. “Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your glory be over all the earth!” The Lord had a plan for David and for God’s little Israel, but His intentions were bigger than that. God’s plan for glory would reach all the way to the ends of the earth and even beyond the heights of the heavens. God’s greatness would be magnified in every detail of creation. Therefore, David knew that his own little life mattered.
Even with this fervent expression of faith, David still had to deal with the reality of those who were very much against him. The Lord has a purpose in our most frightening trials. His own Son faced murderous attacks from the earliest months of His life on earth. Only through the warning of angels was Jesus able to live long enough to fulfill the plan that His Father had for Him. What was that divine mission? The promised Son in the line of David would have to die on the cross for us. Despite the difficulty of the journey that stood before Him, Jesus was not angry or resentful. He was ready to give the fullest praise to His Father. He looked beyond the cross to the glorious prize.
We join our Messiah in considering our present suffering as nothing compared to the glory that will one day be revealed to us. Even now we are able to consider the worldwide mission of the church and lift up our voices to the Lord in worship. “Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your glory be over all the earth!”
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Creator God, we take refuge in You. Troubles are many, but Your steadfast love is above them all. People come against us, but You are stronger than men. We will worship You early in the morning. We will worship You when our situation seems hopeless, for You are God.