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Psalm 55

Complaint about a Friend’s Treachery

To the leader: with stringed instruments. A Maskil of David.

1

Give ear to my prayer, O God;

do not hide yourself from my supplication.

2

Attend to me, and answer me;

I am troubled in my complaint.

I am distraught 3by the noise of the enemy,

because of the clamor of the wicked.

For they bring trouble upon me,

and in anger they cherish enmity against me.

 

4

My heart is in anguish within me,

the terrors of death have fallen upon me.

5

Fear and trembling come upon me,

and horror overwhelms me.

6

And I say, “O that I had wings like a dove!

I would fly away and be at rest;

7

truly, I would flee far away;

I would lodge in the wilderness;Selah

8

I would hurry to find a shelter for myself

from the raging wind and tempest.”

 

9

Confuse, O Lord, confound their speech;

for I see violence and strife in the city.

10

Day and night they go around it

on its walls,

and iniquity and trouble are within it;

11

ruin is in its midst;

oppression and fraud

do not depart from its marketplace.

 

12

It is not enemies who taunt me—

I could bear that;

it is not adversaries who deal insolently with me—

I could hide from them.

13

But it is you, my equal,

my companion, my familiar friend,

14

with whom I kept pleasant company;

we walked in the house of God with the throng.

15

Let death come upon them;

let them go down alive to Sheol;

for evil is in their homes and in their hearts.

 

16

But I call upon God,

and the Lord will save me.

17

Evening and morning and at noon

I utter my complaint and moan,

and he will hear my voice.

18

He will redeem me unharmed

from the battle that I wage,

for many are arrayed against me.

19

God, who is enthroned from of old,Selah

will hear, and will humble them—

because they do not change,

and do not fear God.

 

20

My companion laid hands on a friend

and violated a covenant with me

21

with speech smoother than butter,

but with a heart set on war;

with words that were softer than oil,

but in fact were drawn swords.

 

22

Cast your burden on the Lord,

and he will sustain you;

he will never permit

the righteous to be moved.

 

23

But you, O God, will cast them down

into the lowest pit;

the bloodthirsty and treacherous

shall not live out half their days.

But I will trust in you.


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Verses 1–8

In these verses we have, 1. David praying. Prayer is a salve for every sore, and a relief to the spirit under every burden. 2. David weeping. Griefs are thus, in some measure, lessened, while those increase that have no vent given them. David in great alarm. We may well suppose him to be so, upon the breaking out of Absalom's conspiracy, and the falling away of the people. Horror overwhelmed him. Probably the remembrance of his sin in the matter of Uriah added much to the terror. When under a guilty conscience we must mourn in our complaint, and even strong believers have for a time been filled with horror. But none ever was so overwhelmed as the holy Jesus, when it pleased the Lord to put him to grief, and to make his soul an offering for our sins. In his agony he prayed more earnestly, and was heard and delivered; trusting in him, and following him, we shall be supported under, and carried through all trials. See how David was weary of the treachery and ingratitude of men, and the cares and disappointments of his high station: he longed to hide himself in some desert from the fury and fickleness of his people. He aimed not at victory, but rest; a barren wilderness, so that he might be quiet. The wisest and best of men most earnestly covet peace and quietness, and the more when vexed and wearied with noise and clamour. This makes death desirable to a child of God, that it is a final escape from all the storms and tempests of this world, to perfect and everlasting rest.

Verses 9–15

No wickedness so distresses the believer, as that which he witnesses in those who profess to be of the church of God. Let us not be surprised at the corruptions and disorders of the church on earth, but long to see the New Jerusalem. He complains of one that had been very industrious against him. God often destroys the enemies of the church by dividing them. And an interest divided against itself cannot long stand. The true Christian must expect trials from professed friends, from those with whom he has been united; this will be very painful; but by looking unto Jesus we shall be enabled to bear it. Christ was betrayed by a companion, a disciple, an apostle, who resembled Ahithophel in his crimes and doom. Both were speedily overtaken by Divine vengeance. And this prayer is a prophecy of the utter, the everlasting ruin, of all who oppose and rebel against the Messiah.

Verses 16–23

In every trial let us call upon the Lord, and he will save us. He shall hear us, and not blame us for coming too often; the oftener the more welcome. David had thought all were against him; but now he sees there were many with him, more than he supposed; and the glory of this he gives to God, for it is he that raises us up friends, and makes them faithful to us. There are more true Christians, and believers have more real friends, than in their gloomy hours they suppose. His enemies should be reckoned with, and brought down; they could not ease themselves of their fears, as David could, by faith in God. Mortal men, though ever so high and strong, will easily be crushed by an eternal God. Those who are not reclaimed by the rod of affliction, will certainly be brought down to the pit of destruction. The burden of afflictions is very heavy, especially when attended with the temptations of Satan; there is also the burden of sin and corruption. The only relief under it is, to look to Christ, who bore it. Whatever it is that thou desirest God should give thee, leave it to him to give it in his own way and time. Care is a burden, it makes the heart stoop. We must commit our ways and works to the Lord; let him do as seemeth him good, and let us be satisfied. To cast our burden upon God, is to rest upon his providence and promise. And if we do so, he will carry us in the arms of his power, as a nurse carries a child; and will strengthen our spirits by his Spirit, so that they shall sustain the trial. He will never suffer the righteous to be moved; to be so shaken by any troubles, as to quit their duty to God, or their comfort in him. He will not suffer them to be utterly cast down. He, who bore the burden of our sorrows, desires us to leave to him to bear the burden of our cares, that, as he knows what is best for us, he may provide it accordingly. Why do not we trust Christ to govern the world which he redeemed?




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