Psalm 56


The background of this Psalm is recorded in 1 Sam 21. In order to run away from the attack from Saul, David left Judah and fled to Gath, one of the five Philistine cities. Goliath, the giant defeated by young David was from this city (1 Sam 17:4). David life was in danger in Gath (6), he was greatly in fear of Achish, the king of Gath (1 Sam 21:12), so David pretended to be insane in order to escape Gath (1 Sam 21:13). The other Psalm with the same background is Psalm 34. Later on in David’s life, he returned back to Gath with 600 men and their families. On the second visit, David lived in a place called Ziklag for 1 year and 4 months.

Turn Fear into Praise (v1-4)

v1: [all day long]: David was oppressed by Philistines all day long. Repeated in verse 5 again.

v2: [they are many]: Not just one enemy, but many

v3-4: David was afraid, so he put his trust to God, he praise God and afraid no more. These  verses are repeated again in v10-11. Christians turn fear into praise by trusting God.

v4: : [what can man do to me?]: Our God is greater than any man, what can man do to me? Repeated in Psalm 118:6 and Hebrew 13:6

Light of Life (v5-11)

V5-6: David’s life seem to be in danger, the Philistines in Gath wanted to take his life (v6)

V7: So David asked God to put down these peoples.

V8: God knows what David has been through in the wanderings, being chased by Saul. David’s tears were saved in God’s bottle, and recorded in God’s book. Archaeologists have discovered tear bottle from grave site. How comfort to know that God’s has collected our tears. God knows every hardship we have been through, our suffering was recorded in His book.

V10-11: A repeat of v3-4. When we put our trust in God, what can man do to us?

V12: David promised he will offer thank offerings to God. He trusts God will deliver him and look forward for giving thanks to God. Do we ever give thanks to God after God has delivered us from our trouble?

V13: [delivered my soul from death]: Only the redemption work of Jesus on the cross can delivered our soul from death. Our responsibility is to [walk before God in the light of living]. Light of living can be translated as Light of Life. Jesus told us He is the Light of Life (John 8:12). When we follow Jesus, we will no longer walk in darkness, but we will walk in the Light of Life.

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