PSALM 56 Title -- PUT MY TEARS IN THY BOTTLE part 3
by John Lowe
When I (David) have no other weapons or men to use them, which is my present circumstance, my prayers shall be sufficient to overthrow my enemies— “Then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for God is for me,”to plead my cause, to protect and deliver me; and, if God be for me, who can prevail against me? “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31).
10 In God will I praise his word: in the Lord will I praise his word.
That which I (David) have already began to do (v. 4), that I promise I will do again and again, and I cannot sufficiently praise Thy goodness in making promises, and thy faithfulness in keeping them. It’s a great thing to rest on the promises of God in times of stress. It has been said that there are some 30,000 promises in the Bible. They may not all be for us but many of them are. Seek them out.
By repeating the shout of praise contained in verse 4— “in the Lord will I praise His word”—the psalmist shows his great enthusiasm for the praise of God.
11 In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me.
Frances Ridley Havergal had a useful spiritual exercise, guaranteed to strengthen faith. She was blind, yet she wrote many of our great hymns. She liked to match prayers with promises. David did the same. On one occasion David prayed: “Uphold me, according to Thy word.” In answer he had these promises:
• I the Lord thy God hold thy right hand.
• Yea, I will uphold thee.
• He will not suffer thy foot to be moved.
• When thou runnest thou shalt not stumble.
• Yea, he shall be holden up.
• He shall keep thy foot from being taken.
• He will keep the feet of His saints.
Seven promises in answer to one prayer! Let us bank thus on the promises of God. David did.
The confession of trust in verses 10-11 and verses 3-4 provides a frame of “I will not be afraid” (v. 11) around David’s petition. He has no fear because he is confident that God will hear him (vs. 12-13). Speaking as if his prayer has already been answered, David acknowledges that he now needs to keep the vows he made to God when he was in trouble. God’s answer allows David to walk before God in the “light of the living” (v. 13), enjoying the full blessings of life.
Verses 12-13: God is so mighty that David can look upon his deliverance from the men of Gath as if it had already happened.
12-13a Thy vows are upon me, O God: I will render praises unto thee. For thou hast delivered my soul from death:
That word “delivered”is literally “plucked.” The picture is graphic enough—that of a man being snatched away from surrounding danger. In the light of this great assurance, David is mindful of some promises he has made to God: “I am under vows to Thee!” They were vows to render praises for the Lord’s deliverance.
“O Lord, my enemies planned my “death,” and I am in great danger,” said David, “but I am confident that thou wilt deliver me, because of thy promises, and my former experiences.”
It is easy to make promises to God in an hour of desperation, but what about paying them in the hour of deliverance? “Lord, I’ll put You first in my life. I’ll see to it that this or that work of Yours is adequately remembered in my tithes and offerings. I’ll treat my family differently.” How quickly we forget! David was happy in his soul. Maybe that is why he wrote this psalm. David’s greatest desire was to GLORIFY THE LORD, and this is why he wrote this psalm. He had vowed to serve the Lord and he meant to keep his vow. He had also vowed to present thank offerings to the Lord when his days of wandering were ended.
13b Wilt not thou deliver my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living?
He prays, “That I may walk before God,” that is, that I may please and serve and glorify Thee. Another translator renders it: “That I might live, ever mindful of God, in the sunshine of life.” He was well aware of the fact that he had run ahead of God in going down to Gath. No matter what perils awaited him, in the future, he wanted to make sure that they were within that circle God had drawn around the promised land.
David tells us here what he hoped for, that God would “deliver” his “feet from falling” either into sin, which would wound his conscience, or into the appearance of sin, which his enemies would distort and use to wound his good name. “Those that think they stand must take heed lest they fall,” because the very best men stand no longer than God is pleased to uphold them. We are weak He knew he was weak., our way is slippery, many stumbling-blocks are in the way, our spiritual enemies are working hard to thrust us down, and therefore, by faith and prayer we commit ourselves to His care. He needed God to watch over him.
“In the light of the living” is rendered, by one Bible commentator, as “in the sunshine of life.” “Light” is associated with life, darkness with death, throughout the Scriptures.
God answered David’s prayers. He delivered him from death; he kept him from stumbling; and He enabled him to walk in a godly way and praise the Lord. Though still in enemy territory, he is enjoying the blessing of full salvation. His life has been saved, and his feet kept from stumbling so that he might continue to “walk” in the presence of God in the “light” of life.
1 Jonath-elem-rechokim (the dove of the distant terebinths) indicates the song having the melody with which this psalm was to be sung. The Psalmist, with many enemies around him, casts himself on God’s mercy, and his confidence expresses itself in a twice-repeated refrain (vs. 4, 10).
2 Lament: express sorrow, regret, or unhappiness about something
3 “Put thou my tears into thy bottle,” possibly in the sense that the prayers of the saints are preserved in golden vials (Revelation 5:8), certainly it takes note of the Psalmist’s deep distress.