Psalm 55:1-11

Prayer for the Destruction of the Treacherous.

For the choir director; on stringed instruments. A [a]Maskil of David.

55 Give ear to my prayer, O God;
And do not hide Yourself from my supplication.
Give heed to me and answer me;
I am restless in my complaint and [b]am surely distracted,
Because of the voice of the enemy,
Because of the pressure of the wicked;
For they bring down [c]trouble upon me
And in anger they bear a grudge against me.

My heart is in anguish within me,
And the terrors of death have fallen upon me.
Fear and trembling come upon me,
And [d]horror has overwhelmed me.
I said, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove!
I would fly away and [e]be at rest.
“Behold, I would wander far away,
I would lodge in the wilderness. [f]Selah.
“I would hasten to my place of refuge
From the stormy wind and tempest.”

[g]Confuse, O Lord, divide their tongues,
For I have seen violence and strife in the city.
10 Day and night they go around her upon her walls,
And iniquity and mischief are in her midst.
11 Destruction is in her midst;
Oppression and deceit do not depart from her [h]streets.

Verse 6 is something that many of us can relate to when trouble is upon us. When our hearts are in anguish, terror, fear, trembling, and horror are overwhelming us, what is our natural reaction? We want a way of escape, and one can see this refrain in our advertising. I think of an airline company who asks, “want to get away?”

Yet escape teaches us nothing, except for how to get out of things better and easier, while God desires patience and forbearance to be the fruit in our lives. The two are at odds, battling in our minds, as it was for the psalmist, and so he calls out to God for help. When he could not see the good, when he was hard pressed on every side, he took his situation to God.

We don’t see the resolution, at least not yet, and that is often the case for us also. We cannot see the end, sometimes we cannot even see the way to go. But take your case to God, and let him show you the next step, and the next, and the one after that. He will lead you through the storm as you lean on his understanding. It may not look any better around you, but with God on your side, you can face anything.

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