“Be merciful unto me, O God: for man would swallow me up; he fighting daily oppresseth me.”
This is such a wonderful verse. David starts this psalm with a plea for God to be merciful. He recognizes the dangers of this fallen world, and the affect of sin upon his life. He fears that man will swallow him up. What does this mean for us? Remember that we live in a fallen world, all to eager to consume us if we allow it. We are no different than David in our need of a Savior, and only God’s mercy can save us.
“Mine enemies would daily swallow me up: for they be many that fight against me, O thou most High.”
When David speaks about enemies, it very well may be that he is talking about real people here. The times he lived in were quite brutal compared to our lives. They were full of wars, and real oppression. So how does this apply to us today? What are the real enemies of our daily lives?
We all battle the wars in our hearts. For some of us it is addiction. For others, it could be lust. For still others, it is simply excess pride or conceit. But mark my words, we all have our own enemies in this world that we struggle with on a daily basis, and would love nothing more than to “swallow us up”.
“What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.”
In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.
Every day they wrest my words: all their thoughts are against me for evil.
They gather themselves together, they hide themselves, they mark my steps, when they wait for my soul.
Shall they escape by iniquity? in thine anger cast down the people, O God.”
David now acknowledges his fear for his safety and his soul, but states that he will put his trust in God. How can we fear what man can do when we have God in our corner? What can man do to us that God does not allow? God is a God of justice. We know that with our trust in God, no man can stand a chance against us. No sin has any power over God.
“Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?
When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for God is for me.”
This verse says a great deal to me. Everyone cries. Where do those tears end up? Do they end up wasted on the floor, because your cries have not been directed towards Heaven? David tells us here that when our cries are directed towards God, they are not wasted. God takes our tears and preserves them. Our cries therefore do not fall on deaf ears. God hears them, and will use them to build us up, make us stronger, and defeat the enemy in our lives.
“In God will I praise his word: in the LORD will I praise his word.
In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me.
Thy vows are upon me, O God: I will render praises unto thee.
For thou hast delivered my soul from death: wilt not thou deliver my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living?”
David concludes by praising God. Interesting that this Psalm describes David in great peril, in danger of being destroyed, enemies surrounding him, yet he continues to praise God. His trust does not waver. He does not fear what man can do to him.
How do we react today when going through difficult times? Do we put our trust in God, or do we choose to worship earthly desires instead? Do we turn to alcohol, drugs, the arms of another man or woman? David lived in a much more brutal world than we did, yet he chose to stay faithful to his Savior. Do we really have any excuse?
The final verse of this psalm is quite beautiful, so I will repeat it.
“For thou hast delivered my soul from death: wilt not thou deliver my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living?”
Our belief and trust in God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit grants us eternal life. We will not die but live on forever. That is the promise of God. But the verse says even more. Not only does God promise a life beyond this fallen world, but even in this world, he will prop us up. He will keep our feet from falling, if we just dare to wait on him. Sometimes we have to be patient. Sometimes it will not come as a sign or a vision. Sometimes, God’s help will not be the help we want. We need to remember that God does not always give us what we want, but He will always give us what we need. But count on it, God will show up.
So what about you?
When you cry, do your tears fall down, or up towards heaven?
Are they wasted, or preserved in God’s bottle?