“You number my wanderings; put my tears into Your bottle; are they not in Your book? When I cry out to You, then my enemies will turn back; this I know, because God is for me. In God (I will praise His word), in the Lord (I will praise His word), in God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? (Psalm 56:8-11).
Do you ever feel down and feel like no one is on your side? I am sure all of us have experienced that lonely feeling. However, as David relates in Psalm 56, there is some One who we can turn to Who is always on our side if we are striving to serve Him. It is not just any one. It is God!
In the title of Psalm 56 we read “A Michtam of David when the Philistines captured him in Gath”. I am not sure when this was written as the only times I can think of in the recorded Scriptures when David went to the Philistine city of Gath was when he went there of his own choosing as he was fleeing for his life from King Saul (1 Samuel 21:10; 27:1-2). This doesn’t mean that he was not captured by the Philistines in Gath. It only means that it was not recorded for us in the Scriptures. Be that as it may, this was written probably during the time of David’s life when he was fleeing from King Saul before he became king over Israel.
During this time, David was feeling lonely and scared as he says, “Be merciful to me, O God, for man would swallow me up; fighting all day he oppresses me. My enemies would hound me all day, for there are many who fight against me, O Most High” (Psalm 56:1-2). Moreover, the pursuit of his enemies against him was relentless: “All day they twist my words; all their thoughts are against me for evil. They gather together, they hide, they mark my steps, when they lie in wait for my life” (Psalm 56:5-6). In his discouragement, he cries out to God in frustration as he longs for God to execute justice: “Shall they escape by iniquity? In anger cast down the peoples, O God!” (Psalm 56:7).
Yet, during this dark time, David never lost sight of the fact that God tenderly cared for him. As the opening verses above indicate, David felt God had been aware of every tear David had shed. Not only had God known about David’s shed tears, He kept a record of them as He collected each and every one into His Own bottle (Psalm 56:8). This is a beautiful description of God’s empathizing with our sufferings (cf. Hebrews 4:15).
The care that David believed God had for His soul led him to have unshakeable confidence in God’s ability to rescue him from his present crisis: “When I cry out to You, then my enemies will turn back; this I know, because God is for me” (Psalm 56:9). Wow! What a great perspective to keep in mind. When one knows God Almighty is on their side, they can face any trial no matter how great! To God he said, “Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God (I will praise His word), in God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me?” (Psalm 56:3-4, cf. v.10-11). In faith, David knew the day was coming when he would be able worship God once again (Psalm 56:12-13).
Today, like David, I will strive to remember God is for me! I will recall how He knows every tear I shed just as He knows the number of hairs on my head (Matthew 10:30). I will put my trust in Him to see me through whatever trials I may face today!
“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:31-32)