When serving as a professor at Southwestern Assemblies of God University and I would always urge my students to identify the “situation clues” in a passage of Scripture in order to interpret the passage accurately. I would tell them, what the passage teaches MUST be viewed in light of the “situation” it addresses!
Well Psalm 55 is filled with “situation clues!” It describes a situation that David went through that was extremely difficult – that tested him to the very core of his being – that gave him great emotional and spiritual pain… And I believe it is a situation many of you would identify with! You’ve experienced some aspect of it!
In fact, I’m going to use a modern language version of the Bible to quote some of what David had to say about the situation he faced – that he struggled with to make it real and vivid to you… Then at the end I’m going to give you the summary of how he dealt with it.
Here goes… first the situation:
“I am overwhelmed by my troubles. My enemies shout at me, making loud and wicked threats. They bring trouble on me and angrily hunt me down. My heart pounds in my chest. The terror of death assaults me. Fear and trembling overwhelm me, and I can’t stop shaking. Oh, that I had wings like a dove; then I would fly away and rest! I would fly far away to the quiet of the wilderness… I would escape— far from this wild storm of hatred… Everything is falling apart; threats and cheating are rampant in the streets.
“It is not an enemy who taunts me— I could bear that. It is not my foes who so arrogantly insult me— I could have hidden from them. Instead, it is my equal, my companion and close friend. What good fellowship we once enjoyed as we walked together to the house of God… My companion – he betrayed his friends; he broke his promises. His words are as smooth as butter, but in his heart is war. His words are as soothing as lotion, but underneath are daggers!” (From Psalm 55:1–21 NLT)
Ever feel like that? When you do, what is the solution to a situation like that – what is the right response? Well, here goes – David’s response – (which I recommend!)… Three verses: 1, 16 and 22:
“Listen to my prayer, O God! Do not ignore my cry for help! Please listen and answer me!… I will call on God, and the Lord will rescue me! Give your burdens to the Lord! He will take care of you! He will not permit the godly to slip and fall!”