Psalm 55:1-8

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by: FCC Staff

05/20/2022

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1 Give ear to my prayer, O God, and hide not yourself from my plea for mercy!
Attend to me, and answer me; I am restless in my complaint and I moan,
because of the noise of the enemy, because of the oppression of the wicked. For they drop trouble upon me, and in anger they bear a grudge against me.

My heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death have fallen upon me.
Fear and trembling come upon me, and horror overwhelms me.
And I say, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest;
yes, I would wander far away; I would lodge in the wilderness; Selah
I would hurry to find a shelter from the raging wind and tempest.” 

Have you ever seen such a sharp description of the pain and fear experienced in life? “Fear and trembling come upon me, and horror overwhelms me.” (Psalm 55:5) The psalmist is going through one of the toughest days of his life, and he describes where thoughts and feelings likely go in such circumstances. 

Many times, we try to ignore the severity of our predicaments, but the psalmist does no such thing. Rather than trying to avoid facing the desperate reality of the situation, he describes his condition and the way he feels about it. “Attend to me, and answer me; I am restless in my complaint and I moan, because of the noise of the enemy, because of the oppression of the wicked. For they drop trouble upon me, and in anger they bear a grudge against me. My heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death have fallen upon me.” (Psalm 55:2-4)

The root of the psalmist’s troubles seems to be a loud and life-threatening verbal attack against him. Slander, condemnation, false accusations, and threats may all be involved. Under those circumstances, it’s completely understandable that he desires to escape. “And I say, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest; yes, I would wander far away; I would lodge in the wilderness.” (Psalm 55:6-7) Surely, we’ve all felt that way at some point in time…a desire to flee because a friend talks about us behind our backs, or a coworker speaks negatively about our job performance for their own gain, or someone we don’t even know spreads rumors about us. Even those we consider to be the historical greats of the faith sought to escape it all from time to time. Jeremiah, perhaps more than once, longed for a lodging place in the wilderness, to get away from it all. Even Elijah did flee, for a while, until God returned him to active duty.

These feelings do not make you weak. They make you human. Remember, Jesus Himself, on the eve of his sacrifice, spent some time away from everyone, asking the Father that He be spared from the coming challenge. “Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.” And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.” And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” (Matthew 26:36-39)

Like Jesus and the psalmist, be open and honest with Him about your struggles and concerns. Hold fast to His love and care. Do not let fear cripple your ability to continue forward in obedience. Rather, ask that His good and perfect will is done, trusting that He has what is best for you all along the way. 

Prayer for today: God, thank You for Your comfort and peace in our times of trouble. Help us to navigate through the painful circumstances we are sure to face. Continue to bless us with Your presence and power as we seek to work out Your will in our lives and the world around us. Amen. 

1 Give ear to my prayer, O God, and hide not yourself from my plea for mercy!
Attend to me, and answer me; I am restless in my complaint and I moan,
because of the noise of the enemy, because of the oppression of the wicked. For they drop trouble upon me, and in anger they bear a grudge against me.

My heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death have fallen upon me.
Fear and trembling come upon me, and horror overwhelms me.
And I say, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest;
yes, I would wander far away; I would lodge in the wilderness; Selah
I would hurry to find a shelter from the raging wind and tempest.” 

Have you ever seen such a sharp description of the pain and fear experienced in life? “Fear and trembling come upon me, and horror overwhelms me.” (Psalm 55:5) The psalmist is going through one of the toughest days of his life, and he describes where thoughts and feelings likely go in such circumstances. 

Many times, we try to ignore the severity of our predicaments, but the psalmist does no such thing. Rather than trying to avoid facing the desperate reality of the situation, he describes his condition and the way he feels about it. “Attend to me, and answer me; I am restless in my complaint and I moan, because of the noise of the enemy, because of the oppression of the wicked. For they drop trouble upon me, and in anger they bear a grudge against me. My heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death have fallen upon me.” (Psalm 55:2-4)

The root of the psalmist’s troubles seems to be a loud and life-threatening verbal attack against him. Slander, condemnation, false accusations, and threats may all be involved. Under those circumstances, it’s completely understandable that he desires to escape. “And I say, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest; yes, I would wander far away; I would lodge in the wilderness.” (Psalm 55:6-7) Surely, we’ve all felt that way at some point in time…a desire to flee because a friend talks about us behind our backs, or a coworker speaks negatively about our job performance for their own gain, or someone we don’t even know spreads rumors about us. Even those we consider to be the historical greats of the faith sought to escape it all from time to time. Jeremiah, perhaps more than once, longed for a lodging place in the wilderness, to get away from it all. Even Elijah did flee, for a while, until God returned him to active duty.

These feelings do not make you weak. They make you human. Remember, Jesus Himself, on the eve of his sacrifice, spent some time away from everyone, asking the Father that He be spared from the coming challenge. “Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.” And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.” And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” (Matthew 26:36-39)

Like Jesus and the psalmist, be open and honest with Him about your struggles and concerns. Hold fast to His love and care. Do not let fear cripple your ability to continue forward in obedience. Rather, ask that His good and perfect will is done, trusting that He has what is best for you all along the way. 

Prayer for today: God, thank You for Your comfort and peace in our times of trouble. Help us to navigate through the painful circumstances we are sure to face. Continue to bless us with Your presence and power as we seek to work out Your will in our lives and the world around us. Amen. 

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