Friday, June 6, 2014

Psalm 55 “Cast thy burden upon the LORD”

Truth for Truckers” *March 25, 2014* Psalm 55 “Cast thy burden upon the LORD”

      This Psalm was given to ‘The Chief Musician’ on Neginoth or stringed instruments for instruction which is the meaning of the word Maschil. Written by David it could well be entitled: ‘Cast thy burden upon the LORD, He shall sustain thee’ (v.22) referred to by the Apostle Peter in his first Epistle: ‘Casting all your care upon Him for He cares for you’ (I Peter 5:7). This powerful and consoling promise to the child of God is preceded by David’s own faith-building, declaration of confidence: ‘As for me, I will call upon God; and the LORD shall save me.’(v.16) David knows and trusts in his LORD!

     But, in order to get the full impact of this Psalms teaching, let us start with the first section The Appeal for Audience (v.1, 2). David utilizes four imperative requests of the LORD: ‘Give ear to my prayer, O God; and hide not Thyself from my supplication. Attend unto me, and hear me: I mourn in my complaint, and make a noise’. This somewhat negative approach portrays the distressing dilemma of David as his appeal conveys dissatisfaction with his circumstances.

     The reason is unfolded in (v.3) The Assault of the Enemy: ‘Because of the voice of the enemy, because of the oppression of the wicked: for they cast iniquity upon me, and in wrath they hate me.’ This thoroughly describes the tactics of the devil as he constantly oppresses and accuses the saint expressing his deep hatred through his intensive spiritual attack with great wrath. (Revelation 12:10-12) Although David’s enemies were attacking him physically in the battles he experienced as a man of war, this parallel in the spiritual realm is appropriate for the New Testament believer and David alike, for he too knew the fierce conflict which came to his spirit from the prince of the power of the air. (I Chronicles 21:1)

     The Anguish of Heart (v.4-8) is obvious from the intense inner struggle he was now going through: ‘My heart is sore pained within me: and the terrors of death are fallen upon me. Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me, and horror hath overwhelmed me. And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! For then would I fly away, and be at rest. Lo, then would I wander far off, and remain in the wilderness. Selah. I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest.’ The desire to run away and remove ourselves from the circumstances that seem to be the cause of our problems is a common urge by those of us who experience the deep distresses of the soul. This is David’s mindset as he contemplates his desperate situation. If only I could run away from the troubles that encompass me. This fix can run through the mind of every Believer!

     In (v.9-11) The Appeal for Action comes: ‘Destroy, O LORD, and divide their tongues: for I have seen violence and strife in the city. Day and night they go about it upon the walls thereof: mischief also and sorrow are in the midst of it. Wickedness is in the midst thereof: deceit and guile depart not from her streets.’ Two urgent requests for God’s judgmental action are given, and then the justification for these requests is supplied. David’s personal testimony of the ‘Violence and strife...mischief...sorrow...wickedness...deceit and guile’ that plagued the city is emphasized.

     Then, The Adversary is Identified (v.12-15) ‘For it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could have borne it: neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me; then I would have hid myself from him: But it was thou, a man my equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance. We took sweet together, and walked unto the house of God in company. Let death seize upon them, and let them go down quick into hell: for wickedness is in their dwellings, and among them.’ The surprising identification of a close friend of David’s is given, someone who he was obviously close to having spent time with them going to the ‘House of God’. His response to this breach of companionship is definite and decisive, asking the LORD to bring about their end, and seal their eternal destiny because of the ‘ their dwellings and among them.’

     The next section provides us with The Actions for Victory: ‘As for me, I will call upon God, and the LORD shall save me. Evening and morning and at noon, will I pray and cry aloud; and He shall hear my voice.’ (v.16, 17) This precise formula for triumphing in the battle shows us how we can move into action and gain the victory. We must call upon God with a 24 hour disciplined approach, having the confidence beforehand, knowing that He will deliver us by our faith. The Jewish day began in the evening and therefore David shows his method of going to the throne of grace at distinct intervals covering the entire day. His crying aloud demonstrates the full involvement of his being as he called upon his LORD for ‘Peace from the battle that was against me’ employing all those who were with him.

     The Action of God on David’s behalf is found in (v.18, 19a) ‘He hath delivered my soul in peace from the battle that was against me: for there were many with me.’ God’s response to his disciplined call shows the fruit of a disciplined prayer life which we must emulate if we are to live victoriously. God’s action against David’s enemies is the reason for victory: ‘God shall hear, and afflict them, even He that abides of old. Selah’ (v.19a) The listening ear of God brings His decisive action against the enemies of His children for in reality they are fighting against Him when they come against His people.

     The Adversary’s Tactics follow: ‘Because they have no changes, therefore they fear not God. He hath put forth his hands against such as be at peace with Him. He hath broken his covenant. The words of his mouth were smoother that butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords.’ (v.19b, 21). The treacherous actions of those who outwardly appear to be on our side are thoroughly described. ‘War was in his heart’ while smooth talking and soft words are used in an attempt to deceive and eventually stab the child of God in the back with their words like ‘Drawn swords’. The underlying reason for their actions is indicated clearly as their unchanged way of living does not cause them to recognize and fear the God of heaven. They go on in their sinful ways never reaping the benefit of change that a repentant heart brings to the soul.

     As mentioned in the beginning of this message, (v.22) supplies the title for this Psalm and also provides The Application for Victory: ‘Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and He shall sustain thee: He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.’ This is David’s formula for the victorious life! In direct contrast, he paints a grim picture of the end of those who practice this deceptive treachery: ‘But Thou, O God, shall bring them down into the pit of destruction: bloody and deceitful men shall not live our half their days; but I will trust in Thee.’

     David’s unwavering faith in his God was the operator of all of his blessings, just as it is in the life of every child of God for: ‘Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he that comes to God must believe that He is and that He is the Rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.’(Hebrews 11:6) Therefore, it would be good for every child of God to consider making (Mark 11:22) their life verse just as Hudson Taylor the pioneer missionary to inland China did, for this is the key to unlocking the miraculous blessings of the LORD! HAVE FAITH IN GOD

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