To the Chief Musician. Set to “The Silent Dove in Distant Lands.” A Michtam of David when the Philistines captured him in Gath.
1 Be merciful to me, O God, for man would swallow me up; fighting all day he oppresses me.
2 My enemies would hound me all day, for there are many who fight against me, O Most High.
3 Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You.
4 In God (I will praise His word), In God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me?
5 All day they twist my words; all their thoughts are against me for evil.
6 They gather together, they hide, they mark my steps, when they lie in wait for my life.
7 Shall they escape by iniquity? In anger cast down the peoples, O God!
8 You number my wanderings; put my tears into Your bottle; are they not in Your book?
9 When I cry out to You, then my enemies will turn back; this I know, because God is for me.
10 In God (I will praise His word), In the LORD (I will praise His word),
11 In God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?
12 Vows made to You are binding upon me, O God; I will render praises to You,
13 For You have delivered my soul from death. Have You not kept my feet from falling, That I may walk before God In the light of the living?
When I was a kid in Sunday School, they gave us these lists of twenty-six memory verses, one for each letter of the alphabet. “A” was All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. “B” was Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved. “C” was Children obey your parents in the Lord for this is right. You get the idea. Anyway, the verse for “W” was Psalm 56:3 “Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You.” Seeing the context of David writing this when he had just been captured by people who wanted to kill him, it seems heavier. But, I think it is most poetic when the actual context is sandwiched between a little boy learning the verse in Sunday School, and a grown man realizing that the protection of God and the ability to trust in Him no matter what, makes a captured fugitive every bit as safe as that little boy. For if the Spirit that raised Christ Jesus from the dead lives in us, then what can man do to us that God can’t undo and thoroughly reverse.