Thursday, February 12, 2009


Psalm 55 – Remember Absalom and Ahitophel

I. David Stated the Problem

A. David appealed for God’s help because worries overwhelmed life. “To the chief Musician on Neginoth, Maschil, A Psalm of David. 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;” (Psalm 55:1-2)

B. Wicked people, acting from the corruption of their own lives, oppress believers; Absalom saw an opportunity to take advantage of David for personal gain. “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.” (Psalm 55:3) 2 Samuel 15-18

C. Reflection on betrayal can be as damaging as the actual evil being perpetrated. “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.” (Psalm 55:4-5)

D. The temptation to escape can become a controlling passion under oppression; cowardice can masquerade as caution.. “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.” (Psalm 55:6-8)

II. Oppressors Will Develop Problems in Turn

A. Enemies of grace use their evil methods on themselves even as they appear to be in charge. “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.” (Psalm 55:9-10)

B. When evildoers possess the instruments of power, everyone and every institution will suffer from the corruption; ultimately corruption corrupts. “Wickedness is in the midst thereof: deceit and guile depart not from her streets.” (Psalm 55:11)

C. Evil compounds when the evildoer is someone close who should have carried, rather than imposed, burdens. “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 mine equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance.” (Psalm 55:12-13)

D. David consigned such moral saboteurs and quislings to Hell; Scripture holds out little hope for people who have tasted the truth and then turned from it to do evil. “We took sweet counsel 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.” (Psalm 55:14-15) “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God: But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.” (Hebrews 6:4-8)

III. Trust Is the Remedy and Consolation

A. David did not strike back but left the account settling to God; the Lord does not forget abused believers or their tormenters. “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.” (Psalm 55:16-17) “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” (Romans 12:19)

B. In the midst of strife, God gives believers peace. “He hath delivered my soul in peace from the battle that was against me: for there were many with me.” (Psalm 55:18) “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” (Isaiah 26:3)

C. Behavior which troubles believers is actually directed against God and will invoke Heaven’s wrath; if the tormenters understood repentance and grace, they would not risk their own souls to do wicked things. “God shall hear, and afflict them, even he that abideth of old. Selah. 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.” (Psalm 55:19-20) “And he that betrayed him had given them a token, saying, Whomsoever I [Judas] shall kiss, that same is he; take him, and lead him away safely.” (Mark 14:44)

D. The smooth form of oppression does not ameliorate what transpires. “The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords.” (Psalm 55:21)

E. Let God handle the worrying. “Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.” (Psalm 55:22)

F. Sending people to Hell is God’s business; leave justice to Him Who causes evil to punish itself. “But thou, O God, shalt bring them down into the pit of destruction: bloody and deceitful men shall not live out half their days; but I will trust in thee.” (Psalm 55:23) “He made a pit, and digged it, and is fallen into the ditch which he made. His mischief shall return upon his own head, and his violent dealing shall come down upon his own pate.” (Psalm 7:15-16)

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