Bible Commentaries
Psalms 56

Smith's WritingsSmith's Writings

Verses 1-13


The confidence of the righteous in God and in His Word, in spite of adverse circumstances that put faith to the test.

(vv. 1-3) Surrounded by enemies that daily oppose, oppress, and seek his life, the godly man finds relief from his fears by turning to God and trusting in Him.

(v. 4) Moreover the soul trusts in God to fulfill His Word, and therefore is lifted above his fears and cannot only say, “What time I am afraid I will trust in Thee,” but, rising to a higher plane, can add, “In God I have put my trust; I will not fear.” With God and His Word before the soul, he triumphantly asks, “What can flesh do unto me?” (JND).

(vv. 5-9) In greater detail the psalmist spreads out his trial before God, contrasting the wickedness of those who are against him with the goodness of the God who is for him. Every day the enemy perverts the words of the godly: with evil intent they consult together and secretly watch his steps, seeking to take his life.

In the consciousness that iniquity cannot go unpunished, the soul looks to God to cast down all those who oppose His people.

In contrast to the treatment at the hands of the wicked, God counts every step that His people have to take, keeps a bottle for their tears, and a book wherein to record their sorrows. In the consciousness of God's tender care the soul can look for deliverance from his enemies and say with triumphant assurance, “God is for me.”

(vv. 10-11). Thus again the psalmist can confidently affirm that he can praise God's Word, as that in which the faithfulness of God will be proved; and putting his trust in God's Word, he will not be afraid what man can do unto him.

(vv. 12-13) The psalmist is ready to fulfill his sacrifice of praise. Man had sought his life, but God had delivered his soul from death. Men seek to trip him up in his steps (v. 6); but God keeps his feet from falling. If God keeps his feet, it is that he may walk “before God in the light of the living” - that he may live to God in the light of God.

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Hamilton. "Commentary on Psalms 56". "Smith's Writings". 1832.