Sunday 15 August, 2021

Psalm 55

For the director of music. With stringed instruments. A maskil of David. 1 Listen to my prayer, O God, do not ignore my plea; 2 hear me and answer me. My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught 3 because of what my enemy is saying, because of the threats of the wicked; for they bring down suffering on me and assail me in their anger. 4 My heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death have fallen on me. 5 Fear and trembling have beset me; horror has overwhelmed me. 6 I said, “Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest. 7 I would flee far away and stay in the desert; 8 I would hurry to my place of shelter, far from the tempest and storm.” 9 Lord, confuse the wicked, confound their words, for I see violence and strife in the city. 10 Day and night they prowl about on its walls; malice and abuse are within it. 11 Destructive forces are at work in the city; threats and lies never leave its streets. 12 If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it; if a foe were rising against me, I could hide. 13 But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend, 14 with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship at the house of God, as we walked about among the worshipers. 15 Let death take my enemies by surprise; let them go down alive to the realm of the dead, for evil finds lodging among them. 16 As for me, I call to God, and the Lord saves me. 17 Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice. 18 He rescues me unharmed from the battle waged against me, even though many oppose me. 19 God, who is enthroned from of old, who does not change— he will hear them and humble them, because they have no fear of God. 20 My companion attacks his friends; he violates his covenant. 21 His talk is smooth as butter, yet war is in his heart; his words are more soothing than oil, yet they are drawn swords. 22 Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken. 23 But you, God, will bring down the wicked into the pit of decay; the bloodthirsty and deceitful will not live out half their days. But as for me, I trust in you.

There is a song that we sing in church called “I Raise a Hallelujah.” It is written by Jonathan Melissa Helser. Some of the lyrics are: “I raise a hallelujah, in the presence of my enemy, I raise a hallelujah, louder than the unbelief, I raise a hallelujah, my weapon is a melody”. Jonathan documented that he wrote this song when he heard about a young boy that was part of their congregation who after being in intensive care for a few weeks, was not expected to live.  Jonathan said that when he heard the news about Jackson’s prognosis, he felt a “giant of unbelief” hit him that Jackson would die and there would be no miracle. From inside of him, Jonathan tells, this song came out of him, which united his church in prayer for Jackson. Jackson survived and returned to being a healthy young boy. Incredible…..right?!

Calling out to God to change our circumstances or the circumstances of others is what David encourages us to do in Psalm 55. “As for me, I call to God, and the Lord saves me. Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and He hears my voice.” (vs 16-17) “He rescues me unharmed from the battle waged against me” (v18). 

Dear God,

It is incredible that we have access to such an amazing loving Father that hears our voice and sees our hearts. Lord, remind us that each day is truly a gift. Teach us to reach out to you in all circumstances. Thank you for David’s encouragement in this Psalm and also for the gift of Jonathan and Melissa Helser to write the song “I Raise a Hallelujah” to help us realise the power of your mighty name in the presence of adversity.


Written by Susannah Ware

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