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Psalm 56

Psalm 56

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"In God's Word -will I rejoice ;the Lord s Word will comfort
me.'" — Psalm Ivi.

"In God's Word -will I rejoice ;the Lord s Word will comfort
me.'" — Psalm Ivi.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on May 11, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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PSALM 56BY J. STRACEY. MA."In God's Word -will I rejoice ;the Lord s Word will comfortme.'" — Psalm Ivi.I the Bible yersion of tlie Psalms, whicb. is, we-'- may remember, a translation from the originalHebrew — (wbereas tbe Pra5^er-book version, wbicb weknow best, is from the Greek, or Septiiagint versionof the Scriptures) — there is the word " Maschil," asyou may see before the four Psalms which precedethis Psalm, but to these five which follow in suc-cession (Ivi. — Ix.) there is the word " Michtam." Bothwords are now uncertain as to their exact meaning,but the former word " Maschil " is supposed to mean"meditation" or "consideration," and so to mean thatthe Psalms to which this title is given, of which thereare thirteen in all, are an instructive composition.But " Michtam," which is the title given to this fifty-sixth Psalm, and those which follow, up to the sixtieth,is supposed to mean an Inscription engraved tcith a sharpIII. D34 PSALM LVI.pointed instniment, and may refer either to these Psalmsbeing engraved on the rocks by David, when he hadto live in the wilderness, or upon brass or marble aswe now engrave monumental Inscriptions. The onlyother Psalm besides these five which has this title isthe sixteenth, but these five Psalms in successionrelate to a remarkable crisis in the life of Davidduring the lifetime of Saul.Here it is, "when the Philistines took him in Gath,"and that he may have been a Prisoner in their handsand would have been put to death if it had not beenfor Achish, King of Gath, seems borne out by the factthat David is spoken of in 1 Sam. xxi., as feigning tobe mad " in their hands," as though a prisoner and intheir power; and afterwards he is said to have " escapedto the cave of Adullam." Thus the occasion would
seem to bear out the wording of this Psalm. It willbe well for us to bear in mind what I have said, thatthese five Psalms which follow in succession all referto particular events in David's life while Saul wasstill king.This tenth verse is more especially remarkable fromthe change of name which occurs in it ; " God " is here" Elohim," and " the Lord" is here " Jehovah," whichtitles I have before explained more than once. Withour Christian light we might almost say there is herea special reference to the Holy Trinity, the Father,the Word, and the Holy Ghost the Comforter. " InTHE EARL V SCRIPTURES. 3 5God's "Word will I rejoice ; in tlie Lord's Word willI comfort mo." And it is surely instructive to us,that David in his great trouble thus turns to God's"Word and finds Strength and Consolation in it. Yetwe must surely suppose that the allusion here is tosome special Promise or Revelation which God made tohim personally from time to time. For of the HolyScriptures which we possess, and treasure as ourgreatest and best possession on earth, none at thistime were in existence beyond the Book of Job, whichis the oldest book of all in our Bible, and the FiveBooks of Moses, the Books of Joshua and of Judges.or is it likely in the harassed life which David led,his earliest years having been passed in keeping hisfather's iiocks in the wilderness, and after that duringthe years of persecution at Saul's hands, that Davidcould at this time have had any very intimate know-ledge of them.o doubt every Jew was instructed as a child inthe outline of his national history, especially thedeliverance from Egypt, and this would be in anespecial degree the circumstance to which, in the hourof danger and trial, the mind of each faithful Israelitewould revert, and would find its expression in justsuch terms as my text : "In God's Word will Irejoice ; in the Lord's Word will I comfort me."o doubt what David knew best was the events of 
Samuel's life, and the communications of God made to3^ PSALM LVI.liim, just as most of us read and know best what istaking place every day in our own land and in ourown time and neighbourhood, rather than events longago past and gone. Besides, we are not to supposeby any means that the particulars recorded in ourBible were by any means the only Manifestations of Grod, or Declarations of His Will, made to Samuel, orDavid, or others.This in our Lord's life is most evident, and no doubtit was the same with every emiment Saint in God'searlier dispensation. o doubt Enoch, JSToah, Abraham,Samuel, David, Elijah, and Elisha, and many others,saw, and heard, and did many wonderful things, of which we have no record existing now.The miracles we have in the Gospels are a meremmple of all our Lord did. Thus we are told re-peatedly, " He healed their sick," or, " He healed allthat were brought unto Him." " ow when the sunwas setting, all they that had any sick with diversdiseases, brought them unto Him, and He laid Hishand on every one of them, and healed them" (S. Luke,iv. 40.) The Gospels are the mere outline of all He didand all that He said, "Who spake as never man spake."When we are told before the Ascension " He spake tothem of the things concerning the Xingdom of Heaven," we must suppose that verj^ much of ourChurch rules and institutions, for which we have nopositive Divine authority, but which we know to haveA TRADITIOAL SAYIG. Z7been practised from the first, such as Confirmation andOrdination, were then regulated and ordered, whileit was left to our Faith and Love to abide by thesethings, without having them in writing, as a Law andan Ordinance of Divine regulation. There is certainly-one traditional saying of our Lord's, still preserved,

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