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  • Writer's picturePastor Mike

May 17 2023


Today, Wednesday May 17

“Cast Your Burden Upon the LORD”


Psalm 55:1-8

To the Chief Musician. With stringed instruments. A Contemplation of David.


“Give ear to my prayer, O God, And do not hide Yourself from my supplication. Attend to me, and hear me; I am restless in my complaint, and moan noisily, Because of the voice of the enemy, Because of the oppression of the wicked; For they bring down trouble upon me, And in wrath they hate me. My heart is severely pained within me, And the terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fearfulness and trembling have come upon me, And horror has overwhelmed me.

So I said, "Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest. Indeed, I would wander far off, And remain in the wilderness. Selah

I would hasten my escape From the windy storm and tempest."


Psalm 55 is another of the “Maschil Psalms”. Or what is also called here a “Contemplation of David. There seems little doubt that David wrote this psalm when Absalom's rebellion was coming to a head in Jerusalem. As a Maschil Psalm, it was written for instruction. It was as much a sermon as a song. One of my favorite verses in the entire book of Psalms is found in this chapter in verse 22: “Cast your burden on the LORD, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.”


This is another one of the Psalms that David wrote when he was fleeing for his life because his son Absalom had stolen the hearts of the people and turned them against his father. You can read the history and circumstances of this Psalm in 2 Samuel 15-16.


It's likely that this psalm was written early in Absalom's rebellion, when David was still in Jerusalem (vv. 9-11), and the revolt was gathering momentum. If so, then the "friend" of verses 12-14 and 20-21 had to be David's counselor Ahithophel who had sided with Absalom. If this psalm was David's prayer while still in Jerusalem, then his prayer in 2 Samuel 15:31 is simply a repetition of verse 9. Psalm 55 reveals four possible approaches to handling the painful problems and battles of life.


In verses 1-5, David’s first response to this overwhelming problem is the same that we often have. He looked within at his own feelings. David opened with a plea that he often made to the Lord, that He would not hide His face from his supplications. "Don't ignore my prayer!" (See Psalms 10:1; 13:1; 27:9; 44:24; 69:17; 143:7.) David knew that his own negligence as a father had turned Absalom against his father, the Lord, and the nation. He also knew that the revolt was part of the discipline that Nathan the prophet promised because of David's adultery and the murder of Uriah (2 Sam. 12:9-12).


What David heard and saw in the city distressed him greatly (vv. 2, 17), and he realized that his own life was in danger. The opposition was bringing trouble upon him the way soldiers fling stones at the enemy or roll down rocks upon them (v. 3). But David's concern was for the safety of his people and the future of the Lord's promises to his own dynasty (2 Sam. 7). He felt like everything was falling apart and there was no hope. It's natural to look at our feelings and express our fears, but that isn't the way to solve the problems.


Next in verses 6-8, David begins to look beyond for a safe refuge. When we find ourselves in the midst of trouble, our first thought is, "How can I get out of this?" But the dedicated believer needs to ask, "What can I get out of this?" David had learned some strategic lessons while hiding in the wilderness from Saul, but in his later years, he had some more important lessons to learn. The human heart longs for a safe and peaceful refuge, far from the problems and burdens of life.


Doves can fly long distances and they seek for safe refuges in the high rocks (Jer. 48:28). But we don't need wings like a dove so we can fly away from the storm. We need wings like an eagle so we can fly above the storm (Isa. 40:30-31). More than once, David had prayed that the Lord would "hide him," and He answered his prayers (Psalms 17:8; 27:5; 64:2). David did flee Jerusalem (2 Sam. 15:14-37) and lodged in the wilderness across the Jordan River at Mahanaim.


If we have been tempted to give up, to run away from our problems, then this is the Psalm for us. Most of us have been where David was in this Psalm, hard pressed by circumstances that are partly our own fault, but which have passed beyond our control. The only thing to do is to fling ourselves into the arms of God, as David did at the close of this Psalm. “Cast your burden on the LORD, And He shall sustain you…” (v. 22).


God bless!

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