When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise— in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? All day long they twist my words; all their schemes are for my ruin. They conspire, they lurk, they watch my steps, hoping to take my life. Because of their wickedness do not let them escape; in your anger, God, bring the nations down. Record my misery; list my tears on your scroll — are they not in your record? Then my enemies will turn back when I call for help. By this I will know that God is for me. In God, whose word I praise, in the Lord , whose word I praise— in God I trust and am not afraid. What can man do to me? I am under vows to you, my God; I will present my thank offerings to you. For you have delivered me from death and my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before God in the light of life. – Psalm 56:3-13
This passage contains the National Motto of the United States of America. “In God We Trust” was passed as a joint resolution by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Dwight Eisenhower on July 30, 1956. This motto is still prominent on our paper money and coinage, although it is a frequent target for those who would prefer a more secular nation.
The conflict between those who trust in God, and those who do not, is apparently not new as this passage describes a conflict which could equally apply to many of the modern day conflicts over the separation of church and state….”All day long they twist my words; all their schemes are for my ruin. They conspire, they lurk, they watch my steps…” Who benefits from the separation of our spiritual and religious lives from our secular lives?
The writer of this Psalm pleads to God to keep a record of our tears, samples of our souls. We shed tears when our souls are crying out for help from God. The Psalmist is confident that God has our Back and God believes in us. I find this reassuring and it allows me to declare with the psalmist that “I trust in God”.
This passage ends with an amazing statement “For you have delivered me from death and my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before God in the light of life.” What an interesting turn of phrase…”Walking before God in the light of my life”. I am not sure what this statement meant to the psalmist, but to me it sounds like a prescient reference to Jesus, the light of my life.
Prayer: God thank you for protecting us and providing your son to be the light of our lives.