David’s Terrifying Oppression

Harvard anthropologist William Howells tells about a near disaster for the residents of Cape Cod. The trouble began when boys shot the insulators off Cape Cod’s power line. Immediate confusion reigned. Few had water; the electric pumps stopped. No one could get gasoline; again, n … More


If we are ever tempted to give up or to run away from our problems, then this is the Psalm for us.  It seems that David wrote this Psalm when Absalom’s rebellion was coming to a head in Jerusalem.  He felt what so many of us have felt when things have piled up on us largely as the result of our own foolishness and sin. It is true that God freely forgives us of our sin if we confess it (I John 1:9) but He nearly always lets us live with the consequences of our sin. Everything that has happened to David can be traced back step by step to his sin. Sin is a terrible thing. We may think that we will have just one little fling but it doesn’t end there. We set in motion the forces of the wind and we reap the whirlwind.

David does what any mature believer should do when in distress; he comes boldly to the throne of grace (verses 1-3). He is so deeply grieved by the attacks of his enemies that his spirit is wallowing in agony (v. 4). His fear is so great that he begins to tremble (v. 5). His whole world was crumbling around him. He was tired of fighting for his throne. His natural tendency was to flee from his oppressors. He longed for peace at any price to the point that he decided to escape his troubles and problems as a dove would escape by flying away to a place of refuge in the desert (vv. 6-8). He asked God to confuse the wicked who oppressed him (vv. 9-11).


I necessary for me to discuss with my family some of the consequences of sin using various examples. Example: The drinking of alcohol causes many deaths on the highway as well as causing various health problems, broken homes etc.

Psalms 55:1-14 (English Standard Version)

Give ear to my prayer, O God, and hide not yourself from my plea for mercy! Attend to me, and answer me; I am restless in my complaint and I moan, because of the noise of the enemy, because of the oppression of the wicked. For they drop trouble upon me, and in anger they bear a grudge against me. My heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fear and trembling come upon me, and horror overwhelms me. And I say, "Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest; yes, I would wander far away; I would lodge in the wilderness; I would hurry to find a shelter from the raging wind and tempest." Destroy, O Lord, divide their tongues; for I see violence and strife in the city. Day and night they go around it on its walls, and iniquity and trouble are within it; ruin is in its midst; oppression and fraud do not depart from its marketplace. For it is not an enemy who taunts me-- then I could bear it; it is not an adversary who deals insolently with me-- then I could hide from him. But it is you, a man, my equal, my companion, my familiar friend. We used to take sweet counsel together; within God's house we walked in the throng.

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