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Singing Psalm 56 you get the courage to be certain 

This one says this.

That one says that.

Who can you trust?

What should you believe?

Singing Psalm 56 you get the courage to be certain that there’s one standard

Where do you turn for the standard, not one of many equally uncertain standards, but the standard of which you can be certain?

Will it become clear to you that it is possible to be certain – that it is not just a pipe dream?

Singing Psalm 56 you find the answer to your uncertainty.

You might have grown up as I did with the understanding of God as that of a distant, authoritative, vast being that certainly would not have the time nor desire to engage with the likes of you or me. It’s the premise that God doesn’t have much to do with us humans down here.

I couldn’t have been more wrong, but this thinking ran deep.

Keep in line and stay out of his way. When it looked more fun or felt right to get out of line, a distant view of God provided no motivation to resist or to desist after getting quite far off his path. 

Man-made rules based on whatever is right in man’s own eyes at the moment can never lead to a truth-embracing relationship based on the solidness of God’s unwavering righteousness. 

As long as I stayed on the right side of the line I had drawn in my mind, I convinced myself that I was sure. Yet I was on shaky ground because my precarious position was based on rules that I contrived with no standard of truth to back it up.

Could I be certain of God’s truth? By his word, I would eventually and confidently march off of man’s path of uncertainty.

People make up rules as they go along expecting you to waffle your position, affirm theirs, and kowtow to whatever the flavor of the week in their fluid philosophy of life happens to be. 

Intentional or not, this specious reasoning exchanges the truth for the lie that consequences dictate truth when they in no way can. If the consequence of speaking the truth in love is loss of income or even of life, twisting the truth to avoid those consequences substitutes a lie for the truth. That will never do.

If the consequence of lying is peaceful communication, that peace will be short-lived. Your lie will find you out as the truth prevails.

Singing Psalm 56, you are prepared to meet those who oppose God’s ways and who heap up accusations of abuse on you for not acquiescing when you don’t join them or approve of what they say or do. When they’re not verbally accosting you, they feel justified in their outright rejection of you.

Though this is sad, the Lord gives you the courage and care to object to, or if need be, accept that rejection.

Man-made rules don’t motivate the heart. Relationships based on truth do.

God the Father, Son, and Spirit will subdue those who oppose him, and who therefore oppose you, since you are following him. Waiting for him to do this is what you were created to do.

Yet because of the fall in the garden, your inclination is to try to do it yourself.

God is, within himself, a loving relationship. You can be certain that God is love in his essence. We desire to be in loving relationships because we were made in his image.

Jesus, God the Son, came here as the God-man, the very image of God, to free us from our uncertainties about who God is and who we are.

You, who were made in his image, were made to follow him only, continually, and to have close relationships with a few friends with whom you communicate often. These will help you find strength in God when others seek your harm.

What of all things would God have you be certain to revere as you sing?

His word where he reveals his thoughts and his heart so that you might know him. It is there that he also shows you who you are and whose you are.

When you take God at his word, you are in a very real sense revering him.

“When fearful, I will trust in God    Whose word I do revere.In God I’ve always put my trust,    No terror will come near.

“What can a mortal do to me    That I could ever fear?Throughout the day they twist my words;    Their thoughts toward me are hate.

“They meet, they lurk, they mark my steps;    To take my life, they wait.” ~ Psalm 56:3-6

Singing Psalm 56 you get the courage to be certain that you don’t get what you deserve

“Though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.” ~ 1 Timothy 1:13-14

Whether it’s a feeling you have or a philosophy, you have heard, perhaps even from someone you greatly respect, run it by God’s word to be certain if it is of him or if it is opposed to him.

God’s word is the sword of the Spirit that will help you protect what is of God in your life and in the life of others that you love. 

God’s word is also what will help you to slay what is opposed to God in your life and in the lives of those you love.

Be certain to engage this battle with firmness, gentleness, and respect. You die to yourself to be kind to those who are unkind to you since you follow Jesus who died for you while you were sinning against him.

When others twist your words, you don’t resort to twisting their arms. Rather you use God’s word to reason with one another speaking truth in love. 

With constant practice, you can use God’s word to discern good from evil in every situation you find yourself in. Even when you find yourself alone on one side with a large crowd on the other, God’s word rules. Majority doesn’t.

Do you recall those times in your life when you opposed God? By his mercy, you are not looking forward to the everlasting punishment that you deserve.

Therefore you have hope for all who oppose God now, knowing that just as the Lord gave you the gifts of repentance and salvation, they might receive those wonderful gifts from him too! 

When you know, and revere God’s word, by his great mercy, you stand firm.

“Be merciful to me, O God,    For man has hounded me;He fights against me all day long,    To crush me utterly.” ~ Psalm 56:1

Singing Psalm 56 you get the courage to be certain that you get what you don’t deserve

“In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.” ~ Ephesians 1:13-14

Because Jesus was so kind to exchange places with you, you get everlasting life rather than everlasting death. He died a fool’s death so that you could live and be wise. 

By his gospel of grace, you and all of those who follow and trust him can look forward to an undeserved, unimaginably great salvation.

Singing Psalm 56 (and all of the psalms) from the heart, clarifies, solidifies, and shores you up to be certain that you are a benefactor of the gospel of Jesus.

God the Father, Son, and Spirit lights your way for you to be certain to follow on his path.

Walking with the Lord, you can be certain that before the foundation of the world, your name was written in and will never be blotted out of his book of life.

And to be certain you know the Lord always cares for you:

  • He might add the bottle where he either placed your tears as an addendum next to your name in his most amazing, possibly 3D book, or

  • Perhaps the Lord records the number of your tears along with the time marked for you in his book, or

  • Maybe his book is tear-stained!

“You have recorded all my ways,

All pathways that I took;

Within your bottle placed my tears,

Are they not in your book?” ~ Psalm 56:8

“In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence.” ~ Hebrews 5:7

“Therefore let us go to him outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured. For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come.” ~ Hebrews 13:13-14

“For You have saved my soul from death,    My feet from stumbling, too.So I will walk before God’s sight    With life and in its light.“ ~ Psalm 56:13

Music is a gift that connects people and ideas. The psalms are a gift that connects people to God’s ideas.

Singing Psalm 56 and all the psalms moves you to be certain of the gospel of Jesus as he moves your heart and mind to receive it through each psalm you sing.

May you be certain to courageously use every gift the Lord has given you for his glory that he is surely worthy of and that is his due.

Resources to help you revere God’s word and give you courage to be certain when it comes to how you think about sexuality, liberalism, and masculinity:

Reclaiming Masculinity by Matt Fuller

Sing Psalm 56 with someone? Lyrics are from The Book of Psalms for Worship.


With accompaniment

Modern chant

June 23-30, 2023


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