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O God, have mercy on me, for people are hounding me. My foes attack me all day long. I am constantly hounded by those who slander me, and many are boldly attacking me. But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in you.
Psalm 56:1-3 NLT


On a number of occasions I have stayed in Benedictine monasteries in this country and in France. Their way of life is very different from my own, but I have been incredibly blessed by the opportunity to worship with them. Honesty forces me to admit that I didn’t attend all eight of the daily services! What I found particularly impressive was that, at every service, psalms are read and the whole psalter is read every week. There is huge value in reading all the psalms because they explore so many different themes. If you stick with your top five favourite psalms, the danger is that you may come away feeling that they are all about praising and glorifying God and you might overlook the fact that many of them reflect times of agony, rejection and threat. The psalmists met God in every kind of situation.

In this particular psalm David is reflecting on a time when the Philistines were pursuing him. He was in Gath, the home of Goliath, and he was so afraid of the reaction of Achish the king that he decided to pretend to be insane. The king decided that he wasn’t so short of madmen that he needed to meet him and so David was able to escape. I can hardly imagine what it must have been like for David to live with such continual threat. However, he had worked out that if he had the living God on his side he didn’t need to be fearful of any human threat.

I would love to think that your life is rather less pressurized than David’s. But life presents an amazing range of challenges to us all, so we need to be clear all the time that God is our true security and no one, and nothing, can take that away from us.


What is the biggest challenge that you have had to face, and in what way did you experience God’s presence with you?


Thank you Lord, that you are always with me and that with you on my side I never need to be afraid. Amen

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