Few things in life would be more terrifying than to become a prisoner of war. How especially frightening it would be if you were the soldier who had defeated your arch-enemy’s military superhero named Goliath.
According to the superscription of Psalm 56, this Michtam was written by David “when the Philistines captured him in Gath.” It records the intense battle between fear and faith that raged in David’s heart. It teaches us the importance of using one’s shield of faith to extinguish the fiery darts of fear. It teaches us the spiritual necessity of a stubborn faith.
David’s stubborn faith beseeched God for His mercy while in extremely trying and difficult circumstances. “Be merciful to me, O God, for man would swallow me up; fighting all day he oppresses me. My enemies would hound me all day, for there are many who fight against me, O Most High” (vv. 1-2).
David’s stubborn faith refused to surrender to fear. “Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God (I will praise His word), in God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me? (vv. 3-4).
David’s stubborn faith weighed the ferocity of his enemies against the loving faithfulness of his God and deliberately chose to remain faithful to Jehovah. “All day they twist my words; all their thoughts are against me for evil. They gather together, they hide, they mark my steps when they lie in wait for my life. Shall they escape by iniquity? In anger cast down the peoples, O God! You number my wanderings, put my tears into Your bottle; are they not in Your book? When I cry out to You, then my enemies will turn back; this I know, because God is for me. In God (I will praise His word), in the Lord (I will praise His word), in God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” (vv. 5-11).
David’s stubborn faith recalled the solemn commitment he had made to God and determined to keep his word. “Vows made to You are binding upon me, O God; I will render praises to You, for You have delivered my soul from death. Have You not kept my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living?” (vv. 12-13).
Being faithful unto death does not happen by accident; it only occurs when you deliberately, intentionally, and purposefully exercise a stubborn faith. Anything less and fear wins the battle.