Be Gracious to Me, O God
Be Gracious to Me, O God
That seems like a commonsense prayer, doesn’t it? I mean, think about it. Who among us would not want God to be gracious to us? This prayer begins several of the psalms. The psalm I wanted you to consider today is Psalm 56. Read the first two verses and see if they sound familiar: Be gracious to me, O God, for man has trampled upon me; fighting all day long he oppresses me. My foes have trampled upon me all day long, for they are many who fight proudly against me (Psalm 56:1, 2). Sounds just like last week, doesn’t it?
It really does seem like mankind tramples on us all day long sometimes, but, of course, that’s not really happening. And those people around us who seem to be trampling on us, think you or someone else is trampling on them. Regardless of who is trampling on whom, consider what the psalmist says here. You may feel exactly like he does, and you may be right. Well then, follow his example and cry, “Be gracious to me, O God!”
Look at the next two verses: When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You. In God, whose word I praise, in God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid. What can mere man do to me? (Psalm 56:3, 4). This is what crying out to God really means. It’s not just calling out to Him, although you can certainly do that. Crying out to God is trusting in Him; it’s praising His word; it’s standing tall with Him at your back and facing your enemy with the attitude of, “what can mere man do to me?”
To make this point even more clear, calling out to God is more than just a verbal cry. It’s also more than just a change of attitude. That little comment about praising the word of God tells us that faithfulness on our part is required. You cannot praise the word of God if you don’t know what that word is. If you’re not studying and obeying His word, you are not praising His word.
So, if you put all this together, you have a plan of attack the next time you feel that the whole world is against you. First, stop thinking you can handle all the world throws your way by yourself; then, turn to God. Cry out, “Be gracious to me, O God” through your conduct as a Christian. Study to make yourself what He wants you to be. Then, turn and face your enemy and know that he cannot hurt you. Your enemy, by the way, is not that person you think is after you or is persecuting you. Your enemy is the devil, represented by the temptation to strike out at that person who probably thinks someone is after him.
I don’t know what your particular situation is as you head out the door each morning but let me give you a “for instance.” Let’s say that you have a boss who is on your back constantly and is maybe even verbally abusive. You feel what the psalmist felt. So, you follow his example. You do all the things we said earlier. Now, you turn with God at your back and face your enemy. What you should see is not your abusive boss, but the devil trying to get you to strike out at your boss. He’s trying to get both of you. He is your enemy and the way you face him is to follow the apostle Paul’s advice: Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for me, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve (Colossians 3:23, 24).