Psalm 55

Psalm 55  •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 7
This Psalm still like the preceding ones contemplates the lawless or willful king and his faction. Some of it is the utterance of the Lord Jesus in contemplation of the treachery of Judas and the faction that followed him.1 Ultimately it is the lawless one, or some other confederate with him, felt and pleaded against by the godly Remnant in the latter days who are betrayed by him, as Jesus was by Judas. For looked at as a Jew, or one of God’s nation, Jesus was the Remnant in His day. But this Psalm is also the utterance, in his measure, of David himself, under the craft and treason of Ahithophel in company with Absalom. (See 2 Sam. 15-16.) John 13:2121When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me. (John 13:21), shows us how deeply the Lord felt the conduct of Judas, as this Psalm does; as also Psalm 41. But His relief was in prayer (Psa. 55:16-1716As for me, I will call upon God; and the Lord shall save me. 17Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice. (Psalm 55:16‑17); see also Psa. 69:1313But as for me, my prayer is unto thee, O Lord, in an acceptable time: O God, in the multitude of thy mercy hear me, in the truth of thy salvation. (Psalm 69:13)).
Israel took their character from Judas then. (Acts 1:1616Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus. (Acts 1:16).) He led and represented them. So will the nation be confederate with the lawless one by and by, and the godly Remnant, like Jesus, will find “violence and strife in the city” (Psa. 55:99Destroy, O Lord, and divide their tongues: for I have seen violence and strife in the city. (Psalm 55:9)).
We may observe that the strong thought in this Psalm is this: that the city is worse even than a wilderness. For if the afflicted one here could have done so, he would have exchanged the former for the latter. But what a view of man does this give us! He makes his place more terrible than the haunts of wild beasts! For “the city” is man’s place. And through human strife and fraud and violence, it becomes worse than the place of the untamed creatures. In this state, man is likened by the Spirit to the fiercer beasts of the desert. (Dan. 7, Rev. 13.) And all of us should have this sense of what man and his place is. Jesus found it to be so, and His relief was only in God. And He could say to God, though in this place of man, “thou hast shown me marvelous kindness in a large city.” But by and by, this city of man will be thrown down (Psa. 55:2323But thou, O God, shalt bring them down into the pit of destruction: bloody and deceitful men shall not live out half their days; but I will trust in thee. (Psalm 55:23), Rev. 16:1919And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. (Revelation 16:19)), and place made for God’s city, where all will be peace and joy.
1. NOTE—See the observations on Psa. 27 as to a part of some Psalms, and not the whole being the language of Christ.