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Psalm 55: Oh that I had wings like a dove

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David has many complaints in this psalm. Primarily, he has been betrayed and oppressed by a former friend. The grief at this betrayal is devastating. So much so that David wishes he could escape and simply skip out on his life's circumstances. This is new for David who has always been one to fight. But in this psalm he does not ask for God to help him fight them. He asks God to cut the life of his enemies short. And he voices the deepest desire in his heart, he simply wishes to escape.

The desire for peace is a human one. Sometimes one simply does not have the energy, the will, the ability, the readiness to fight. Escaping --whether by geographic relocation, wishing for death, suicidal actions, substance abuse such as alcohol or drugs-- seems to be the best way. By escaping one puts one's self outside of the battle field permanently. One gives up and concedes the fight to the enemy because the enemy is apparently too strong.

Yet David has not entirely hoped for escape. He still prays. If one continues praying, one stil has hope. As Paul wrote, "Pray without ceasing." Pray continually for what you want. Never give up on praying for what you want. To give up on a hope, to give up on praying for God to render judgement on your adversary, is to cease praying and is to opt out of the fight.

David's soul has peace in the battle. However he wishes to escape, he still has peace to continue in the battle. He still hopes in the Lord.

1{To the chief Musician on Neginoth, Maschil, A Psalm of David.} Give ear to my prayer, O God; and hide not thyself from my supplication.

2Attend unto me, and hear me: I mourn in my complaint, and make a noise;

3Because of the voice of the enemy, because of the oppression of the wicked: for they cast iniquity upon me, and in wrath they hate me.

4My heart is sore pained within me: and the terrors of death are fallen upon me.

5Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me, and horror hath overwhelmed me.

6And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest.

7Lo, then would I wander far off, and remain in the wilderness. Selah.

8I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest.

9Destroy, O Lord, and divide their tongues: for I have seen violence and strife in the city.

10Day and night they go about it upon the walls thereof: mischief also and sorrow are in the midst of it.

11Wickedness is in the midst thereof: deceit and guile depart not from her streets.

12For it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could have borne it: neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me; then I would have hid myself from him:

13But it was thou, a man mine equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance.

14We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company.

15Let death seize upon them, and let them go down quick into hell: for wickedness is in their dwellings, and among them.

16As 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.

18He hath delivered my soul in peace from the battle that was against me: for there were many with me.

19God shall hear, and afflict them, even he that abideth of old. Selah. Because they have no changes, therefore they fear not God.

20He hath put forth his hands against such as be at peace with him: he hath broken his covenant.

21The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords.

22Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.

23But 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.

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