“In God I have put my trust. I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?”- Psalm 56:11

 Everyone needs to find a place, a person, a thing to deposit their faith. We all have faith of some kind, whether it be misplaced faith, weak faith, little faith,  we all have confidence in something or someone. A confidence that rests, be it in ourselves, our abilities or that of another to help us where we feel secure and confident in. David begins the verse with “In God I HAVE PUT my trust.” For David there was no one else even to be considered, neither his own frail self and his thinking, or in the guards who oppressed him that perhaps somehow he could pacify and charm or persuade them to be merciful. There seemed to be no help on the horizon for him to hope in, for Saul the king had chased and hounded him like a blood hound after its prey. Relentlessly Saul had pursued to kill David, driven on by his own insane jealousy over a man who was nothing but loyal to him and adored by the people. For David there was no delusion of grand thoughts of someone coming across the horizon to liberate him. He was alone, all alone with one exception God! It is to God he cry’s out in verse 1 of this Psalm for compassion.  “Be gracious to me, O God, for man tramples on me; all day long an attacker oppresses me;  my enemies trample on me all day long, for many attack me proudly.” Such were his circumstances in Gath, the home of the Philistines, arch rivals of Israel, whom years earlier had their champion Goliath defeated by a shepherd boy, who was now years later in their capture, namely David!. What a turn of events from championing the cause of God in Israel to be chased by the king of Israel, relentlessly till he fled to enemy territory. In the midst of such turmoil, oppression and daily oppression that David turns to God for mercy and help in his time of trouble. A time of great fear, but a time when faith would be manifest in the God of Compassion, Maker of Heaven and earth, who had once strengthened his hands to skillfully slay the giant of a man who would dare taunt the “armies of the Living God.” David knew whom he had believed in and was persuaded that He was able to meet him in his circumstances, to such an extent he would ask “what can man do to me?” in light of Whom he had placed his confidence in, namely God!

 What did He know about God that would cause him to definitely and unequivocally to do so ? He knew something of His Person, His character and attributes, those things which are true of the “Living God”.

What are some of the BASIS for David’s trust? Well let us consider some of the Names and attributes of the One in whom he “PUTS” his trust in. Beginning in Psalm 56: verse 1. We are introduced to “God.”


In verse 1- He cry’s out to “…God.”- the Hebrew word is Elohim, which is the first word used in Genesis 1:1 to reveal the character of God, “In the beginning Elohim created  the heavens and the earth.” The Name Elohim  occurs 35 times in the first two chapters of Genesis in connection with Gods CREATIVE POWER. It often implies “Fullness of Might.”

Herbert Lockyer writes in his book titled “All the Names of God” this concerning the Name Elohim ;

In Elohim, God is the majestic RULER, and under such a name we have the idea of OMNIPOTENCE, or CREATIVE and GOVERNING Power.” It is to this One that DAVID initially cry’s out to.


“Be gracious to me, O God,…” VERSE 1. We see that Elohim is not only Omnipotent and Governor of all creation  but He is Merciful, compassionate. And David knew this to be true of Him and therefore He calls out to Him to be who HE IS- compassionate, gracious, merciful, and to extend such to him was in line with Elohim’s character.  It is one thing to have power, it is quite another to have compassion accompany it! How often as humans in places of power, we have or seen others govern as dictators, relentlessly clinging to their control while treating people as though they are a piece of chewing gum stuck to their shoes. Treating them as if they are a mere irritant with the tone we use to them and the way we treat them. Not so ELOHIM, He is compassionate, caring, merciful and gracious and it is to Him David turns to and in Him he knows that He is Compassionate. This was reason for David to “PUT” his trust in God. Creator, Compassionate and so his cry goes out to this Caring and All Conquering One. Isn’t it interesting that the first cries out of David’s mouth is addressed to the Graciousness of God. His mercifulness and compassion. He knew God. He knew what He was like. One who demonstrates compassion, is neither indifferent nor cold but Caring and concerned and acts upon their compassion and extends graciousness and lavishes mercy upon the soul in need. And it is to this known attribute of God that David calls out for immediately, “Be gracious to me, O God.”


In verse 2 – David reveals his conditions and that of his foes who are daily relentless in their torment of him. He writes,“My enemies would hound me all day, For there are many who fight against me, O Most High.”

It is the name”Maron” which translates “Most High” that is used here and speaks of God as ” the lofty or The Exalted One.” While David could see these men exalting themselves and caught up with their own self importance and lofty attitudes, he appeals to One who alone is “The Exalted One.” David asks God to Exalt Himself that they may see someone beyond which words could describe! While David’s enemies exalted themselves, David asks God to Exalt Himself!  David calls This Creator, Compassionate one “The Exalted One.” For there is none higher than Him, None mightier than Him, None who extends such compassion from such a position of Omnipotence as Him, and He alone is to be addressed and He alone is “The Exalted One.”  Neither David’s circumstances, nor David’s foes, nor his fears, held the position worthy to be Exalted  and have dominion -but God alone!

The term “Most High” speaks literally, of God who sees from Heaven all things and is Powerful.”


v 3 -“When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You.” or as one translation says,  “Even when I am afraid, I still trust You.”

He begins the psalm with God. Not pretending he is not in a tight or fearful position, for he is and tells us in verse 3 of the reality of being “afraid’. But as he writes and recounts his circumstances he builds momentum on his knowledge of God. Creator God. Compassionate God. Controlling God. He is also known to David as Comforting God. Verse 3 “When I am afraid {In the day I am} I will Trust in YOU.” His Fears were real but his Comfort was greater. So great that as a sheep unafraid is willing to lie down by still waters, David chose to rest in God, for you see he had no other option, he had no other plan but he had been and was being weaned from all other options and had been stripped of all other plans and was left wonderfully though circumstantially painfully so with – GOD ALONE! And so he could say, “In God I have put my trust.” It was in the time of hardship and hurt that David heralded his faith “IN GOD I  HAVE PUT MY TRUST.” It was in a time of Fear that David exercised his Faith. But his Faith was based on the character of God as He had revealed Himself in His Names and His Ways and through His Works and Word. David was not “hoping” or as we would better describe our own “faith”at times as merely”wishing.” But his faith had reason to cement itself in the Faithful Character of this One, who is God!  What does it take for us to get to that place? What circumstances or pain or wonderment of Him that brings us to rest and deposit all that we have and are into His Creative, Compassionate, Exalting, Controlling and Comforting Safety?

  1. -GOD’S WORD;

Verse 4 – “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?”

“We are only as good as our word” I heard someone once say. If that is the case I am not much good at all. For I have often made promises I did not keep, said things I did not mean etc. But God is not like  us, He cannot Lie and He cannot fail. And He keeps His Word, for there is no one who can thwart it, hinder or impede it. God is God and gives cause for praise in what He says.

David “PUTS” his trust in God, Creator, Compassionate, Exalted and in Control. Comforting One, and God’s Word causes him to Praise.

Note also;

Again he compares God and man in his weakness. Because his trust is in Some One bigger and greater and Grander than all, he concludes, “I shall not be afraid” and secondly “what man can do to me?” in light of Whom he has Put his trust in? What grand and definite faith and what conclusion it brings him to “I shall not be afraid.” His realization of the true condition of all men, even those who held him against his will and tormented and oppressed him was, all are weak! Morally weak! Mortally weak! Mentally Weak! David realized God is great and men are weak in comparison. The weakness of men and  their self inflation in light of his confidence in God, who He is causes him to know he has no need to be afraid. Mans breath is in his nostrils and he is as fleeting as grass, indeed Gods Word, the Bible says of all of us, “For all flesh is like grass, and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls off, But the Word of the Lord is eternal.” Man is fleeting, Gods Word is eternal.

He who invoked such confidence and calm in David that he would conclude based on the character of God that “I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?” desires to breath such confidence in you and me, even in fearful and especially in times when we are “afraid” and “oppressed” by man, sin and circumstances be it our own sinfulness and doing or that as a result of others. There is no circumstance no valley so deep and dark that God cannot and does not want to meet His child there. No place so fearful that it would inhibit Him from coming into. No foe so powerful as to  cause Him to hesitate. The Key for David was Whom he had placed his confidence in, God- Elohim- The One who out of nothing created the heavens and earth and presently sustains them all, this Creator God, David had deposited His trust in.

Elohim, the One who had called forth light and said “Let there be..” and there was, because He had spoken  it into existence; The One who had met him as a shepherd boy against a ferocious animal and enabled him to defeat a giant of a man who had taunted the armies of “The Living God,” named Goliath. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The God who opened the Red Sea so that countless number of people could walk across it on dry land and look back and see their enemies drowned as God closed the waters upon them. God who effortlessly created and sustains and who has made all things for Himself, who has numbered the days of each person, who is so sensitive and caring and compassionate and tender towards David that He should bottle his tears, so precious are they to Him {verse 8.} Who has known all his “wanderings”. No place, no step un-traced, or unknown to God -{verse 8.}

David had confidence in God – Elohim, The Most High, Compassionate and Comforter, the Present Self Existing I Am. It was in God and who has always been and always will be, it is Him, and Him alone, that David deposits his trust in. Therefore he can boldly declare based on God, “I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?” He compares the Person of God and the puniness of man.

God is God and man is man. Seen in the light of David’s view, one is strong the other is weak in comparison. Our misfortune at times is to believe the lie and get things twisted up in our mind that Man is “God” and God is weak as “man.” So we get our perspective out of all proportions, fears enlarge and engulf us as we begin with man, rather than God as the focus in the times of trouble. Ask yourself a question, in the midst of your present turmoil, are you looking at God or has the largeness of  the shadow of man grown larger and larger till fear overtakes and you lose all perspective? Irrational thinking, irreverent thinking, indifferent thinking- just wanting something someone or something to ease the pain. The spiral downwards, the fears imposed by others, the times of lost-ness and the feeling of helplessness and hopelessness can smother and cover like a blizzard.

Times when faith is tested beyond what seems right or proper from our perspective or just or fair as we consider justice and fairness. Breaking point? Time to say, “Enough, I quit” and look for an exit as it is all too much to take in and on board. A time when death would seem such a relief. Such can be the pressures of life when we go through the ravages of some circumstances. The “cry,” is not to drag yourself up by your bootstraps, or shake it off, or just get over it, or look for a pill, a bottle, a bed to sleep it all away but a cry that will always be heard, though you may feel as though it is wasted and as one howling in a nighttime desert, forsaken and all alone, “Be Gracious, Merciful, show compassion to me, O Elohim- Creator and Omnipotent One!” 

Be encouraged, these thoughts of hopelessness, helplessness and seeming abandonment to be consumed by your circumstances are not unique to you or me. {1 Corinthians 10:13} For Scripture testifies of far greater men, whose lives were in great despair and turmoil and suffering. Is there no hope? Thoughts that would molest and lead astray, taking you further and deeper into a pit so black that insanity seems normal. Is there hope or is it a lost cause? Beloved its not irrevocable. Begin to think of God – The One true and Living God, who created all things out of nothing.

“In God I HAVE PUT my trust. I shall not be afraid…” David wrote. He choose when he found himself afraid to Concern Himself with God. Creator, Compassionate, The Exalted One who is in Control, Comforter in times of fear. The One whose Word gives him cause to Praise. It was to Him David looked and deposited and “PUT” his trust in. And so he writes, “In God I have PUT my trust. I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?”- Psalm 56:11

Today, even now I, as you, must choose whom, or what  and where I will “put my trust.” God help us to be as David buoyed on by Gods revelation to us of Who He is according to His Word to do as David did and say CONFIDENTLY because of His compassionate response to our cry ” Be Gracious to me, O God…”and out of His being He acts as Himself and extends such that we are slowly but surely learning to more, inch by inch, decision by decision, in times of trial and pain learning to “Put our trust in Him and able to say “In God I have put my trust. I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?”


God help us and incline our hearts to “PUT ” our trust in You.