Psalm 51- 57

Psalm 51

  1. What can we learn about confession and the grounds of forgiveness from verses 1-5? Note: (a)the terms which David uses to describe himself and his wrongdoing, and (b) where his hope lies.
  2. David realizes that his whole nature is sinful, and that God requires sincerity and integrity in the innermost part of his being (verse 6; cf. 1 Sam. 16:7).What, therefore, (in verses 7-12) does he ask for in addition to forgiveness? Also what does he promise shall be the outcome of God’s answer to hi prayer? See verses 13-17.


Note. Verse 4. This does not meant that David had not also done wrong against man (note in verse 14 hi confession of ‘bloodguilt’), but that he now saw his wrongdoing in this one outstanding aspect of it, as being sin against God. Cf. Gen. 39:9; 2 Sam. 12:13.

 Psalm 52 – 54

Of these three psalms the second (Ps. 53) is a duplicate (with slight variations) of Ps. 14. For the occasion of Pss. 52 and 54, see their titles and cf. 1 Sam. 22:9; 23:19.

  1. 52:1-7; 53: 1-5. How is the godless man described? In what does he put his trust, and what is his end? In what does the godly man put his trust, and what is the result from him? See 52:8, 9; 53:6.
  2. What many we learn from Ps. 54 of: (a) the severity of faith’s trial; (b) the ground of faith’s confidence; (c) faith’s assurance of triumph?


Psalm 55

  1. Of the two ways of meeting trouble mentioned in verses in verses 6, 7 and 22, respectively, which is the better? What other verses show that the psalmist is turning to God for help, rather than seeking to escape from the scene of his distress?
  2. What was the bitterest element in the psalmist’s grief? See verses 12-14, 21, and cf. 2 Sam. 15:31; John 13:21. Observe, however, however, the difference between David’s cry in verse 15, and our Lord’s word concerning Judas (Mark 14:21).


  1. Verses 9-11. Violence, strife, iniquity, wickedness, oppression, fraud, seem to be personified as walking on the walls and in the streets of the city.
  2. Verse 22. ‘Your cares’: the Hebrew word translated ‘cares’ means literally ‘what he has given you’. The thought seems to be, ‘Take back to God, and cast on him the burdens he has laid on you, and he will sustain you under it. For he has given them to you to bring you to himself.’ Cf. Ps. 107:23-30.


Psalm 56 and 57

These two psalms are closely connected and, according to their titles, should be read against to background of 1 Sam. 21:10-22:1.

  1. In these two psalms how does David: (a) describe the trials by which he is surrounded, and (b) express his confidence in God?
  2. What does David confess that God has done, and can do, for him, and in what ways does he say that he will show his gratitude? How far can you make some of the words of these psalms your own?

Note. Ps. 56:8. Cf. Matt. 10:30.


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