Cast Thy Burden upon the Lord

Psalm 55. 1-23

A sample page from Pictures and Parables, see p. 20.

This psalm contrasts the themes of trust and treachery. Following his repentance, David had experienced the blessedness of ‘sins covered’, Rom. 4. 7. Although God had forgiven him, another nursed a deep sense of grievance and looked for an opportunity for vengeance. David regarded Ahithophel as ‘a man mine equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance’, v. 13. But Ahithophel was the father of Eliam and therefore the grandfather of Bathsheba, 2 Sam. 11. 3; 23. 34. His opportunity to revenge his family’s honour came during the time of Absalom’s rebellion, when David least expected his treachery, 2 Sam. 15. 12, 31. The experience of David at the hand of his friend was an echo of the trouble of spirit that the Lord would know when He was betrayed by Judas Iscariot, John 13. 21. These events also foreshadow the rise of the Antichrist who will betray Israel by breaking his covenant with them, v. 20; Dan. 9. 27.

David’s burden was not unknown to the Lord. In fact, the Hebrew word used could be translated ‘a lot’. This burden was divinely given to David. God is able to trust His people with burdens. The Levites were numbered ‘every one according to his service, and according to his burden’, Num. 4. 49. How good to know that our God has taken account of the burdens His people bear for Him.

David learned to take the burden God had given him and to cast it back upon the Lord – to admit that he was unable to bear it himself. The apostle Paul learned to do this. Three times he besought the Lord that the thorn in the flesh would depart. ‘And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness’, 2 Cor. 12. 9. Paul lived his life glorying in infirmities and the greater part of his ministry came not from Paradise but from a prison.

The Lord Jesus taught all who were ‘heavy laden’ to come to Him, for, ‘My yoke is easy, and my burden is light’, Matt. 11. 30. Every divinely given burden in life is intended to drive us to Christ. Each disappointment, grief, hurt, and even betrayal only serves to show how much Christ can be trusted. The burden given by the Lord can be sustained only by the Lord.


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