Psalm 56:9
When I cry to you, then shall my enemies turn back: this I know; for God is for me.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
56:8-13 The heavy and continued trials through which many of the Lord's people have passed, should teach us to be silent and patient under lighter crosses. Yet we are often tempted to repine and despond under small sorrows. For this we should check ourselves. David comforts himself, in his distress and fear, that God noticed all his grievances and all his griefs. God has a bottle and a book for his people's tears, both the tears for their sins, and those for their afflictions. He observes them with tender concern. Every true believer may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and then I will not fear what man shall do unto me; for man has no power but what is given him from above. Thy vows are upon me, O Lord; not as a burden, but as that by which I am known to be thy servant; as a bridle that restrains me from what would be hurtful, and directs me in the way of my duty. And vows of thankfulness properly accompany prayers for mercy. If God deliver us from sin, either from doing it, or by his pardoning mercy, he has delivered our souls from death, which is the wages of sin. Where the Lord has begun a good work he will carry it on and perfect it. David hopes that God would keep him even from the appearance of sin. We should aim in all our desires and expectations of deliverance, both from sin and trouble, that we may do the better service to the Lord; that we may serve him without fear. If his grace has delivered our souls from the death of sin, he will bring us to heaven, to walk before him for ever in light.When I cry unto thee - This expresses strong confidence in prayer. The psalmist felt that he had only to cry unto God, to secure the overthrow of his enemies. God had all power, and his power would be put forth in answer to prayer.

Then shall mine enemies turn back - Then shall they cease to pursue and persecute me. He did not doubt that this would be the ultimate result - that this blessing would be conferred, though it might be delayed, and though his faith and patience might be greatly tried.

For God is for me - He is on my side; and he is with me in my wanderings. Compare the notes at Romans 8:31.

9. God is for me—or, "on my side" (Ps 118:6; 124:1, 2); hence he is sure of the repulse of his foes. When I have no other arms or force, which is my present case, my prayers shall be sufficient to overthrow mine enemies. When I cry unto thee,.... In prayer;

then shall mine enemies turn back; great is the strength of prayer; the effectual fervent prayer of the righteous avails much against their enemies: when Moses lifted up his hands, Israel prevailed: the cases of Asa, Jehoshaphat, and Hezekiah, prove it; this David was assured of, and knew it to be true by experience, his prayer being often the prayer of faith in this respect;

this I:know: for God is for me; he knew that when he prayed his enemies would flee; because God was on his side, who is greater than they; or by this he knew that God was for him, and was his God, by hearing his prayers, and causing his enemies to turn back: or, however, let things go how they will, this he was assured of, that he had a covenant interest in God, and who would be his God and guide even unto death.

When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for God is for me.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
9. Then shall mine enemies turn back in the day when I call:

This I know, that [or, for] God is on my side.

For the emphatic then cp. Psalm 2:5. The certainty that God is on his side is the ground of his assurance that his enemies will be put to flight. Cp. Psalm 9:3; Psalm 118:6.Verse 9. - When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for God is for me; literally, in the day that I call upon thee. אלהים and אנושׁ, Psalm 56:2 (Psalm 9:20; Psalm 10:18), are antitheses: over against God, the majestic One, men are feeble beings. Their rebellion against the counsel of God is ineffective madness. If the poet has God's favour on his side, then he will face these pigmies that behave as though they were giants, who fight against him מרום, moving on high, i.e., proudly (cf. ממּרום, Psalm 73:8), in the invincible might of God. שׁאף, inhiare, as in Psalm 57:4; לחם, as in Psalm 35:1, with ל like אל, e.g., in Jeremiah 1:19. Thus, then, he does not fear; in the day when (Ges. ֗123, 3, b) he might well be afraid (conjunctive future, as e.g., in Joshua 9:27), he clings trustfully to (אל as in Psalm 4:6, and frequently, Proverbs 3:5) his God, so that fear cannot come near him. He has the word of His promise on his side (דּברו as e.g., Psalm 130:5); בּאלהים, through God will he praise this His word, inasmuch as it is gloriously verified in him. Hupfeld thus correctly interprets it; whereas others in part render it "in Elohim do I praise His word," in part (and the form of this favourite expression in Psalm 56:11 is opposed to it): "Elohim do I celebrate, His word." Hitzig, however, renders it: "Of God do I boast in matter," i.e., in the present affair; which is most chillingly prosaic in connection with an awkward brevity of language. The exposition is here confused by Psalm 10:3 and Psalm 44:9. הלּל does not by any means signify gloriari in this passage, but celebrare; and באלהים is not intended in any other sense than that in Psalm 60:14. בּטח בּ is equivalent to the New Testament phrase πιστεύειν ἐν. לא אירא is a circumstantial clause with a finite verb, as is customary in connection with לא, Psalm 35:8, Job 29:24, and עב, Proverbs 19:23.
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