Though You Stumble, You Will Not Fall

When we are tripping over ourselves or others are treading upon us, we must remember that God has recovered us time and time again to be sure He will every time.  Praise the Lord that though you stumble, you will not fall.

Psalm 56:13 reads, For thou hast delivered my soul from death: wilt not thou deliver my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living?  The same affirming thought is expressed again in Psalm 119:8-9.  As God has already delivered, naturally He will deliver again—and if from death, also through life (Romans 8:32).

Jesus has never left nor forsaken you, so He is good on His promise that He never will (Hebrews 13:5).  He delivers to deliver, from Egypt unto Canaan and out of slavery into salvation.

There is a refrain in the Old Testament, I am the LORD thy God which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.”  It is given as a reason for obedience; but also, to instill confidence to keep getting back up from backsliding and stride along the old paths and narrow way (Proverbs 24:16; Jeremiah 6:16; Matthew 7:14).

David closes Psalm 56 with covenant conviction that God will lift him out of his mess because He always has.  As the God of Israel already gave him victory over the PhilistinesGoliath, so He surely will deliver him out of the Philistines Gath (see the Psalm’s context stated in its title).  He remembers how God has redeemed him before to reassure himself that God will uphold Him at the moment.  So verse 13 teaches Christians that they can have confidence in God to deliver them now and again because He already did.

This should put a sanctified spring in your step trusting He always resets your feet as the hinds’ on high places.  Your Deliverer will always deliver you because He always does.  Though you slip, you won’t entirely lose your footing and utterly sink.  Indeed:

  •  ... he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: (Philippians 1:6).
  • ... let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith … (Hebrews 12:1-2).
  • … he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.  They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone (Psalm 91:11-12).
  • He will not suffer thy foot to be moved … (Psalm 121:3).

Or, dear Christian,

Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth … giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength … they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint (Isaiah 40:28-31).

David writes Psalm 56 to help him keep stepping out in faith free from fear of falling by a reasoned review of his history.  God lifts us up and carries His people through the dessert and the valley (Deuteronomy 1:31; Psalm 23:4).  He never drops His children.  Christ recovers all His wayward sheep.

Matthew Henry writes,

It seems by this, and many other psalms, that even in times of the greatest trouble and distress David never hung his harp upon the willow-trees, never unstrung it or laid it by; but that when his dangers and fears were greatest he was still in tune for singing God’s praises. He was in imminent peril when he penned this psalm, at least when he meditated it; yet even then his meditation of God was sweet ... How pleasantly may a good Christian, in singing this psalm, rejoice in God, and praise him for what he will do, as well as for what he has done.”[1]

Never hang up your harp.  Turn to the Psalms to recall all His redemptive works in the life of His Church.  And look back over your own life to remember all the times God had delivered you from the Devil, the world, and yourself!   And never doubt God to rescue, redeem, and revive you once more. He will not put out a smoking flax nor break a bending reed.  Trust God to Deliver You Again.[2]

Grant Van Leuven has been feeding the flock at the Puritan Reformed Presbyterian Church in San Diego, CA, since 2010.  He and his wife, Fernanda, have seven covenant children: Rachel, Olivia, Abraham, Isaac, Gabriel, Gideon, and Giulianna.  He earned his M.Div. at the Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Pittsburgh, PA.

[1] Matthew Henry, Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible, vol 3, Job to Song of Solomon (New York: Fleming H. Revell Co., date?), 446.

[2] To the author’s sermon by this text and title on which this article is based,


Grant Van Leuven