Thursday, June 23, 2016

Trusting God To Do What is Needed

Psalm 57:1-11

“To the chief Musician, Altaschith, Michtam of David, when he fled from Saul in the cave.

Tradition places this Psalm at the time when Saul came into the cave where David was hiding described in I Samuel 24.  Altaschith means Thou Shalt Not Destroy, and is an appropriate title.   David’s men encouraged him to kill Saul, but David refused because God had chosen him as king, demonstrating his wisdom,  his michtam. 

Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast.   I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me.  He shall send from heaven, and save me from the reproach of him that would swallow me up. Selah. God shall send forth his mercy and his truth.” (Psalm 57:1-3)

Rather than trusting his own instincts, and killing Saul, David trusted God to remove Saul at the proper time.  He asks that God be merciful and not punish him just as he had not killed Saul.  He was determined to keep on trusting God to protect him until God ended the constant attempts on his life.  He was confident that when he prayed God would answer, and do what was needed on his behalf.  He would save him from Saul and the people who were attacking him.  In the same circumstance, how easy would it be to assume, like David’s men did, that God was giving you a chance to eliminate the problem. 

“My soul is among lions: and I lie even among them that are set on fire, even the sons of men, whose teeth are spears and arrows, and their tongue a sharp sword.  Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens; let thy glory be above all the earth.   They have prepared a net for my steps; my soul is bowed down: they have digged a pit before me, into the midst whereof they are fallen themselves. Selah.” (Psalm 57:4-6)

David felt like Daniel in the lion’s den, surrounded by those who wanted to kill him,except his attackers were human.  While the lions would kill impersonally, for food or entertainment and might be distracted by something else, the attacks on David were personal and even the invasion by the Philistines in the previous chapter had only provided a minor respite.  As soon as the Philistine threat was removed, they resumed their efforts to kill David.    It felt like a trap from which there would be no escape, not realizing they would be the ultimate victims. 

“My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise.  Awake up, my glory; awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake early.  I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people: I will sing unto thee among the nations.  For thy mercy is great unto the heavens, and thy truth unto the clouds.  Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: let thy glory be above all the earth.” (Psalm 57:7-11)

David was committed to sing and praise God despite the circumstances.  He would use whatever means was available to publicly show his appreciation for God’s blessings.   He wanted people to understand how great God’s mercy is and that what he says is completely true at every level.  When they understand this people will honor God more than anything in the heavens or on earth.  

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