Monday, November 28, 2016
No One But God To Trust
Maschil of David; A Prayer when he was in the cave.
“I cried unto the LORD with my voice; with my voice unto the LORD did I make my supplication. I poured out my complaint before him; I showed before him my trouble.” (Psalm 142:1-2)
Maschil means “to be circumspect”, to act wisely. Tradition has placed this Psalm as being about the time when David was hiding in the cave to escape Saul. David had been forced to flee from Saul to save his own life. He fled to the Philistines but was recognized and forced to go back into Israel, as we see in I Samuel 22:1. At the time he had almost no followers and there was no one but God to help him. He poured out his soul, reminding him that he had done nothing to cause Saul to hate and fear him.
“When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then thou knewest my path. In the way wherein I walked have they privily laid a snare for me.” (Psalm 142:3)
David had been overwhelmed by the danger, and had no idea which way to go, yet God knew exactly where he needed to go to help him avoid the traps that Saul was setting to catch him.
“I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul.” (Psalm 142:4)
Saul had murdered the priests for helping him and no one else dared admit they knew him for fear of being killed. At the time David felt completely alone, although a few days later, his brothers and many people who had been displaced by Saul began to join him in the wilderness.
“I cried unto thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living. Attend unto my cry; for I am brought very low: deliver me from my persecutors; for they are stronger than I.” (Psalm 142:5-6)
David had been King Saul’s son in law, and one of his highly respected generals, but now was a fugitive with a death warrant hanging over him. God was his only hope at the time. He begged God to listen to him because he had lost everything. He asks that he be delivered from the threat. Saul and his army were much more powerful than David, and without God’s help, there was no way to escape.
“Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name: the righteous shall compass me about; for thou shalt deal bountifully with me.” (Psalm 142:7)
David couldn’t even escape to the west because the Philistines posed just as much of a threat as Saul and his army. His freedom was just as restricted as if he had been in a literal jail. David asked tha God would deliver him from that prison, setting him free to publicly praise God’s name again and surrounding him with other people who worshiped and obeyed God. David expected God to keep that promise, and as we see I Samuel 22:2, people began to come to him, although it would be several years before he would be completely free to go where he wanted.