David is going back and forth between praise and pleas. One moment he is on high remembering God’s goodness and the next he is pleading for help. Take courage David, God is listening.
I was struck by the ups and downs of this psalm David wrote. He shifts from praise to prayers at least five times. Even his praises are laced with pleas too. It feels as if David is on a rollercoaster of emotion and is in the midst of a trying battle of his faith.
What could have been happening in David’s life as he wrote this psalm? It sounds like some sort of political intrigue was going on but what else had David so torn? Something was warring for his attention.
In ALL these shifts only once do I hear a note of doubt. “I had said in my alarm, ‘I am cut off from Your sight’” (verse 22). This was said by David to himself when the city he was in was under siege. He was afraid God would hear his cry for help. But He did; and He answered!
There is also one time where David takes ownership of his troubles as punishment for his sins. “For my life is spent with sorrow, and my years with sighing; my strength fails because of my iniquity, and my bones waste away” (verse 10).
This psalm seems to cover a great deal of time in David’s life. Some sections are written in past tens while others speak of a current crisis. But what I find most impressive about this psalm is how David keeps redirecting his mind away from his troubles and onto the answers God has already provided for him.
Whenever he is dragged back to being worried he reminds himself again of a time God came through for him. Nothing made David more confident that remembering God’s faithfulness of the past. And this is the hope he holds onto for his future. “But I trust in You, O Lord; I say, ‘You are my God.’ My times are in your hand” (verses 14-15a). That is the essence of faith.
“No matter what, I trust in You for You are my God. I am safe in Your arms.”
How long did it take David to stop looking at the circumstances? Was this choice to look only to the Lord made in the early stages of whatever was chasing him or did he make the choice only after ‘sufficient evidence’ was shown?
I like to think that David was ‘forging his armor’ of God a piece at a time, testing each piece for fit and function. When all the pieces were assembled David was ready for battle. Spiritual as well as physical ones. He was fully equipped with successes of the past and confidence in his God to bring him a good future.
I wonder what Peter’s experience on the water would have been like if he could have ‘road the coaster’ back up into the trust zone again. Peter didn’t have water walking experience to draw on to bring him back up but he did have experience watching all Jesus other miracles, including where he calmed the sea with just a word.
Here’s a question. Did the ‘saints of old’ get to watch Jesus’ actions on earth with His disciples? I wonder what they thought of Peter’s faith before, during and after water walking. Were they cheering him on? Did some of them say, “Not on your life!” to trying what Peter tried? I hope I would have been one to jump out of the boat but since I’m not exactly in Peter’s shoes, I will never know. Also I’m pretty slow to ‘jump out of the boat’ on normal circumstances. I am generally NOT the first person to try something new or daring.
Father God, thank You for all the past experiences that I can draw faith from. Times from my childhood on where You answered my prayer or worked something out in my favor. Thank You also for the stories of men and women of the bible who weren’t afraid to ‘ride the rollercoaster’ of faith. Thanks for encouraging me with their stories, both good and bad. Thank You for never giving up on me, even when I was drowning in doubt. You ALWAYS pull me right back up! You Are Faithful. I put my life in YOUR hands!