David’s cry to God in this psalm is for guidance; “Lord lead me”. Those all around are following after their own lusts. David wants none of that.
The temptation to follow the crowd is all around David. I have a feeling this psalm was written during the time he served in Saul’s army. David had a call from God on his life and the ordinary life of a soldier probably didn’t meet with God’s standards. Soldiers have a reputation for ‘rough’ living. Women, wine, and whatever else they want. Not ALL soldiers fall into this style of living but the reputation is pretty well earned. I have a feeling the term “bloodthirsty” as well as “boastful” probably fit well in that crowd. Even Joab, David’s captain, fit this description at times.
David did NOT want to become like those men. He had a tender heart. A heart towards God that was filled with praise. This does not mean that David refused to pick up a sword but when he did so it was for God’s cause and not his own glory. David wanted to be able to stand before God with a clean heart and hands.
This desire held true for David throughout his reign too. He conquered much but he did so in the name of the Lord. He struck the people God had instructed Joshua to remove from the land. He advanced only within the boundaries the God had set up for Israel.
David was NOT perfect in his actions. We all know the story of Uriah and Bathsheba. But David had a heart that would receive instruction and correction from the Lord. And he wanted NOTHING to stand between himself and the Lord so he was quick to repent.
This psalm is VERY appropriate for our lives today. We are living in a time when “anything goes” and even the worst sins are glossed over. Many, if not all, of the wars raging today are the result of “bloodthirsty” or “boastful” men. Genocide and ethnic cleansing IS on the manifest of some of the wars raging. Subjugation and ‘boasting rights’ are hidden within many others. But war is not the only place we see these behaviors.
The boardroom, the stock exchange, even in the classroom these behaviors are exhibited. Tactics of deceit, aggression, and intimidation are poured out on the unsuspecting. These things are also poured out on those who choose to take a stand for the Lord. We have to be like David and pray for God’s strength to help us stand tall. Pray for His guidance too for walking the paths He has called us to.
There is MUCH wrong with our world today and it is only going to get worse. We are fast approaching the time when Jesus will return and, from reading God’s word, we know it has to get REALLY bad before the end. “When these things begin to happen, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near” (Luke 21:28).
I don’t know how far off that ending is but I trust God will get us there in His time. The question of ‘pre-tribulation’, ‘mid-tribulation’ or ‘post-tribulation’ is something we have to leave in His hands too. I am firmly in the first camp but if HE chooses another ‘camp’ it will NOT destroy my faith. I simply pray, like David did, that God directs my path and protects my heart in the process.
Father God, guard my heart. Don’t let me become one of the boastful or proud. Let me not be deceitful and forgive me for the times I was deceitful in the past. Make me a woman You are proud to call Your daughter. Lead me Father for I cannot do this alone!