David is in trouble again. He is mainly speaking of Saul and his forces who have come out to capture him, but this applies to all David’s foes. “Lord deliver me!”
This is a common theme for many of David’s psalms. Probably because he had so many struggles with others that were NOT instigated by him. He was NOT at fault in these encounters. At least not in the ones he calls out to God for help with.
David was a man of battle. I doubt there is any accurate count of all the battles he was in. While running from Saul he staved off marauders who attack in the territory of the tribe of Judah. While living in Ziklag he actively seeks out enemies of Israel and raids them. I am appalled by his ‘scorched earth’ policy where he killed EVERYONE in those raids. I understand his reasons but feel for the loss of life. After becoming king of Judah he continued to war against Saul’s forces. And after becoming king of Israel he increased its territories through battle and conquest. These battles he waged either on his own initiative or under God’s instructions. These are not the encounters David is crying out to God for in our psalm.
David is crying out for God’s help in escaping, once again, from Saul. My bible tells me that this particular psalm was written in response to King Saul sending men out to David’s home to capture him. This event is just prior to him fleeing to live with Samuel.
In the story David is helped by his first wife, Michal. She let him down through a window and disguised his absence. But when confronted by her father she lied and implied David threatened her. I suppose I can understand her fear as her father was VERY unstable in those days. He may have killed her for her actions. Instead he took her from David and gave her to another person.
When I first read this psalm there was one thing that struck me as particularly interesting. David didn’t ask for the life of his enemy. “Kill them not, lest my people forget” (verse 11a). David wanted them to fall into their own trap and eventually do away with themselves but he didn’t want God striking them down where they stood. David was willing to wait for God to finish His work with his enemies but he needed protecting in the meantime.
After rereading this passage I had a good laugh. While talking to God about his trouble David says something that startled me. “Awake, come to meet me, and see!” (verse 4b). As if God couldn’t see from where He stood all that was going on. He certainly was not ‘asleep’ at the wheel. He knew EVERYTHING that was going on in David’s life. He also had His reasons for allowing all this to take place. At the time, David was NOT ready to be king. He was also too close to Saul. David needed experience and independence before he would be ready to truly be king of Israel.
God used the evil spirit that tormented Saul to actually strengthen David and to test his mettle. In all that Saul did to David, David never once lifted a hand in harm to God’s anointed. David left Saul in God’s hands. He never even entered into battle against Saul’s troops until he was king over Judah.
David needed protection against Saul though as Saul was NOT leaving things in God’s hands. David rightly cried out for help and God delivered it in MANY different ways. This time it was at the hand of his wife. Other times it would be through confusion, intercession of others, and even humiliation a couple of times. God NEVER failed David but He also never removed David from his ‘storm’. Sometimes He calms the storm and sometimes He calms His child.
Father God, thank You that You ALWAYS hear when I cry out to You. You may not give the answer I was hoping for but the answer You give is ALWAYS perfect. It is the best answer for me for that time. You heard David’s plea and answered it, just not as immediately as he hoped.
Thank You for all the lessons along the way. I have NO idea who I would be today without them!