David is singing a song of praise! God’s presence, Sinai, is with His people. And His enemies will be scattered, both then and now.
Reading this psalm was a little difficult for me. It was easy to hear David’s joy but I was having trouble concentrating. So I turned to my bible helps to see if they could ground me. They tell me that this psalm may have been written commemorating the Ark being brought to Jerusalem; with its return to God’s people. This helped me understand David’s joy and that the reference to “Sinai” represented the presence of God and His Arc.
Where God is there is joy! There is salvation. There is safety. There is peace. And there is hope. These are the promises He gives to His people; to those who follow Him and ask Him to be their Lord and Savior. These promises weren’t just for Israel or for David when the Ark came home but to us even today. God’s promises are for ALL people and in ALL times.
There WILL be a day when ALL God’s enemies are gone. A day when His people no longer face dangers in this world. That day is not today. But even though there are still dangers in this physical world we have God’s promises for our spiritual safety. No matter what man may do to us we are SAFE in His hands! Our hope is eternal as is our salvation. God saw to that with the gift of His Son’s life in exchange for ours.
But we can CHOOSE to have joy and peace while we wait for the rest of His promises to be completed. David called for the people to praise God. “The righteous shall be glad; they shall exult before God; they shall be jubilant with joy! Sing to God, sing praises to His name; lift up a song to Him” (verses 3-4a).
The joy David is calling the people to is a joy of remembering. It is a joy that looks back at what the Lord has done and holds fast to His promises and rejoices in KNOWING that He will continue to care for His people. It is the reason they had sacrifices of thanksgiving; when their hearts longed to pour out thanks to God in some tangible way. David’s joy poured out in singing, prayer and dancing as he memorializes all the wonderful things God has done.
Jesus made His final steps to the cross for a joy yet to come. “Who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross” (Hebrews 12:2b). He did not enjoy the moments of pain but He held fast to what lay beyond it. He bound that joy to His heart. It insulated Him against all the insults being thrown at Him. He still heard every one of them but He trusted in His Father to help Him complete the work and release the reason for His joy to the rest of the world.
We have the chance every day to choose both joys. Everything doesn’t have to be perfect to have joy. You can even be struggling in this world, like Jesus was, and still have joy. Our joy is not the absence of problems but the assurance of God’s presence in the middle of them.
Which brings me to peace. In this troubled world there is little peace. At least little of the peace that comes from man. I had heard that there has not been a day without some kind of war since the end of WWII. I tried to find a reference for this but couldn’t. What I did come across is a group asking for A Year Without War who states that in the last 3,421 years there have been 268 without war. This is an older statistic as they were calling for people to make 2021 a year without war. It didn’t happen. This is a staggering number of years that our world has been fighting! Looking at this number I wonder how we have all survived. Many haven’t. But this is not the peace that David or God is talking about. David probably would have enjoyed this kind of peace but it wasn’t the inner peace he sought.
David’s peace, and ours, comes from God. It is a secure KNOWING that, no matter what, God is in control. It is trusting God with the outcome and holding fast to His promises, even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. David was running from Saul for years and afterwards fighting Saul’s son’s troops in battle, all the while having settled in his heart that he WOULD be king. God said it and that’s all he needed to know to be at peace with that promise. I’m pretty sure he wrestled with that promise on several occasions but he never gave up on it. He KNEW he served a faithful God.
Jesus tells us that we can have peace too. Not peace that the world gives but His peace. Jesus promised this peace to His disciples. It may have even been on the night when He was betrayed, as John doesn’t tend to stick to a chronological presentation of Jesus’ story. The peace Jesus promised wasn’t for just the one night He spoke it but for all eternity afterwards. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27).
Peace is the absence of worry or struggle. The peace Jesus gave us isn’t dependent on the circumstances of this world to partake in it. It is a peace in KNOWING that you are safe in God’s hands. In KNOWING that He is by your side NO MATTER WHAT may come or become of this earthly body.
When I was a child I asked Jesus to come into my heart many times. I was always afraid that maybe I didn’t do it right or that He didn’t hear me. Until one day I asked Him one last time. It was a LAST time because that time He gave me peace. He confirmed in my heart that He knew me all along. That I didn’t need to be afraid any more. He told me I was HIS and forever more would be. He has given me that same kind of peace a few other times in my life concerning issues was facing and I was able to hold fast to that peace because of the first peace He gave me. I’m still holding onto that first peace and I will NEVER turn it loose!
God wants us to care for one another in this world and to go about our lives making a difference for Him. But He does NOT want us to worry about what lies ahead. That is His job. Ours is to trust Him to care for us as we walk with Him. Jesus tells His disciples not to worry about tomorrow for each day has enough troubles of its own. AND God will care for you in the midst of ALL of them. Matthew 6:25-34 promises us this. Hold fast to that promise!
Father God, thank You for speaking to my heart today through Your word. You had to fight through a LOT of distractions to finally take me onto Your lap. I felt like everything was calling for my attention, even if it was nothing more that the sound of the vacuum running. Thank You for being persistent in calling out to me.
Thank You for giving me Your peace. Today it was peace that settled down my wandering mind. It is MUCH appreciated. But the peace You gave to me as a young teen still holds me in its arms every day. THANK YOU for hearing my cry as a child and adopting me as Your child. I look forward to the day when I can thank You face to face for Your peace that has carried me through my darkest times. Hold me tight Father as this world continues to march towards trouble AND Jesus’ return.