David is in the middle of a VERY difficult time in his life. He is under attack all around him. Not physical attack but personal and spiritual. He calls out to God. “Save me!”
When reading this psalm I started wondering when this could have been in David’s life. I turned to my bible helps to see if they had an answer to this question. They didn’t. Furthermore, they said it was a psalm David wrote for those struggling with such issues could turn to for comfort. Several parts of this psalm were used to reference Jesus’ life in the New Testament. I can certainly see this whole psalm fitting Jesus EXCEPT for the fact that Jesus NEVER sinned. David did so this psalm in its entirety fits him.
I was thinking about the times David had people turn against him without cause. The most appropriate time, to me, is when he was running from Absalom. This was also a time of David’s own making because of sin he refused to acknowledge. His sin in this area was in not correcting his children. Yes, Absalom was an adult by then but it was a pattern of David’s to not address his children’s misdeeds. Absalom was corrected on one occasion with banishment though. His return from that banishment was the foundation for his actions in taking the kingdom from David.
When David fled Jerusalem he was not the popular king that the people sang great songs about. Absalom had turned the people against him saying that David never listened to them anyway. He was even followed as he fled for a LONG time by Shimei who was openly cursing him. David had to cross the Jordan River before he found a place of safety in Mahanaim in the territory of Gad. David was “up to his neck” (verse 1b) in trouble at this point.
David and his men have to face Absalom and his forces in battle before all is restored. Even after that it takes time for what David “did not steal” to be restored; the people’s faith in him. David earned the people’s faith while running from Saul, while facing Saul’s son Ishbaal, and now will do so again after the defeat of Absalom.
God did not leave David in this “drowning” state. After Nathan’s prophecy concerning evil rising up from within David’s own house and the desecration of David’s own wives did the story begin to turn in David’s favor. David’s men were able to defeat Absalom’s forces. And Joab removed the possibility of this ever happening again at Absalom’s hand. He ran him through against David’s explicit orders.
Just a side note here. David obviously loved his children even if he didn’t discipline them as they needed. His heartbreak over the death of Absalom was proof of that. I don’t recall any other story where the victor was SO devastated by the loss of his pursuer.
Something that just struck me is that God saw David in his ‘near drowning’ state all along and He allowed it to continue until the lesson was completed. David may have felt unsafe during all this but God knew EXACTLY what He was doing.
He knows EXACTLY what we are going through when we feel overwhelmed too. He knows just how long we need to ‘tread water’ before our lesson is complete AND how long it will take us to seek His help. He NEVER loses sight of us as we struggle through this life and He never will.
Thank You Father for holding onto me tightly, even in the storm. Thank You that Your grasp isn’t so tight that I don’t learn. You allow me to make mistakes so I can learn from them. David did learn from his experience and he moved swiftly when his throne was challenged once again. He didn’t run from that fight.
Help me stand my ground too, after the lessons You walk me through. I KNOW I have faults too and want to work towards being the woman You created me to be.