January 14, 2014.
Daily Reading: Psalm 3-5.
All three of the Psalms are attributed to David, the first when he was in distress running from his son Absalom (see II Samuel 15), and the second and third simply with the direction of using stringed instruments and flutes, respectively.
Concepts and Connections.
Salvation belongs to the Lord: David was going through a very rough patch in his life where his son had risen up against him to take over the kingdom because of David’s sin with Bathsheba the wife of Uriah (see II Samuel 12:11). As he did often, David wrote a psalm to express his emotion in the situation and give glory to God no matter what. We can see in the opening of the psalm that the dire situation is laid out, describing the multitudes of enemies that were arising against him who assumed that he was left vulnerable and without a shield from God. Their assumptions would prove to be incorrect, however, for the Lord was indeed with David, and salvation belongs to the Lord. It didn’t matter how many enemies came upon him so long as he had God on his side. With this confidence in the Almighty, David did not fear. A similar story is told in II Kings 6 when an army comes to surround the prophet Elisha and his servant Gehazi. Gehazi is very afraid, but Elisha assures him that those who are with them are more than those who surround them, and then opens the eyes of the servant to show him the Lord’s horses and chariots of fire that surround them on the mountain (see II Kings 6:8-23). In the New Testament, Paul urges the church in Rome to take comfort in the fact that if the Lord was for them, no one could stand against them (see Romans 8:31). Salvation belongs to the Lord.
The Lord will hear the call of the righteous: Who do you turn to when you are in distress? Your friends? Family? Spouse? Many times when David was in great distress, he turned to the Lord, calling on His name and expecting Him to answer him. The Lord did hear David, and through the psalms it is promised many times that the Lord hears the righteous. We can go to Him at any time, whether we are troubled, joyful, in pain, longing or we just need help, and He will hear our call. James tells us that the fervent prayer of a righteous person has great power (see James 5:16). David put his trust in the Lord, even to the point where he could lie down and sleep soundly, for he knew that the Lord would keep him in safety. We too should be able to build this relationship with our Father, putting our trust in His hand and having confidence that He will keep us in His hand no matter what this world throws at us. It is also interesting to note that Paul quotes the fourth verse of this psalm in Ephesians 4:26.
Being lead into the Lord’s righteousness: In this psalm, David makes a stark contrast between the righteous and those who do not follow the word of the Lord. He makes it clear that those who do evil, those who boast, the liars and those who are bloodthirsty, will not be a able to stand before the Lord when they are judged. In contrast, David makes a conscious decision to be righteous. “I will enter your house,” “I will bow down toward your holy temple.” He goes on to ask the Lord to lead him into His righteousness. David knows that there is no satisfaction in doing evil, and Paul quotes a portion of this psalm in Romans 3 in reference to unrighteousness. David’s faith is in the Lord to cover the righteous with a shield, blessing those who call on His name. If we are to have the relationship with the Father that David did, we too must make a conscious decision to follow Him. We must decide that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, and we must give up our own will to make His our own (see John 14:6 and Matthew 16:24). David asked to be lead into the Lord’s righteousness. We should take lesson in this.
Tomorrow’s Reading: Job 3-5.
Salvation belongs to the Lord.