May 13, 2014.
Daily Reading: Psalm 54-56.
Background: Psalm 51-53.
Concepts and Connections.
Praying for deliverance: This psalm was written by David when he was fleeing from King Saul, who was trying to kill him out of jealousy. It specifically comes at a time when the Ziphites, in whose land David was dwelling to hide from Saul, gave David up to Saul saying “Is not David hiding among us?” (see I Samuel 23:15-29, 26:1-5). Again we see to whom David turns when he is in trouble, fleeing for his own life. David cries out to the Lord, who he already has a good relationship with, to deliver him from the pursuit of Saul. Notice the amount of trust David puts in the Lord. He prays, but as his prayer continues, we get the sense that David trusts fully that the Lord will deliver him. There is no “well, I hope this comes true” or “maybe the Lord will deliver me,” but rather an assurance of faith that the Lord would indeed uphold his life and return evil on his enemies. This is similar to the idea that Jesus teaches His disciples when He tells them how to pray (see Mark 11:24). He tells them that when they ask something in prayer, to believe that they have received it and it will be theirs. This seems to be the attitude that David has here, for he knows the Lord is with him. May we learn to trust in the Lord like this.
Cast your burden on the Lord: It seems that this psalm was written when David was in great anguish over a situation that he had encountered in life. As is typical for David (a lesson in an of itself), he turns to the Lord when he comes across times of trouble. In this situation, a close friend or family member has conspired against him, betrayed him. This psalm was likely written in response to the conspiracy that Absalom, David’s son, had planned against his father to win the hearts of the people and take over the kingdom (see II Samuel 15). This was part of the consequence that the Lord had told David would come upon his house for his sin with Bathsheba (see II Samuel 12). Even though it was because of his sin, David still turns to the Lord. He still casts his burden on the Lord in times of trouble. This shows the character of David and his steadfastness/loyalty. We can take from this the lesson that we can always go to the Lord, no matter the situation, and cast our burdens on Him, that He may carry us through (see I Peter 5:6-7).
“In God I trust”: This psalm was written by David when he was fleeing from King Saul, who was trying to kill him out of jealousy. As he fled, he came to the land of the Philistines to hide from the king; however, when he came to this land, the people knew who he was and remembered how the people had ascribed more war glory to David than they did Saul, which is why Saul was seeking his life in the first place (see I Samuel 21:10-15). This frightened David, and he changed his behavior to act like a madman before Achish, the king of Gath, so that he wouldn’t seem like a threat. During this time, however, David also turned to the Lord once again and put his trust in Him, that He would deliver him from his enemies. This is what the Lord did, saving David from the sword and even giving Saul into his hands twice, though David was unwilling to lift his hand against the Lord’s anointed. David often expressed his cares and concerns in psalm form, and these psalms were directed towards God in His steadfast love and mercy. We can look at these words of David, written in times of great trouble, and learn how to trust in the Lord in all situations, even those that might seem hopeless.
Tomorrow’s Reading: Job 40-42.
Trust in the Lord.