1-8 Lord, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me. Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah. But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head. I cried unto the Lord with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah. I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the Lord sustained me. I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about. Arise, O Lord; save me, O my God: for thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek bone; thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly. Salvation belongeth unto the Lord: thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah.
David had many enemies throughout his lifetime. My heart ached as I read these words because David was speaking of his own son, Absalom! How very sad indeed when a parent has to fear his own child! I can almost sense his fear and anxiety as he prayed this prayer!
As I meditate on this Psalm, I see David’s anxieties and fears turn into praise. His lips speak of his worries. He turns them over to his God and then he pauses to think on what he has just said. That is what Selah means – to pause and meditate on what has been said. After his contemplation over his complaint to God, I noticed that David stopped his complaints and replaced them with sharing his heart with the Lord. What beautiful words to convey to God just what He means to him. David acknowledged just what God meant to him. Not only was God his shield but he knew that his life existed because of God. God was his protector. David knew that God would hear him when he cried out to him. Furthermore, David was able to rest in those thoughts and sleep without worry because he knew that His God was on watch!
Rather than take matters into his own hands and rush into a battle that would not be blessed by God, David made sure to take these matters before his God. He shared with God his need for justice and vengeance. But in the end, David submitted and said that salvation belongs to God. It was as if he was saying, “OK, now that I’ve vented, let it be your way Lord.”
Oh how many times I have seen injustices! Maybe not in a real battle as David, but in spiritual and physical battles. I have cried out to my Heavenly Father and He heard me, just as He heard David! It’s not wrong to express our displeasures or fears to God. After all, Christ spoke to His Heavenly Father about the work of the cross at hand. But in the end, it was His Father’s will that He wanted (Luke 22:42). We are truly blessed in this day and age in America where we do not suffer the persecutions that our forefathers did. There are those believers in countries today that die for their beliefs. The most we suffer is ridicule for the cause of Christ but there is coming a day in our country when all of our freedoms of speech will be taken away and this will no longer be the case. Will we turn to David’s Psalm and be able to lay down at night and sleep without worry as David did?
Praise the Lord that we are not left thrashing about in water deep over our heads but have a compassionate God who loves us and is there to help us at exactly the right time!