BOOK 2: PSALM 63 OF 72 – My soul will be satisfied

There is something profound and powerful when one empties oneself in seeking God’s face.  In prayer and fasting, we are deprived of our legitimate pleasures, to seek the exceeding pleasure of God’s presence.  Yet, David here is deprived of his legitimate pleasures but not of his own volition.  The latter stanza of this chapter describes how there are those who seek to destroy his life, and that liars are spouting deceptions against him.

There is little, however, regarding David’s predicament or dire circumstances.  Instead, David spends much of this psalm singing about how his soul thirsts for Him; how his flesh faints for Him; how His steadfast love is better than life; how his soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and [his] mouth will praise [Him] with joyful lips.  This is a desperation, a meditation, a longing, that lasts through day and night.

There are times when we are in a proverbial wilderness, be that caused by a spiritual, financial and/or material drought.  Yet, in our temporary fast, whether that be of our own accord, or of God’s design, will we be able to find contentment, and satisfaction in Him as with fat and rich food?  The very things we long for, we toil for, we sweat for, we climb over others for, we compete for, we lie for, we kill for — to say the least — we can find freely in our loving Father?

If that is the case, then that is gospel truth indeed.  We do not need to continue to toil and suffer in labour, as if our work goes unappreciated and fruitless.  In God’s economy and design, His steadfast love is better than life.  In our spirit, we connect with His Spirit, and it is our soul who clings to Him.  In this clinging, our flesh follows suit.

Be blessed, brothers and sisters!  For God’s love is accessible to all; we need only make ourselves humble for Him, desperate enough for Him, so that more of his love can fill us; so that more of His Spirit will dwell in us; so that more of His will takes place through us.  Let us all swear by the one King, who shall rejoice in God, and let all who swear by the name of that King exult over the mouths of liars and deception.

BOOK 2: PSALM 63 OF 72 – My soul will be satisfied

BOOK 2: PSALM 62 OF 72 – I shall not be greatly shaken

What shakes us to the core?  Our financial woes?  Death of loved ones?  An attack to one’s ego, reputation, credibility?  When we’ve been wronged, defamed, unjustly and baselessly accused?  When a man is attacked like a leaning wall, a tottering fence, when he is thrusted from his high position, when he is mired in others’ falsehood, when he is covered in apparent blessings but underlined by actual curses?

In those circumstances, our first reaction is to defend oneself.  The self-protection mechanisms we have built over the years naturally flare up.  Even when we declare to ourselves, that “I shall not be greatly shaken“, even we know deep within that is but a false gospel.

David here sings with the same desperation as with the previous psalms.  He knows that his spirit waits in silence for God alone, since from Him comes my [David’s] salvation.  He alone is my [David’s] rock and my [David’s] salvation, my [David’s] fortress; I [he] shall not be greatly shaken.

David sings, knowing his reader and listener as one who is easily shaken.  How can we not, if we do not find our refuge in God alone?  When we do not see Him alone as our rock, salvation, fortress?  Without Him as our firm foundation, we have every reason to be shaken like a house built on lies and sand.  Yet, David speaks also to those who think they shall not be greatly shaken.  In the balances, those of high estate are a delusion, they are together lighter than a breath, lesser than those of low estate.  One is not to set vain hopes on robbery or increased riches.

That’s why David can confidently end this psalm by singing that power belongs to God, and that to the Lord belongs steadfast love.  He will render to a man according to his work.

Thus, when a man builds up treasures on earth; when he sets his heart on his extortion, robbery, increased riches; then the Lord will visit that man according to his work.  Yet, when a man seeks His kingdom and righteousness first (Matthew 6:33), when God alone and none other is Whom our spirit awaits in meditation and silence, that our soul is quietened and at peace in His presence — then we are recompensed by His lovely presence, by dwelling in His tents and tabernacle.

Brothers and sisters – why then are we surprised when we are troubled?  When we are anxious?  That itself is a diagnosis that we are weak creatures who have begun to set out hearts on God as well as the riches of this world.  If we want peace – let us turn to Him alone.  If we want heavenly reward – let us rely on Him alone.  If we want to live a long fruitful life – let us look at Him alone.  Only then can we truly declare, that we will not be shaken; because Christ’s work is sealed, and His foundation is one that will remain firm forever.  In the face of all things that will fade away, it is thoroughly refreshing to our very heart, mind, soul, sinews, bones and flesh to hear that the gift of salvation is unshakeable.  Let us break down our walls of pride, ego, reputation, self-entitlement, worldly identity and put on Christ’s righteousness!

BOOK 2: PSALM 62 OF 72 – I shall not be greatly shaken

BOOK 2: PSALM 61 OF 72 – The King who honours His Father

We learn from Exodus 20:12, Deuteronomy 5:16, and Ephesians 6:1-3 about honouring one’s father and mother, so that one may live long in the earth.

Here, David sings about the prolonging of the life of the king: “may his years endure to all generations!  May he be enthroned forever before God“.  David is not, however, merely singing about himself.  He is singing about the rock who is higher than him; he is pleading to the Father, who has been his refuge, a strong tower against the enemy.  The Father who heard David’s vows, the vows which enabled David to be given the heritage of those who fear His name.  Are we not also honoured to be co-heirs with Christ?  That we are given the heritage of Abraham our spiritual forefather, that we too will enjoy communion with the multitude of his descendants in new creation?

Yet, it is in David’s keeping of his vows as king of Israel, and in the performance of such commitment (which should never be broken: see Numbers 30), that David relies not on his own strength; he turns to the King whose throne is to endure to all generations.  David did not endure – like every man after Adam, he died.  Yet, his throne is eternal, only because David was but a shadow of the True David, of Jesus the man after the Father’s own heart.

So Spurgeon observes as regards the central object of affection in this personal psalm:

Though this is true of David in a modified sense, we prefer to view the Lord Jesus as here intended as the lineal descendant of David, and the representative of his royal race. Jesus is enthroned before God to eternity; here is our safety, dignity, and delight. We reign in him; in him we are made to sit together in the heavens. David’s personal claim to sit enthroned for ever is but a foreshadowing of the revealed privilege of all true believers. O prepare mercy and truth, which may preserve him. As men cry, “Long live the king, “so we hail with acclamation our enthroned Immanuel, and cry, “Let mercy and truth preserve him.” Eternal love and immutable faithfulness are the bodyguards of Jesus’ throne, and they are both the providers and the preservers of all those who in him are made kings and priests unto God. We cannot keep ourselves, and nothing short of divine mercy and truth can do it; but these both can and will, nor shall the least of the people of God be suffered to perish.

Yet, how is this King to endure to all generations?  In Christ’s obedience, in His honouring of the Father that He inherited the ends of the earth and shall dwell in the land forever.  Had Christ succumbed to the temptations of the enemy in the desert; had he left the cross to pursue his own desires; had he let the cup of wrath be passed to another, then there is no hope for anyone.  There will be no enduring.  There will be no everlasting life.  All kingdoms will crumble, because the only Anointed King would have fallen.  Yet, we praise Christ for his obedience to a life crucified.  And for us, by hiding in the Rock, we too inherit Christ’s obedience.  We, too, shall experience eternity in new creation because he is the firstborn of those who experience such renewed eternity.

Let us, like David, therefore seek God’s face by crying, by tears, by prayer, by petition, from the end of the earth.  This God is not some local deity, not a cultural phenomenon, but a global truth.  Let us call to him not when we are filled in our belly; not when we are wealthy with the materials of this world; not when we have other securities to place our confidence in.  No — let us call to him when our hearts are faint, when we realise that other than His tabernacle, we do not desire to dwell in any other; other than His wings, we do not desire to find other refuge.

BOOK 2: PSALM 61 OF 72 – The King who honours His Father

BOOK 2: PSALM 60 OF 72 – Your Beloved may be delivered

In this psalm we see David singing about God as the master strategist, according to ‘Shushan Eduth’, the lily of testimony.  Spurgeon explains,

Shushaneduth. The lilies of the testimony—means, that this Psalm has for its chief subject something very lovely and cheering in the law; namely, the words of promise quoted in the beginning of verse six, according to which the land of Canaan belonged to the Israelites, upon which is thus established the confidence expressed in Ps 60:6-8, with respect to their right of property over the land, and their possession of it. This promise, not to cite many other passages, which occur in the Five Books of Moses, and even so early as the patriarchs, is contained in Genesis 49, and Deuteronomy 33. It is evident of what value and importance this promise was, and particularly the remembrance of it at this time

The psalm is broken into three portions:

  1. The opening verses exclaiming God’s rejection of the Israelites; that they are made to “see hard things” and “given … wine to drink that made [the Israelites] stagger“.  David has no doubt that the breach in the land, though it may immediately be caused by the military might of foreign nations, is in reality caused by God alone.
  2. Immediately before the Selah, David writes, “You have set up a banner for those who fear you, that they may flee to it from the bow“; following Selah, “That your beloved ones may be delivered, give salvation by your right hand and answer us!“.  This bears similar vein to Romans 8:28, that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love Him, and are called according to His purpose.  God then speaks, explaining how he intends to divide up the lands, all within his sovereign will.  Most importantly, Shechem is the center of geographical attention – for it is in his piece of Canaanite land that Abram built an altar to the LORD who appeared to him (Genesis 12:6-7).  It is here that the Lord proclaims Israel’s rightful ownership of the land, in face of Moab His washbasin, Edom for casting His shoe, Philistia the object over which God is triumphant.
  3. The chapter then ends on a question, in relation to David facing the fortified city, Edom – “Have you not rejected us, O God?”  It is no longer as certain as when the chapter opened.  David ends the chapter with some hope – “grant us help against the foe, for vain is the salvation of man!  With God we shall do valiantly; it is he who will tread down our foes“.

History tells us that God is indeed with he who flees to God’s banner.  David was, indeed, eventually victorious: 2 Samuel 8; 1 Chronicles 18.  Vanity is in man’s strength; even the strength of Joab and the smiting of 12,000 of Edom in the Valley of Salt could not give David the confidence of victory.

Do we trust in our previous victories?  In our armies?  In our confidants?  In our experiences?  In our history?  Or do we view every opportunity of life and death as a fresh moment of turning to the eternal security of the gospel truth?

Spurgeon states,

The truth of God was involved in the triumph of David’s armies, he had promised them victory; and so in the proclamation of the gospel we need feel no hesitancy, for as surely as God is true he will give success to his own word. For the truth’s sake, and because the true God is on our side, let us in these modern days of warfare emulate the warriors of Israel, and unfurl our banners to the breeze with confident joy. Dark signs of present or coming ill must not dishearten us; if the Lord had meant to destroy us he would not have given us the gospel; the very fact that he has revealed himself in Christ Jesus involves the certainty of victory.

The chapter is but a model of how God intends to redeem His beloved ones.  However, we are His beloved ones only because He is His eternal beloved one.  The circumstance of us seeing hard things, of us given wine to drink, is but a shadow of the Christ who had suffered first.  He was the first to be rejected; to be broken; to experience hardship; to drink the cup of wrath (see Matthew 26:36-46) that would make Him stagger — all to pave the way for our own salvation.  That we can proclaim a baptism through His suffering into His glory.  David is not capable.  Joab is not capable.  However it is through Christ the beloved, that the Father’s love transforms Israel as a kingdom.  Spurgeon furthermore recognises the centrality of Christ’s salvation, given it is imputed to us:

Here is one suppliant for many, even as in the case of our Lord’s intercession for his saints. He, the Lord’s David, pleads for the rest of the beloved, beloved and accepted in him the Chief Beloved; he seeks salvation as though it were for himself, but his eye is ever upon all those who are one with him in the Father’s love. When divine interposition is necessary for the rescue of the elect it must occur, for the first and greatest necessity of providence is the honour of God, and the salvation of his chosen.

 

 

BOOK 2: PSALM 60 OF 72 – Your Beloved may be delivered

BOOK 2: PSALM 59 OF 72 – Wronged but Righteous

We live in a world where the good Samaritans have been uprooted by the sniggering Pharisees.  How often does one hear that they’ve been wronged; that they are innocent, and their persecutors did not receive their just deserts; that they have worked hard, accumulated tears, sweat, and blood, but receive an imbalance of appreciation or reward.

Whilst 1 Samuel 19-20 shows us the narrative of Saul’s persecution of David, Psalm 59 helps us peer into David’s heart.  For there, we find the turmoil of the king-in-the-making, of the man after God’s own heart.  What we expect is a man who exudes continual confidence; whose gravitas precedes before him; who destroyed Goliath with his wit and not his brawn.  Instead, we find a man incredibly insecure; a man who pines for justice as he has been unjustly dealt with; a man who is not confident to take matters into his own hand, but rather to leave it in His.

Saul has left himself open to a harmful spirit from the Lord.  If not for Jonathan’s reminders, he would have pursued his passions to destroy David.  David describes him, and his men, as dogs howling and prowling about the city, bellowing with their mouths, lying in wait for David’s life, to stir up strife against him.  The enemies whom David faced are born of the same deceiver whom Jesus destroyed; and the enemies we face today are constantly deceived by the spirits of this world, than by the Holy Spirit Who breathes life through us.

That is why David can proclaim that the Lord is his Strength; that God is his fortress; that He will let David look in triumph on his enemies.  How can a howling, growling dog, a prowling lion, a hungry beast who wanders about for food, even scar the high towers of God’s temple?  We triumph because He is much larger than we perceive Him to be; and yet our sights are often on the dogs and lions than the unshakeable and unbreakable Rock we stand on.

David prays that his enemies are consumed by their own wrath; and indeed, that is what God allows, for those who do not stand under the cross; they are, as John said, already condemned: John 3:16-18.

 

Do we not need to restore our perspectives to this, daily?  Are not our eyes and our sight so easily manipulated by the circumstances that surround us?  This psalm is a firm reminder that, even a faithful shepherd like David is easily discouraged, describing to Jonathan that he is but one step away from death: 1 Samuel 20:3.  Yet, turning around, David realises that he need not fear death at all, because Jesus has conquered death.  David can now find strength – even strength in the face of death – that he can sing in the day of his distress.

These are not easy words for David to preach.  He was not a man who merely philosophised the doctrine of God’s sovereignty, and that he should somehow force himself to appreciate that God is his refuge.  No – he is a man who, like Jacob, wrestled with Jesus to be blessed.  David, too, is struggling here with the LORD; and by the end of this psalm, he is blessed and remembers that this Strength and towering fortress is built on the foundation of God’s steadfast love.

That is why Jesus’ work on the cross is so important; not just a generic concept of the emotion and passion that we call ‘love’ today.  Jesus’ work on the cross is a combination of His painful sacrifice, in the face of howling, growling, hungry dogs and lions; and His overcoming of these enemies is what allowed men like David; and men like us, to even have a basis to proclaim victory in the face of death; victory in the face of being wronged.

It is in the cross that we find comfort from the Lord who experienced the same discomfort; it is in the cross that we find true justice, from the Lord who had been unjustly treated; it is in the cross that we find true value, from the Lord who gives us our value.  When we set our sights on the cross, and not on the prowling lions, that we begin to realise that the balance of this world is corrupt.  That the scales are uneven.  But the cross evens the scales; the cross restores the corrupt balance.

 

 

BOOK 2: PSALM 59 OF 72 – Wronged but Righteous

Book 2: Psalm 58 of 72 – Victors and Losers

Modern Christianity is occasionally guilty of half truths, much like the politically correct arena of the contemporary world.  We either preach a gospel of unconditional love, and neglect the gospel of hell; or we preach the judgment of the lakes of fire and neglect to point out that it is Jesus, our gracious Saviour, who is himself the Judge on the last day.

The world tells us that either we are all eternally ‘condemned’ to a life of no higher meaning, that we are but dust and ash of the earth and we will return to the earth as such; or that we are valued ‘as we are’ and that no one should be condemned because that is a basic human right.

What Psalm 58 teaches us, however, is that David saw the world differently.  In God’s economy, in His kingdom, there are victors and losers; the gospel requires that there are only two camps of people – those who are with Him, and those who are without.

David opens the chapter by pointing out the falsehood and lies of the ‘gods’ – that such gods are incapable of judging the children of man uprightly, because they are filled with violence.  He then moves on to the wicked who are estranged from the womb, from birth, as liars, spouting out venom like the Satan.  They are incapable of hearing He who can charm, and sing the right tune that provides them with a central bearing.  Indeed, His sheep hears His voice, and the wicked by contrast are deafened: John 10:27.

Psalm 58 is directed to the choirmaster according to ‘Do Not Destroy’.  It is unclear what this means exactly – yet it would appear the content of Psalm 58 contradicts this direction.  David pleads to God to break the teeth of the enemies, to tear out their fangs, to let them vanish, and to undo the damage that the wicked could cause by their flaming arrows.  They are to be swept away, and not to see the light of day like a stillborn child.  This is graphic imagery that David employs to show us that on the last day of Judgment, Jesus too will destroy the wicked in like manner.

The chapter ends contrary to the judgment of the violent gods in the opening; instead, their judgment is replaced by David’s God who judges on the earth, who rewards the righteous.

One may read this chapter and consider how this is reconciled with the loving God; how a loving God can ‘bathe his feet in the blood of the wicked‘.  Yet, it is because God is loving, that his ‘violence’ is firmly directed towards the unjust; firmly directed towards those who have been led astray and lead other astray.  It is in loving judgment that sin, and the sinners without the covering of Christ’s blood, is swept away.  His immense, epic intolerance of the wicked only demonstrates to His immense, epic love for His children.

This may be why the psalm should be sung according do not destroy.  David did not say that the Lord delights in destroying the wicked; on the contrary, He is simply describing that life under the ‘gods’ muddies the waters of His love with compromise.  Life under the ‘gods’ shows no distinction of right and wrong; of blessing and curse; of light and darkness.

However, His love transforms us.  The righteous can enjoy life intimate from the womb; speaking truth; that our lips and tongues are like honey to our neighbours’ hearts; and that we hear His voice because we are His.  Our closeness to Him, like a lamp on the hill, only condemns the wicked even more, like the shadow that darkens proportionate to the brightness of the light.  It is only when we are righteous, that we identify sin for what it is, and that (like the Lord) we demand it be destroyed with those aligned to it without remorse, as David sings.

Not all are victors, though we are all born losers.  The gods of this world deal out violence, making us believe in lies so that we are equally condemned by the illusion that it is all meaningless, and what is left is but atheistic/agnostic humanism.  No – David is singing that there is One who is victorious, and by standing in His victory, we are shielded from the damage and loss that comes from a life estranged from the Father.

Book 2: Psalm 58 of 72 – Victors and Losers

Book 2: Psalm 57 of 72 – His love and my praise

Today, we often say “praise the Lord” when He does amazing work in our lives.  When He gives us favour at work.  When we are blessed with the gift of children.  When we are provided for materially.

Yet, how often do we still praise Him when we are in the midst of difficult circumstances?  When there is a re-structuring in my firm and that I am re-directed to a team that I have no expertise in?  When my supervisor is potentially demonised?  When my financial obligations outweigh my income?  When there is severe illness in the family?

We often look to Job as the forebear, as it were, of the generations of Christians who have suffered and yet looked to the Redeemer: Job 19:25.

Whom we do not often associate with such praise in the midst of suffering is a man like David.  Whilst in the 1st few chapters of the book of Job we learn some facts about the faithfulness of the eponymous hero, the reader is not familiar with him as we are with David, whose generational, familial, military background are laid out in the course of various books in the Old Testament.  Clearly, Job teaches us a lesson on God’s sovereignty in the midst of unjust suffering.  It is a parable for us that even in the most extreme forms of suffering, God’s answer is in the sacrificial lamb: Job 42.

David, on the other hand, teaches us our interaction with the politics of the world as a man who grew from a mere shepherd boy to become a king setting a new precedent (since he likely drew limited inspiration from Saul’s leadership when he took over the reins to lead Israel) of what it means to shepherd a uniquely, unparalleled, theocratic kingdom.

It is within such context that we approach this psalm, which David wrote when he was still but a soldier, fleeing and hiding in a cave from Saul’s wrath: 1 Samuel 21, 24.

David starts not with self-justification, but with humility: “Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge.”  Indeed, our source of refuge is in God, because our security lies not in our education, not in our accumulated life experiences, not in our accolades.  Those are measures of how the world values us.  God, however, values us simply as His beloved children.  David thus yearsn, “I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me.”  Yes – let your will be done, not mine; let your purpose be done, not mine.  Yet this purpose is one that is for me; it is one in which I have the privilege in partaking.

Shortly before the pensive Selah, we are told that God will send from heaven to save David; he will put to shame him who tramples on David.  It is then clarified that God will send out  “his steadfast love and his faithfulness“.  How exactly is this played out?  We see this in 1 Samuel 24:

12 May the Lord judge between me and you, may the Lord avenge me against you, but my hand shall not be against you. 13 As the proverb of the ancients says, ‘Out of the wicked comes wickedness.’ But my hand shall not be against you. 14 After whom has the king of Israel come out? After whom do you pursue? After a dead dog! After a flea! 15 May the Lord therefore be judge and give sentence between me and you, and see to it and plead my cause and deliver me from your hand.”

16 As soon as David had finished speaking these words to Saul, Saul said, “Is this your voice, my son David?” And Saul lifted up his voice and wept. 17 He said to David, “You are more righteous than I, for you have repaid me good, whereas I have repaid you evil. 18 And you have declared this day how you have dealt well with me, in that you did not kill me when the Lord put me into your hands. 19 For if a man finds his enemy, will he let him go away safe? So may the Lord reward you with good for what you have done to me this day. 20 And now, behold, I know that you shall surely be king, and that the kingdom of Israel shall be established in your hand.

This is a turning point for David.  He could have very well set a wicked example of murdering the Lord’s anointed.  He could have uprooted the person whom the Lord, and Samuel, had appointed as the 1st king of Israel.  Instead, David exercised mercy; he repaid wickedness with love.  Why?  This could only be due to the revelation that David received in the cave, in hiding, in the storm.  Instead of justifying himself, instead of finding his comfort in his friends, in his band of brothers, he found comfort in knowing that the Lord sent help in the form of steadfast love and faithfulness.  David therefore approached Saul in the confidence that the Lord is the just judge who would deliver David from Saul’s hand.

The story of David’s mercy is told in generations to come.  David’s rise to kingship was not due to Saul’s own demise.  That was happening concurrently.  The Lord has already been preparing David’s heart to take the role of the anointed king, and this is one of the crucial moments beautifully juxtaposing the persecuted shepherd who exemplifies the meaning of mercy, against the wrathful king who exemplifies the meaning of self-justified vengeance and Pharisaic achievement.

That this happens in a cave is almost, itself, a commentary that this is the spiritual battle which we face in the dark of our hearts.  Do we walk the path of Saul in pursuing every end  and strategy to achieve political and economic might?  Or do we allow God to balance the scales of justice because we trust that He will deliver us from “the midst of lions, fiery beasts, children of man whose teeth are spears and arrows, whose tongues are sharp swords“, as David goes on to describe in this chapter?  David’s goal was not even to exalt himself; he merely set his eyes on Him who provides our refuge; yet, in doing so, we learn from 1 Samuel 24 that he exudes the qualities of a king that Saul does not have.

Much like the story of Joseph and his brothers, Haman and Mordecai, so also the enemies’ plan to dig a pit in David’s way would only end with the pit being the enemies’ ultimate destination.  Satan’s attempts to lure us into death is itself converted into an opportunity for the Lord to save us through death into re-born life.  That is the Selah that David invites us to ponder.  That is the extent of God’s faithful love, that He can transform even the darkest circumstances into the source of our everlasting joy.

As Spurgeon comments on the whole chapter:

Mystically this hymn may be construed of Christ, who was in the days of his flesh assaulted by the tyranny both of spiritual and temporal enemies. His temporal enemies, Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and people of Israel, furiously raged and took counsel together against him. The chief priests and princes were, saith Hierome, like lions, and the people like the whelps of lions, all of them in a readiness to devour his soul. The rulers laid a net for his feetin their captious interrogatories, asking (Mt 22:17), “Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?” and (Joh 8:5) whether the woman taken in the very act of adultery should be stoned to death or no. The people were “set on fire, “when as they raged against him, and their teeth and tongues were spears and swords in crying, “Crucify him, crucify him.” His spiritual enemies also sought to swallow him up; his soul was among lions all the days of his life, at the hour of his death especially. The devil in tempting and troubling him, had laid a snare for his feet;and death, in digging a pit for him, had thought to devour him. As David was in death, so Christ the Son of David was in the grave. John Boys, 1571-1625.

 

The Lord’s faithfulness and love in the first half of the chapter are then the cause of David’s gleeful response in the latter half.  “I will sing“, “I will awake the dawn“, “I will give thanks to you“, “I will sing praise to you” – why?  “For your steadfast love is great to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.

David’s preparation for the throne does not require academic excellence, military might, or political savvy.  His preparation was simple.  He turned to God’s steadfast love.  He knew that such love had the power to transform his circumstances.  It was not a distant, impersonal love which would only lift one’s emotions; it was a real, tangible, force personified and exemplified in the work of Christ on the cross.  It is that grace and mercy which drove David to take the high road, and which grew him into a person that he never imagined he would become.  This was his spiritual marker, his milestone, and arguably one of his most important moments in consolidating his kingship.  Oftentimes we face similar dark circumstances, and write them off in hopes that the Lord would give us favour in better times; yet it is in these dark circumstances that we need to find refuge in Him to consolidate His purpose in our lives.

Book 2: Psalm 57 of 72 – His love and my praise