For the rest of May, I want to focus on meditating on the psalms. I have kept coming back to the book of Psalms over the past few months. Finding psalms that help to bring peace and comfort to my soul. Also, those that help me to rejoice and praise the Lord. I will not do the psalms in any sort of order, but I will highlight those which have spoke to my heart. Whether it be for myself or for the people around me. I hope it will be an encouragement for us all, to lean in closer to the Lord through this season of life and the many others to follow. The Lord will meet us in every trial and triumph, may we not be disheartened. May our faith triumph over our fear.
The context behind Psalm 57 is David had fled from Saul and is now hiding in a cave. Which can found in (1 Samuel chapter 24). This is a terrible situation as David is fleeing for his life, with Saul in hot pursuit. Through this tough situation, David continues to keep his faith in the Lord. He is not ignorant of the situation but instead of being blinded by fear, he keeps his faith firmly planted in the Lord. Through it all, the highs and the lows, he keeps praising God.
Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me, for in you I take refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed. (57v1).
David knows where to place his trust. There is no doubt about where God is within this situation as David chooses to find his refuge in him. There is no questioning of a distance being between David and the Lord because David knows the Lord. He asks for the Lord to have mercy on him, to meet him in this dire situation. David leans into the Lord, taking refuge in him while this situation unfolds. It shows that God is enough for David, that David does not need to have the whole situation figured out because he knows that he can put his hope in the Lord.
I cry out to God Most High, to God who vindicates me. He sends from heaven and he saves me, rebuking those who hotly pursue me- God sends forth his love and faithfulness. (57v2-3)
In David putting his trust in the Lord, David knew the character of God could and would not be shaken. David knew the Lord, even in this tough situation, he would not deny the faithfulness of the Lord. The Lord knew David’s life and knew how those who were in pursuit only wanted to harm him. However, even in the brokenness of the situation David trusts in the love and faithfulness that only the Lord can bring. The Lord does not shy away from the brokenness of the situation but allows his saving grace to meet David there. One important point to be highlighted through the life of David, that through all his highs and lows, he never challenged the character of God. He knew God intimately and trusted him, God was enough for David through every season of his life. Even in his greatest mistakes, he always came straight back to the Lord.
I am in the midst of lions; I am forced to dwell among ravenous beasts- men who teeth are spears and arrows, whose tongues are sharp swords. (57v4)
David highlights the dangers that are surrounding him, these dangers that are a result of the brokenness of humanity. David is surrounded by death, destruction, and evil. David is not blind to the situation he is in. He does not allow fear to distract him from the Lord. With his perspective on the Lord, David is able to praise through all circumstances.
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth. (57v5)
David could have easily made the situation about himself and in his grief and not have praised the Lord. If we think about our own lives, many of us struggle to praise God through our hardship. However, David lifts the name of God over his situation and beyond. He calls for the Lord to be exalted above the heavens and for his glory to fill the earth. For he knows how broken the earth is and that true healing comes from the Lord.
They spread a net for my feet- I was bowed down in distress. They dug a pit in my path- but they have fallen into it themselves. (57v6)
David highlights the misfortune that has befallen his enemies. That in their plot to destroy David, they have ultimately harmed themselves. What brought David down to his knees in distress, became his enemies downfall. It shows a David who was overwhelmed but who was not overcome. Who was able to endure the hardships that came his way!
My heart, O God, is steadfast, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and make music. Awake, my soul! Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn. (57v7-8)
There is such encouragement found in this verse. David is able to proclaim his heart is steadfast even with the uncertainty of the situation. Throughout David’s life, we see a man who fully trusted in the Lord. Through all his greatest battles he allowed the Lord to guide him. He allowed the victory to be in the Lord’s hand and firmly walked in faithfulness to what the Lord had called him to do. David praised the Lord through it all and he was not ashamed about who knew it or who saw it. (As Rend Collective put it, ‘I am dancing like David danced, in the thrill of a wild romance.’, ( I will be undignified, [ A further side note, if you have never watched this performance live at Belfast then I would highly recommend it]). This was in reference to David dancing before the Lord when the ark was brought back to Jerusalem, 2 Samuel 6v14-15). David declares for his soul to awake, for his perspective to be lifted above all that he is enduring and to lift the praises of the Lord. David was a man who truly sought the Lord and his faith was not easily shaken. For David trusted in the nature of the Lord.
I will praise you, Lord, among the nations; I will sing of you among the peoples. For great is your love, reaching to the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies. (57v9-10)
David knew who his heart belonged to and his life reflected that. He was not easily deterred and would not allow his fear to silence his praise. David was never ignorant of the danger around him. However, he trusted in the faithfulness and might of the Lord. The Lord never left him through all his trials and triumphs. David’s joy was found in the Lord and that joy was steadfast and true. May we like David, learn to praise God over all situations in our life. We may feel overwhelmed, but we are not overcome. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth. (57v11)
’When the enemy says I am done, I lift my praises. When my world comes crashing down, I lift my praises high. Till the darkness turns to dawn, I lift my praises. I choose to worship. I choose you now.’ (Rend Collective, I choose to worship)
Key points from the psalm:
- David knows that refuge can be found in God, through all situations in life.
- God is enough, through every trial and triumph.
- David knew the character of God and David’s faith would not be shaken.
- David never challenged the character of God.
- David was not blind to the situation he was in, but he did not allow his fear to overcome his faith.
- David was overwhelmed but not overcome.
- David knew who his heart belonged to and his life reflected his love for the Lord.
- David knew where to focus his perspective.
- Faith over fear
Prayer: Father, thank you for all that we learn from the life of David. He was a faithful servant to you through all his trials. David was a man who allowed you to be Lord of his life and loved you with all his heart. His life reflected his hope and trust in you and he was able to praise you through all the situations that he faced. Lord, may we learn from David to fully trust you. May we endeavor to know your character. To know your love and faithfulness, that is beyond all measure, in every area of our life. When we find ourselves in tough situations and we struggle to know how to move forward. May we first come to you for refuge. May we not be ashamed by may we be strengthened in your presence. May all our trials and triumphs be met with the praise that flows from our lips. You are worthy of all our praise. How mighty and triumphant you are. You are always so near. May we call to you and always let the victory be in your hands. For we may feel overwhelmed, but we are not overcome. May God be enough in every season of our life. In the mighty name of Jesus, amen.