March 18, 2012
“Lord, how they have increased who trouble me! Many are they who rise up against me. Many are they who say of me, ‘There is no help for him in God.’” (Psalm 3: 1, 2)
As David writes the Third Psalm he is facing the greatest crisis of his life. His son has turned the entire nation against him and has driven him out of Jerusalem into the wilderness where he hid from King Saul when he was a young fugitive. His situation is so desperate that many people said that even God could not help him. But in this psalm David explains how he knows God will be there for him; he is not having a panic attack so he gives us a prescription for one.
Observe the way David uses three tenses as he lays out his prescription that kept him from panicking. He recalls that in the past there were many times when he cried out to God and the Lord heard him. When he lay down to sleep not knowing if the enemy would slit his throat while he was sleeping, he awoke alive because the Lord sustained him. He then declared that he will not be afraid of the thousands of people who wanted to see him dead. He then declares in the present tense that God is with him and His present blessing is upon him.
When you are in crisis think back to times in the past when God met you and brought you through a crisis. Then let those past answered prayers inspire you to trust God for the present and the future crises in your life.
Look back. With faith, look forward. Then look around at your present circumstances, not with panic but with faith and peace.
March 2, 2012
“Offer the sacrifices of righteousness and put your trust in the Lord. There are many who say, ‘Who will show us any good?’” (Psalm 4:5)
David cannot sleep. He is uptight and anxious. From the context of the psalm we know he cannot sleep because he is under great stress. He decides to meditate within his own heart and be still. (He has a little “board meeting” with himself in the middle of the night). If he does the right thing, he believes he cannot survive. He is therefore thinking about doing the expedient thing. But since he is a man of great spiritual integrity he finds himself awake and uptight.
As a result of his meditation he resolves his dilemma. He makes the decision that he is going to make whatever sacrifices he has to make to do what is right and then trust the Lord for his survival. He knows there are many people who are looking for someone who will do what is right even though it costs them everything to do right.
Have you ever found yourself awake, uptight and stressed out in the middle of the night because you are in a crisis? If you do what you believe God wants you to do you don’t see how you can survive. But your spiritual integrity won’t let you sleep if you don’t do what you believe God wants you to do. David models here a prescription for resolving that kind of dilemma.
His prescription is simply to do right. Whatever it costs you, do right and trust God for the consequences. Many people will be blessed, God will be glorified, you will have great peace, and get some sleep.