January 14 2023
Today, Saturday January 14
Knocked Down but Not Knocked Out
“Oh, how great is Your goodness, Which You have laid up for those who fear You, Which You have prepared for those who trust in You In the presence of the sons of men! You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence From the plots of man; You shall keep them secretly in a pavilion From the strife of tongues.
Blessed be the LORD, For He has shown me His marvelous kindness in a strong city! For I said in my haste, "I am cut off from before Your eyes"; Nevertheless You heard the voice of my supplications When I cried out to You.
Oh, love the LORD, all you His saints! For the LORD preserves the faithful, And fully repays the proud person. Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart, All you who hope in the LORD.”
In Psalm 31 David is describing the physical, mental, and emotional roller coaster that he has been on when his son Absalom turned the people against him and tried to take over the kingdom of Israel. But David did what he always did when he was in trouble, he cried out to the Lord and put his trust in Him. This is what we read about in the first 18 verses of this chapter. In these last verses 19 through 24, we watch David’s pain turn into praise as he experiences the goodness of the Lord.
When I was reading these verses in preparation for this chat, I couldn’t help but remember a message I heard as a young pastor 45 years ago from 2 Corinthians 4:7-11 entitled, “Knocked Down but Not Knocked Out”. This happens in every believer’s life who wants to please the Lord and be a witness to His grace and goodness to the world around him. We get “knocked down” by the devil, knocked down by circumstances, we get knocked down by problems and difficulties, and we get knocked down by people through relationships that go sour. There are so many things that seem to knock us down. But my friend, if your faith, your hope, and your love for the Lord Jesus Christ is right, you have not been knocked out and you can get back up!
In this chapter we see how David was knocked down but as we read these last verses he was not knocked out! God had a plan and a purpose for the difficult times in David’s life and He has one for our lives too. The face of the Lord did smile upon David (Num. 6:22-27), and though he was severely chastened by the Lord, he was not abandoned. David knew that the Lord had laid up a supply of goodness and kindness for him (see 21:3), and that His mercies would never fail. Throughout the tragedy of the insurrection, God had protected David from danger, and he was as safe as if he had hidden in the Holy of Holies. As for the plots of the enemy and the lies they spread about the king, the Lord also took care of them and revealed the truth to the people. God's great goodness and marvelous lovingkindness were all that David needed to weather the storm and survive to lead his people.
However, at one point, David may have been ready to give up: "In my alarm I said, 'I am cut off from your sight!'" (v. 22). It wasn't the enemy that frightened him but the thought of being abandoned by the God he trusted and served. He did what all of us must do when we sense that God is no longer near: he cried out to the Lord for His mercy, and the Lord answered.
God wants the world to know who Jesus is, and the way He does it is through the difficult and desperate times in our lives. We see this in 2 Corinthians 4:7-11: “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed-- always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus' sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.”
When the terrible experience of the rebellion was over, David spoke to the people (vv. 23-24) and gave God the glory for delivering him. David had written about his faith in the Lord (vv. 1, 6, 14, 19), but now he encourages his people to love the Lord and put their hope in him. Faith, hope, and love always go together (1 Cor. 13:13). The courage and strength we need in the trials of life are available from the Lord if we will put our faith in Him. Let's be sure that we give Him the glory.
Yes my friend, we might get knocked down, but we are not knocked out! By His grace get back up!