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  • Writer's picturePastor Mike

June 02 2023

Today, Friday June 02

“Knocked Down but Not Knocked Out”

Psalm 63:1-11

O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water. So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, To see Your power and Your glory.

Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, My lips shall praise You. Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, And my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips.

When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches. Because You have been my help, Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice. My soul follows close behind You; Your right hand upholds me.

But those who seek my life, to destroy it, Shall go into the lower parts of the earth. They shall fall by the sword; They shall be a portion for jackals. But the king shall rejoice in God; Everyone who swears by Him shall glory; But the mouth of those who speak lies shall be stopped.

Over the years Psalm 63 has become one of my most favorite Psalms, among all my other favorite Psalms! I’m sure we could spend several weeks studying and meditating on this great passage of Scripture and never exhaust it. From the superscription given to this Psalm we know that David wrote it when in was in the wilderness of Judah. Someone titled this Psalm, “Knocked Down but Not Knocked Out”.

From verse 11, we also know that it was during the time that David was king of Israel. “But the king shall rejoice in God..”. David was in the wilderness of Judah because he was fleeing from his son Absolom who was leading an insurrection against him, along with others such as Ahithophel, once his counselor and friend, and also Amasa his nephew (2 Samuel 15-17). This had to be one of the darkest times in the life of David. But it was going to take more than Absalom his son, and all the armed might of the rebels to knock him out. His life was hid in God. To get at him they would have to knock out God first. That is the setting of this psalm.

This reminds us of the experiences of the Apostle Paul that he shared in 2 Corinthians 4:8-9, "We are hardpressed on all sides, but we are never frustrated; we are puzzled, but never in despair. We are persecuted, but are never deserted: we may be knocked down, but we are never knocked out!" (Phillips translation). Yes, David is knocked down as he travels on the northern edge of the wilderness of Judah which stretched away to the arid banks of the Dead Sea, and was far from the sanctuary in Jerusalem, the sum and center of his life. Interestingly, this wilderness area is the lowest elevation, the lowest point on the entire planet.

This had to be the lowest time in the life of David. He is in a dry hot dusty desert instead of his comfortable secure palace in Jerusalem. However, he didn't look back in regret at the mistakes he had made as a father, nor did he look around in fear or complain at the discomforts and dangers of the wilderness. Instead, he looked up to the Lord and reaffirmed his faith and love. In an hour when David might have been discouraged, he was excited about God, and in a place where there was no sanctuary or priestly ministry, David reached out by faith and received new strength from the Lord.

Years ago, I heard a dear saint make this statement: “If you take the hand of the Lord in the light, you don’t have to look for it in the dark”. Someone else said: “What the Lord shows you in the light, you don’t have to doubt in the darkness”. David didn’t have the temple and sanctuary of Jerusalem available to worship in, but he was able to turn a painful wilderness time into a worship experience because he put his faith and love in the Lord he had in his heart!

As you know, David had already written numerous Psalms about this experience with Absolom’s rebellion. (Go back to Psalm 3). But now he writes a new “wilderness Psalm”, one to express the worship of his heart! Yes, he was “knocked down, but he was not knocked out”!

I trust that you will read this Psalm several times in your quite time over the next few days and remember to turn to it in those dark days of your life to find encouragement and strength. Sure, we might get knocked down by life’s experiences, but by God’s grace and mercy we can always get back up!

God bless!

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