May 19 2023
Today, Friday May 19
“And the LORD Shall Save Me”
“As for me, I will call upon God, And the LORD shall save me. Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, And He shall hear my voice. He has redeemed my soul in peace from the battle that was against me, For there were many against me. God will hear, and afflict them, Even He who abides from of old. Selah Because they do not change, Therefore they do not fear God.
He has put forth his hands against those who were at peace with him; He has broken his covenant. The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, But war was in his heart; His words were softer than oil, Yet they were drawn swords.
Cast your burden on the LORD, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved. But You, O God, shall bring them down to the pit of destruction; Bloodthirsty and deceitful men shall not live out half their days; But I will trust in You.
David wrote Psalm 55 when he was fleeing for his life because his son Absalom had stolen the hearts of the people and turned them against his father. You can read the history and circumstances of this Psalm in 2 Samuel 15-16. The "friend" of verses 12-14 and 20-21 had to be David's counselor Ahithophel who had sided with Absalom. Psalm 55 reveals four possible approaches to handling the painful problems and battles of life.
In verses 1-5, David’s first focus was to look within at his own feelings. But before he did that, he cried out to God in prayer (vv. 1-2). In verses 6-8, David expressed what most of us want to do when we feel like we have been hurt by our friends and family. He wanted to “fly away like a dove to the wilderness and never come back”. In verses 9-15, David focused on the reality of the circumstances around him. David wasn't living in denial; he knew what was going on around him.
Finally in verses 16-23, David looked up to God and put his trust in Him. While it's normal for us to hope for a quick way of escape, and important for us to understand our feelings and circumstances, it's far more important to look up to God and ask for His help. David could no longer lead an army into battle, but he was able to pray that God would defeat the rebel forces, and God answered his prayers. David used Jehovah, the covenant name of God, when he said, "The LORD will save me" (v. 16).
The Jews did have stated hours of prayer (Daniel 6:10; Acts 3:1), but "evening, morning, and at noon" (v. 17) means that David was praying all day long! He no doubt also prayed at night (v. 10). David was certain that the Lord would hear him and rescue him because He was enthroned in heaven and in complete control. David's throne was in danger, but God's throne was secure (9:7-8; 29:10; 74:12).
During his difficult years of preparation, David had experienced many changes, and this taught him to trust the God who never changes (Malachi 3:6; James 1:17). Absalom and his friends had lived in luxury and ease and knew very little about the challenge of changing circumstances, so they had no faith in God or fear of God. A prosperous life is an easy life until you find yourself in the midst of the storm, and then you discover how ill-prepared you are; for what life does to us depends on what life finds in us.
As David is fleeing, he must have been told by a prophet, “Cast your burden on the LORD, and He shall sustain you….” He then writes it down for everyone to read in the time of their trouble! This promise is repeated in 1 Peter 5:7: “Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you”. The word translated "burden" or "cares," means, "that which he has given you," reminding us that even the burdens of life come from the loving heart and hand of God (Psalm 33:11; Romans 8:28). When David's lot was a happy one, it came from the Lord (Psalm 16:5-6), and when he experienced times of pain and sorrow, the Lord was still in control.
David closed the Psalm by speaking to the Lord and affirming his faith (v. 23). He was confident that God would judge his enemies. Absalom and Ahithophel “would not live out half their days”. Ahithophel went out and hanged himself and Absalom was killed in the battle.
We should remember, our Lord Jesus Christ, like David, also had a traitor who hanged himself (Matthew 27:1-10). Like David, Jesus also crossed the Kidron Valley (2 Samuel 15:23; John 18:1), that Jesus also wept on the Mount of Olives (2 Samuel 15:30; Luke 22:39-44; Hebrews 5:7), and that Jesus was also rejected by His own people (John 1:11). And that today Jesus is enthroned in heaven and will one day return to Jerusalem to establish His kingdom (Zech. 14:4-21).
My friend, today you can safely put your trust in Him!