May 21 2023
Today, Sunday May 21
“I Will Praise His Word”
To the Chief Musician. Set to ‘The Silent Dove in Distant Lands.’ A Michtam of David when the Philistines captured him in Gath.
“All day they twist my words; All their thoughts are against me for evil. They gather together, They hide, they mark my steps, When they lie in wait for my life. Shall they escape by iniquity? In anger cast down the peoples, O God! You number my wanderings; Put my tears into Your bottle; Are they not in Your book? When I cry out to You, Then my enemies will turn back; This I know, because God is for me. In God (I will praise His word), In the LORD (I will praise His word), In God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?
Vows made to You are binding upon me, O God; I will render praises to You, For You have delivered my soul from death. Have You not kept my feet from falling, That I may walk before God In the light of the living?”
When we start walking by sight rather than faith, we are always going to make the wrong choices. Remember and how they looked on the outside, that each one of them must be the one he was to anoint as the next king of Israel. He would have made a wrong choice if God hadn’t told him that “God does not look on outward appearances but that He looks on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).
After King Saul has attempted to kill David on several occasions, David must have “wandered” away from his faith and began to walk by sight. He asked Ahimelech the priest for the huge sword of the giant Goliath to better defend himself. He thought going to the Gath and living among the Philistines would be the safest place for him. Maybe he even believes the sword would scare the Philistines. Whatever he is thinking, it apparently was motivated by the outward circumstances rather than faith and trust in the LORD. Now he is in a mess and Psalms 34 and 56 are born out of this dilemma he has got himself in.
Paul reminds us in 2 Corinthians 5:6-8, that we can take courage when we face death because “we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.” And in 2 Corinthians 10:3-4, Paul goes on to tell us: “For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.”
The turning point for David is in Psalm 56:8 when he confesses his “wandering” away from the Lord: “You number my wanderings”; He repents with tears: “Put my tears into Your bottle; Are they not in Your book?” And he acknowledges that God has a record of all of these things in his life!
The turning point for David’s deliverance from this terrible situation is found in the renewal of his faith in God’s Word. “When I cry out to You, Then my enemies will turn back; This I know, because God is for me.” (v. 9). This should encourage us because we now have the double promise of this truth, not only here, but in Romans 8:31-32: “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?”
David then repeats verse 4 in a similar way in verses 10-11, but he used the covenant name "Jehovah" this time. “In God (I will praise His word), In the LORD (I will praise His word), In God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” He affirms his trust in Jehovah and almighty God with praise for the promises in His word!
My friend, we should be greatly comforted and encouraged today by this great lesson from the life of David and this Psalm he wrote to put it in “stone”. And today we have the added promise in Romans 8:35-38: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: "For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter." Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Now, like David we can keep our “vows” we have made to the Lord, we can praise Him, and we can “walk before God In the light of the living” (v. 13).