October 03 2022
Today, Monday October 03
A Prayer of Victory
A PSALM OF DAVID, WHEN HE FLED FROM ABSALOM HIS SON.
“I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the LORD sustained me. I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people Who have set themselves against me all around. Arise, O LORD; Save me, O my God! For You have struck all my enemies on the cheekbone; You have broken the teeth of the ungodly. Salvation belongs to the LORD. Your blessing is upon Your people. Selah”
We believe that this Psalm was written by David as he was fleeing from his son Absalom who was leading an insurrection against him. David had crossed the Jordan River and was camping with his small band of loyal soldiers at Mahanaim. It is amazing that in the midst of the greatest trial in his life David took the time to pray, to reflect and write this Psalm. Can you imagine the rejection he must have felt as the people of Israel turned against him, and he is publicly humiliated. Even as he was leaving Jerusalem some of his enemies came out to mock and jeer at him. This a desperate time for him! Maybe at times you have felt this same way.
In verses 1-2, we see David acknowledge his conflict and admit his troubles in this trial. In verses 3-4, we hear David’s confidence in the Lord as he prays and puts his trust in the Lord his shield. Now in verses 5-8, we watch as David celebrates God’s victory over his enemies as he anticipates victory. Wow! What faith! Everything is falling apart around him and from a human standpoint there is no hope, but David believes and sees God’s victory.
When David awakened the next morning, his first thought was of the Lord and how He had protected him and his attendants during night. This was a sign to him that the Lord was with them and would see them through the crisis. It reminds us of Jesus asleep in the storm (Mark 4:39) and Peter asleep in the prison (Acts 12). If we trust Him and seek to do His will, God works on our behalf even while we're asleep (121:3-4; 127:2). David affirmed that he would not be afraid if tens of thousands of people were set in battle array against him, for God would give him victory (Deut. 32:30).
The morning was the most important time of day for David, as it should be for us today. It was in the morning that he met with the Lord and worshiped Him. It was his time to pray (5:3), to sing (57:7-8; 59:16) and to be satisfied by God's mercy (90:14). "For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning" (30:5). Abraham arose early in the morning (Gen. 19:27; 21:14; 22:3), and so did Moses (Ex. 24:4; 34:4), Joshua (Josh. 3:1; 6:12; 7:16; 8:10), Samuel (1 Sam. 15:12), Job (Job 1:5), and our Lord (Mark 1:35).
God not only rested David but He also rescued him. David's prayer in verse 7—"Arise, O Lord"—takes us back to the years when Israel was in the wilderness, as David was at that time. When the guiding cloud of glory began to move and the camp set out, Moses would say (or sing): "Rise up. O Lord! Let Your enemies be scattered, and let those who hate You flee before You" (Num. 10:35). David had sent the ark back to Jerusalem (2 Sam. 15:24-29), but he knew that the presence of a piece of sacred furniture was no guarantee of the presence of the Lord (see 1 Sam. 4). David had no access to the tabernacle or the ministry of the priests, but he was spiritual enough to know that the love and obedience of His heart was what God wanted. He didn't have the ark of God, but he had the God of the ark! He couldn't offer animal sacrifices or incense, but he could lift his hand to worship God (141:2). The glory of God was with him (v. 3) and so was the blessing of God (v. 8). Let the enemy arise! (v. 1). God will also arise and give victory!
In verse 7 David was looking back at the many past victories God had given him. "You saved my life many times in the past, so why would you abandon me now?" David had the faith to trust God to go before him and defeat the army of Absalom, and God did. David also refused to carry a grudge against his people, but asked the Lord to bless them (v. 8). This reminds us of our Lord's prayer on the cross (Luke 23:34) and Stephen's prayer as he was being stoned to death (Acts 7:60).
May the Lord give us this kind of grace and faith today in the midst of our trials!