BY MARIEKE ROUX
Psalm 56 is written by David in the middle of a very difficult and frightening, life-threatening position.
Not too long before this Psalm is written, he killed Goliath in an incredible act of faith. He was then advanced to Saul’s household and then to his army. The whole nation of Israel started to celebrate his faith and God’s incredible hand of favor over his life. He is praised above King Saul: “Saul killed his thousands, but David killed his ten thousands.” (1 Sam 18v7) David could clearly sense God’s hand of blessing and protection over his life.
But suddenly everything changes when Saul, motivated by jealousy, seeks to kill him. He hunts him down, despite not long before, welcoming him into his palace as a son of his own. Everything David knew as home and his security is stripped from him. His very place of safety becomes the biggest threat to his future; his life. In desperation he flees into the very hands of his enemies in Gad, the Philistines. They have not forgotten what he has done to their war hero, Goliath. Again his life faces another threat.
David is quite disillusioned at this point. He acted in incredible faith up to this point and only did what he felt God had led him to do. He has been used as an instrument in God’s hand for the whole nation to see. He has been loyal to Saul, the king of Israel. He has done everything right. How is it possible that life could throw him a curve ball like this? How could God allow it? And where is God now? His enemies are many! He has nowhere to run.
Maybe you feel the same today. God has let you down. You have been nothing but faithful towards Him, but He seems to have forgotten your years of loyal service.
David is very vulnerable towards God. He reminds God again of the many enemies that want to take his life. He honestly reflects on his situation, but does not allow himself to stay in a place of hopelessness. He decides to take control of the situation by fleeing towards God, rather than turning away from Him in the place of his deep disappointment.
Then he reflects on the character of God. He reminds himself of God’s faithfulness towards him in the past. “For you have delivered my soul from death. Have you not kept my feet from falling,…”(v13). He reminds himself of God’s intimate involvement in his life. He reminds himself of how deeply his heartache affects the heart of God. “You number my wanderings; put my tears into Your bottle; are they not in Your book.”
If he is so valuable to God, then surely God will come through for him. Then surely God is on his side. “When I cry out to You, then my enemies will turn back; this I know, because God is for me.”(v 9)
This goes so much deeper than the mere ‘power of positive thinking’, which is built on sand when the threats to my life are overwhelming. The only thing to truly encourage your soul is the truth. Truth brings perspective into our situation. It comes to bring hope.
So in the middle of your deepest anxiety, be honest about it. Assess it truthfully. But then make God your refuge. Flee towards Him, rather than running from Him in your disappointment. Know that He does not just see your tears, He keeps it in a bottle, He writes it up and He will not allow it to go to waste, should you put your trust in Him. His heart is for you. Taking control of your situation, is surrendering it to the the truth of His very nature, His purpose.
Vulnerability and surrender will bring you to victory.
- MARIEKE ROUX