Jump Start # 3137
Psalms 57:3 “He will send from Heaven and save me; He reproaches him who tramples upon me. God will send forth His lovingkindness and His truth.”
Our verse today comes from the troublesome days of David. He sure seemed to be plagued with many troubles in his life. As a youth, there was a bear and a lion that he fought. Then there was a giant. Then he had the king and his army after him. Later, it was battles with the Philistines. Then, there were battles within his own family. On the run, often hiding out, likely scared and unsure, David appeals to God.
The setting behind this verse is the troubles he had with King Saul. Jealous, a bit crazy, loss of leadership and focus, Saul spends a long time chasing David throughout the countryside with the intent of killing him. This is the stuff for movies. A lone wolf is chased by government officials and he must figure out how to survive. Typically in the movies, there are several car crashes, bullets flying through the air, and a few getting killed.
Here, the story is different. David could kill Saul but he won’t. He respects the position. Instead he appeals to God. That is where our verse is found. The verse before David says, “I will cry to God Most High.” The verse that follows ours says, “My soul is among lions; I must lie among those who breath forth fire.” This was a very serious and dangerous situation. David realized that Saul could kill him.
David has something that Saul doesn’t, and that is God. David has a strong trust and faith in the Lord. He is sure that God will “send from Heaven and save me.” God will get him through this.
This is a great passage for us.
First, David didn’t know two things about God. He didn’t know how God would rescue him and he didn’t know when God would do it. In the Daniel record, the Jewish trio were in the fire before help came. For Daniel, he was in the pit with lions. So often, we want God to turn things before that moment. Keep us out of the fire and out of the lion’s den, is what we pray. The disciples traveled through dangerous storms. Peter and Paul saw prison doors shut on them. David was sure that God would send help, he just didn’t know how or when.
I wonder if that causes some of us to become worried, impatient and even doubting? Maybe God is seeing just how true we are. Maybe He wants to see if we trust him indeed. A simple prayer and everything turns in our favor, may not be the best for our faith. It might be that we must learn some things by being in fire or the den of lions.
Second, David knew that his help was coming from Heaven. It wasn’t something that his friends were doing. It wasn’t something that was within him that he had to pull out. His help was from God. And, because of that, he prayed. He “cried to God Most High.” As the chapter ends, David sings praises to God and is thankful. As dark as the days were around him, he saw glory, peace and love with God. He wasn’t singing a pity party. He wasn’t saying, “Why me?” He wasn’t angry with God for allowing these things to happen. This wasn’t God’s fault. It was wicked hearts that were bent on doing wrong.
Third, there is a shift in mood and spirit in this chapter. It begins dark and troublesome. It ends with hope, joy and thankfulness. And, that’s so true to our lives. If we focus upon the problems, darkness surrounds us. If we look to God, we see hope and joy. God is greater than our problems. God will get us through. And, I wonder, if this is a serious lesson that many ought to take to heart. Yes, Covid is still around. It likely will always be around, just like the flu is. We can be in deep despair because of this, or realize that God will get us through. When we focus upon our problems, we tend to become negative and complaining. Our moods are dark. Discouragement and depression are soon to follow. My, oh, my, things are bad. Gas prices. Empty shelves. Can’t get things. Sinking stock market. Mortgage rates climbing. Crime is everywhere. Hatred is swelling in the country. My, oh, my things are bad.
Now that’s how Psalms 57 begins. Lions. Teeth that are spears and arrows. Tongue that is a sharp sword. Soul bowed down. A pit dug for him. Gloom and despair. But David takes his eyes off of the problems and looks to the Lord. Singing praises. Thankful. Joyful. David’s outlook changes. Are the lions still there? Yes. Are the sharp tongues still wagging? Yes. But David looks to the Lord. The Lord is greater than those things. The Lord has all of Heaven to help him.
And, could it be that we need that same dose of medicine in our hearts? Looking at problems or looking to the Lord? Are we eager to sing praises? Are we excited to give thanks to the Lord?
Heaven is our Help. Our soul may be among lions, but we won’t fear. Maybe less nightly news and more verses in our Bibles, would help us each day. The chapter ends with, “Let Thy glory be above all the earth.”