“Say to my soul, ‘I am your salvation.'” (35:3b)
Whenever I read Samuel or Chronicles, I am astounded by David. He is an extreme guy, in my opinion. He takes things very seriously. Often times, he makes a decision to favor the LORD and it is wildly unpopular. This is the major contrast I see between him and Saul. Saul was a real people-pleaser, and David did not care what people thought. Many times Joab, would try to tell David to take it down a notch, or at least pretend to take his men’s feelings into consideration, and David stayed fixed in his ways.
Reading these Psalms reminds me of that part of David, because it sounds like in these moments he’s crying out, “I chose you over ______! Don’t leave me hanging!” All those times he seemed calm, collected, and stubborn, he might have been singing these songs internally.
The awesome thing to note is how often he exults about knowing he’s been heard, and the LORD really is coming through for him.
“Let me shout for joy and rejoice, who favor my vindication; and let them say continually, ‘the LORD be magnified, who delights in the prosperity of His servant.’ And my tongue shall declare Your righteousness and Your praise all day long.” (35:27-28)
We have a lot to learn from David when it comes to a dynamic relationship of dependency on the LORD. Luckily, Psalm 37:1-8 includes a nice list of pointers.
- Do not fret because of evil doers
- Do not be envious toward wrongdoers
- Trust in the LORD and do good
- Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness
- Delight yourself in the LORD
- Commit your way to the LORD
- Trust in Him, and He will do it
- Rest in the LORD
- Wait patiently for Him
- Do not fret (again)
- Cease from anger and forsake wrath
As I continued reading 37, I was reminded of a verse, and low and behold, it appeared:
“The steps of a man are established by the LORD, and He delights in his way. When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong, because the LORD is the One who holds his hand. I have been young and now I am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his descendants begging bread.” (37:23-25)
Sure, life is full of nuances and bad things still happen to good people, but I have to agree. There is something I observe in life, which is the way the LORD provides for those who trust in Him. I’ve never seen someone who seeks the LORD utterly forsaken. Admittedly, I am not old yet.
This is not a prosperity gospel. Life is riddled with brokenness and hardship, but the LORD meets us in our brokenness. He is there, ready to resurrect. The man who, like David, esteems the LORD’s opinion above popular opinion endures many trails and comes out stronger. The woman who listens to the advice of her loving Creator over the advice of others is crowned with wisdom.
“The salvation of the righteous is from the LORD; He is their strength in time of trouble. The LORD delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in Him.” (37:39-40)
David’s life was not without hardship or heartache. Whether it was self inflicted or, or at the hands of others, he was acquainted with grief. Still, he kept his eyes on what mattered most.
Would people observe the same about you? Do you seek to know the LORD’s opinion when you’re inundated with the opinions of others? Do you seek to glorify Him on the regular? Does it annoy people around you, sometimes, like it annoyed Joab? Take heart! Bring all this to the LORD. Review the list from 37:1-8. Which “pointer” can you employ today?