Reading Through The Bible in 2011, Part 40
What I Read Today: Psalms 57-63.
What Stood Out About What I Read Today: Psalm 62: 3-8, “How long will you threaten a man? All of you are murderers, as dangerous as a leaning wall or an unstable fence. They spend all their time planning how to bring him down. They love to use deceit; they pronounce blessings with their mouths, but inwardly they utter curses. (Selah) Patiently wait for God alone, my soul! For he is the one who gives me confidence. He alone is my protector and deliverer. He is my refuge; I will not be upended. God delivers me and exalts me; God is my strong protector and my shelter. Trust in him at all times, you people! Pour out your hearts before him! God is our shelter! (Selah)“
Random Thoughts About What I Read:
We all have those moments where we demean someone else’s stress level based on our own experiences. You know that moment where a teenager says that they’re stressed because they have two tests and a paper due on Friday, and the parent responds with, “You don’t know what stress is, young lady! Wait until you’ve got a sick baby and bills to pay and a husband who might lose his job.” The cycle is really endless, because there’s somebody out there that says, “Well, I’ve lost a child and can’t buy a house because we lost the last one due to bankruptcy and my wife left me.”
All in all, I’ve got it pretty good compared to David in Psalm 62.
See, David had this ability to accumulate enemies of all shapes and sizes. Maybe it was the jealousy of his brothers when Samuel anointed him king instead of them. It was certainly seen at the parade route after David killed Goliath and King Saul didn’t get the good PR. Saul then noted David’s rise in the palace and tried to pin him to the wall with a spear. That started a chain reaction.
David is a fugitive.
And the King of the nation is personally trying to track him and kill him. My guess is that Saul had gotten word of David’s anointed by Samuel and knew that in order to keep his position of power, best eliminate the threat.
For 14 or so years David was on the run. Hiding in caves. Living in deserts. Taking odd jobs here and there protecting livestock and pastureland and homes for whoever would hire him. Sometimes the heat was really on, too. The king even strolled into a cave David and his men were hiding in to *ahem* relieve himself. David was even pressured by his own men who had deduced that this was the time to kill the king because it was obvious that God brought him there for David to slay.
David had to stand firm against the only people he trusted. He chose to wait on the Lord in that moment of decision.
And we see David in stress in Psalm 62. He’s under attack. People want to murder him. Think about that for a second. How many of us have been under that level of stress where you had to hide from people wanting to KILL you? It made him feel like a rickety fence trying withstand gusts of wind. That’s a great description of feeling like falling could happen at any time.
Notice that twice he mentions that his soul will wait in silence for the Lord: Verses 1 & 5. David knows salvation is from God. He knows that God is his salvation. A subtle difference but an important one. God is His rock. His fortress.
David sandwiches these beliefs around the reality that people want to kill him. That repetition reminds us that David is nothing and has nothing without God. Same goes for us.
And that idea of waiting in silence is difficult, too.
First, we, like David, see the world going on around us and the wicked doing just fine. It tests our patience. It rocks our beliefs. It goes against everything we feel SHOULD be.
Second, in our world, we rarely have time to sit and think. David had that in spades. He had time to wait…in caves in the middle east with no television, no iPhone, no computer, internet or car. He had time to wait. He had time to focus and be still.
Finally, in verses 11 & 12, we hear reference to the reality that God will speak. At some point, our patience will be rewarded. Our beliefs will be justified. Justice will be served.
He’d heard it from God once.
…twice. This device is used to highlight David’s belief that this would indeed happen.
And the theme of Psalm 61-63 all say similar things:
That when you feel far from God, you can and should still worship Him. All our days are numbered and we could be under all sorts of stress at any given time. We could even die at any second. It’s possible to trust in what you can’t see clearly.
Which, when you think about it, is the key to being at peace…
…no matter the stress level you’re currently under…
…and how real that is to you.
(Tomorrow’s Reading: Psalms 64-72)