Finding Hope – Looking at the Life of David (Part 2 of 2)

Finding Hopefromthe Lifeof David

I continue to ponder this idea of God’s promises, and how I respond to those moments when it seems God hasn’t kept His word. And while pondering, I came across a passage in Psalm 34. But before I launch into that passage, I want to give some background for any unfamiliar to the story related to the passage.

Lessons from the life of David, King of Israel

David was spoken of by God as “a man after God’s own heart” and yet his life was anything but easy. In Psalm 34 David referred to an incident in his life that took place not long after God promised he’d be Israel’s next king. Below you’ll find some basic background as well as the story David spoke of in Psalm 34:

The shepherd David killed the giant Goliath in spite of the fact King Saul’s greatest warriors refused to face him, trembling in their sandals. Greatly impressed by this inexperienced young man’s bravery and skill, King Saul made David one of his warriors. And because God was with David he proved such a mighty warrior the citizenry began to attribute to him greater accolades than the king himself…

King Saul grew so jealous over David’s growing popularity he plotted David’s demise…

David having been made aware of the scheme by his best friend, Jonathan, King Saul’s son, he fled to a neighboring kingdom, Gath…

When David approached King Abimelech of Gath, begging for asylum, men of Gath recounted to the king the things they’d heard about David. “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands…”

Understandably, such sayings lauding a potential enemy made the king extremely nervous and so David suddenly found himself in a very dangerous predicament…

In an attempt to convince the king these sayings were mere wive’s tales, David suddenly began to drool and feign madness. The king summarily dismissed him as a fool and made him leave the palace…

The gripping account in 1 Samuel 21 reads almost like a Tom Clancy novel!

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Psalm 34 was written as a psalm of praise to God for his miraculous rescue. Following the full version of Psalm 34 below you will find the lessons I learned. I hope they bring you hope in your current battles.

Psalm 34

A psalm of David, regarding the time he pretended to be insane in front of Abimelech, who sent him away.

1 I will praise the Lord at all times.
I will constantly speak his praises.
2 I will boast only in the Lord;
let all who are helpless take heart.
3 Come, let us tell of the Lord’s greatness;
let us exalt his name together.

4 I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me.

He freed me from all my fears.
5 Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy;
no shadow of shame will darken their faces.
6 In my desperation I prayed, and the Lord listened;
he saved me from all my troubles.
7 For the angel of the Lord is a guard;
he surrounds and defends all who fear him.

8 Taste and see that the Lord is good.
Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!
9 Fear the Lord, you his godly people,
for those who fear him will have all they need.
10 Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry,
but those who trust in the Lord will lack no good thing.

11 Come, my children, and listen to me,
and I will teach you to fear the Lord.
12 Does anyone want to live a life
that is long and prosperous?
13 Then keep your tongue from speaking evil
and your lips from telling lies!
14 Turn away from evil and do good.
Search for peace, and work to maintain it.

15 The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right;
his ears are open to their cries for help.
16 But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil;
he will erase their memory from the earth.
17 The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help.
He rescues them from all their troubles.
18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted;
he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.

19 The righteous person faces many troubles,
but the Lord comes to the rescue each time.

20 For the Lord protects the bones of the righteous;
not one of them is broken! [a prophesy of Jesus – why I didn’t underline it]

21 Calamity will surely destroy the wicked,
and those who hate the righteous will be punished.
22 But the Lord will redeem those who serve him.
No one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.

  • Note David’s emotions during this time (bold and italics mine). Can you relate?
  • Also note the promises David clung to (underlined portions) – the same promises we can also cling to.

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What can we learn from David?

  • vs 1-3 In spite of his horrific circumstances David began this psalm with gratitude for God’s faithfulness in keeping his promises. When we choose to trust God through the battle, we too will one day be able to look back and see God’s faithfulness!
  • vs 4-6 David found his victory by looking to God for help rather than by battling in his own strength and wit.
  • vs 7-11 David chose to fear God above all else. To fear God is a conscious choice to acknowledge and respond appropriately to God’s power, position, and right of rule. David’s trial afforded him the ability to better see God for who He is, and chose to give God His rightful position in his own heart. Even as David submitted all to God, God lovingly referred to David as “a man after His own heart.”
  • vs 13-14 David, in response to God’s power, position, and right chose to guard his mouth, actions, and heart in allegiance to God alone.
  • vs 15-22 Those who take this position of allegiance are described as right, righteous, God’s people, and those who serve God.
  • vs 8,22 David made God his refuge. This meant David chose to trust God as his place of residence and sole protection. When we choose God’s protection over our own, God promises that our enemy, Satan, will never have carte blanche with us. God will allow nothing that is not for our eternal good – (Romans 8 – The entirety of this passage beautifully portaits how intimacy with Christ plays into the promise in verse 28 “All things work together for the good…”)
I'm struck with the fact that a powerful, majestic, holy God would choose, out of great love, to stoop low and gather us into His protecting embrace. Click To Tweet

Times of battle are draining. Let me know how I can support you while you’re in the thick of it. If you haven’t already, you may wish to read part 1, and the post that introduced this topic.

Cheering you on in the middle of the battle,

Robin <3

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