Summary: Where do you turn too at times of depression? There is only one place to go - to the Lord
The Valley of Depression – 22nd March 2009 am
David has spent his fair share of time in Valleys – Valley of Elah (Oak) fought Goliath (1 Sam 17). Valley of Rephaim (Giants) fought Philistines (2 Samuel 5:18). Valley of Salt fought the Syrians (2 Samuel 8:13) He walked through the Valley of Shadows (Psalm 23) and now we see him in a Valley of Darkness, a Valley of Depression.
This Psalm was written during the time of Absalom’s rebellion. This was harder on David than the years he spent running from Saul – the victory over Goliath was still fresh in people’s minds and David was a hero. Here however, Absalom had stolen the hearts of the men of Israel.
David conscience plagued him because of his sin with Bathsheba, he’d lost the sympathy of many in his kingdom and the youth had turned against him. Where could he go but to the Lord.
One day a preacher who had just lost his family to a tragic fire, and had fallen into the depths of a deep and dark depression was walking down a city street. There, he came upon a construction crew that was erecting a new church. He stopped to watch them as they worked, as he watched, he observed a worker who was busy carving a triangle out of stone with a chisel and hammer. Stepping closer, he asked the stonecutter what he was carving.
The worker pointed to the steeple of the church and said, "Do you see that small opening up there near the steeple? Well, I am carving this stone down here so that it will fit in up there."
The preacher was immediately stirred in his heart. He realized anew the faithfulness of God and came to understand that the valley he was in at the moment was God’s way of carving him down here so that he would fit in up there. We live in a world that is filled with people like this man, people who live their lives in depression, despair, despondency and defeat.
Through the ages, many famous people have been plagued with these types of trials. People like Charles Spurgeon and many of the hymn writers. Even a man who is known as "A man after God’s own heart." (Acts 13:22), David, suffered from depression and defeat. This Psalm came from a time of depression.
I. The Pain of this Valley
A. The Pain of No Help – Verse 3
The enemy was his own favourite son. So sure were the supporters of Absalom that David would be caught, it was if he was already dead, long dead, like he’d never been born. Israel had forgotten David, all his achievements, his good, kindly, kingly deeds, his generosity – all forgotten. There seems to be no end to the pain, and no light at the end of the tunnel.
Many people are in this dark valley of depression and there seems to be no way out.!
B. The Pain of No Heart – Verse 4
What an awful experience, to have a loved son turn against you. How terrible for a best friend like Ahithophel, to betray David Psalm 41:9 Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me. Those who had served David so faithfully now treat him with indifference. All this rejection overwhelmed David’s soul.
Overwhelmed = shrouded, carries the idea of being encased in darkness; Desolate = Stunned, stupefied carries the idea of total astonishment. It’s as if David cannot believe what has happened to him. It’s as if he has no heart to go on.
Many walk in this dark valley today! Where family have turned against them, friends have let them down, those who said they would stand by them in through thick and thin, are now nowhere to be seen.
C. The Pain of No Hope – Verse 7
David tells the Lord how depressed he was, how fearful he was in this latest trouble to enter his life. He asks God not to hide His face from him. Faileth = To be at the end! David feels that he has reached the end of his rope and that if God doesn’t lift the veil of his darkness, then he is no better off than those who perish in hell!
What worse a fate can there be than someone dying in their sins with God’s face turned away? David asks God to keep His eye on him, to keep His face turned toward him.
If you are one of the many in this valley, let me tell you, there is hope for you today. You may feel that life has become unbearable. However, I want to encourage you this morning. With all the despair, there is also reason to rejoice in this Psalm. Notice: