Summary: This is a Psalm for troubled times. Something has gone terribly wrong in David’s life, and he shows us how to make it through troubled times.
Summer Psalms #4 - A Psalm for Troubled Times
Sermon by Rick Crandall
McClendon Baptist Church - June 17, 2009
*This is a Psalm for troubled times. David is a mature man in these verses. And something has gone terribly wrong in his life. Charles Spurgeon and other Bible scholars theorize that it was the great rebellion of David’s son Absalom. And that makes sense.
*In his younger years, Absalom was a great favorite of his father and of the people as well. He was handsome, charming popular and persuasive. Terrible family trouble started when his half-brother, Amnon, raped Absalom’s sister Tamar. King David shut his eyes to this great crime, but two years later Absalom carried out a successful plan to avenge his sister, and Amnon was murdered.
*To avoid punishment Absalom fled into exile for 3 years, before being allowed to come back to Jerusalem. Two more years passed before he was allowed into the royal presence. By that time Absalom had determined to rebel against his father, and he was able to convince so many people to follow him that David had to flee Jerusalem.
*The Lord gave David time to raise an army that fought a great battle in the forests of Ephraim. There the rebel army was utterly defeated. Twenty thousand were killed outright, and even more died in the forest that day. One of the men who died that day was Absalom. He was riding on his mule when his long hair was caught in the branches of a tree. Then, in spite of the fact that his father had ordered Absalom to be taken alive, he was killed with three darts through his heart. David’s heart was broken. (1)
*What a horrible chain of events. Perhaps David was still on the run from Jerusalem when he wrote this Psalm. We see his anguish in vs. 15-19:
15. My eyes are ever toward the Lord, For He shall pluck my feet out of the net.
16. Turn Yourself to me, and have mercy on me, For I am desolate and afflicted.
17. The troubles of my heart have enlarged; Oh, bring me out of my distresses!
18. Look on my affliction and my pain, And forgive all my sins.
19. Consider my enemies, for they are many; And they hate me with cruel hatred.
*Thankfully, most people never have to go through drama like that. But rebellious children can break our hearts, and family trouble always brings heartache. All of us will go through times of trouble. How can we make it through?
1. First: By strong confidence in God.
*One of the great themes of this Psalm is confidence in the Lord, trusting in God. In these verses we see David expressing his confidence in at least 10 ways.
*In vs. 1&2, David had the confidence to go to God. He spoke with the Lord and said, “To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul. O my God, I trust in You; Let me not be ashamed; Let not my enemies triumph over me.” David took his troubles to the Lord, and that’s what we should do.
*Then in vs. 3, David had the confidence to wait on God: “Indeed, let no one who waits on You be ashamed; Let those be ashamed who deal treacherously without cause.” David knew that the answer might not come right away, but he was willing to wait on the Lord.
*Two other times here David talks about waiting on the Lord. In vs. 5 he told God: “Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; On You I wait all the day.” And in vs. 21 David said: “Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, For I wait for You.”
*Scott Harrison is a dog lover who learned a lesson about waiting on the Lord. It came through one of Scott’s favorite dogs. Listen to part of his testimony:
*Sam was my best dog, ever. A field trial dog who found birds and pointed them with contagious enthusiasm, Sam taught me the joy of becoming part of nature. He was so much more than a bird dog, though.
*Late one afternoon, Sam and I became separated (in an unfamiliar area). I called and whistled. -- No sign of Sam. I had to get back to town for an important appointment, but how could I leave Sam? If he finally came back and I wasn’t there, would I lose him for good?
*Then I remembered a trick an old dog trainer had passed on. I unbuttoned my jacket, removed my shirt and laid it on the ground under the branches of a small bush. I worried all night. But when I returned the next morning there was Sam curled up with his nose under the sleeve of my shirt. He looked up and wagged his tail. “Where’ve you been friend?” his eyes seemed to say. “I’ve been waiting for you all night. But I knew you’d come back.”