Summary: A message on worshipping in the midst of difficulty.
Psalms 63:1-11 KJV O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;  To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary.  Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee.  Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name.  My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips:  When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches.  Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice.  My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me.  But those that seek my soul, to destroy it, shall go into the lower parts of the earth.  They shall fall by the sword: they shall be a portion for foxes.  But the king shall rejoice in God; every one that sweareth by him shall glory: but the mouth of them that speak lies shall be stopped.
l. INTRODUCTION -- BACKGROUND OF THIS PSALM
-The background of this Psalm is almost assuredly one that was hastily written as David began to have to flee from his own son, Absalom. We gather this from v. 11, where he identifies himself as “the king.”
-David is now well into what would be a forty year reign over Israel. He has been busy extending the kingdom and most importantly he has gathered much material to build the Temple of Solomon. But during this time of purpose, some loose ends had started fraying around the edges of his kingdom.
-These frayed ends would send him into the wilderness. There are fifteen stories that are told out of David’s wilderness years. Much encouragement can be gained when we look to his wilderness tales.
A. Absalom At The Gates
-Very needlessly, his son Absalom has began to come into the gates of the city and gain the ears of those who are disgruntled with the king.
-History bears out that the public hearings were always held in the morning in a court that was held just outside the city gates. Absalom begin to position himself in such a matter that he would get the ear of the people. The Bible states that Absalom “stole their hearts” (2 Sam. 15:6).
• If I were the king then your situation would not be this bad.
• If I were able to make a decision in this matter it would have turned out differently.
• If I were representing the real needs of the people we would not be in this predicament as we are now.
-As Absalom continued to make these sorts of remarks, he found a market for a greater audience who in turn would begin to speak for him. It was not long until he had marshaled his own group of men.
-It was no mistake that Absalom went after this key group of men. He knew that if he could form a conspiracy out of some of David’s most trusted leaders, he would apparently have some credibility to his cause. In the early stages it all looked very good to him. But as we shall see, time is always the great revealer of secrets.
-2 Samuel 15 (v. 12) indicates to us he worked tirelessly trying to pull off this revolt. Interestingly enough, Absalom was basing his revolt out of Hebron. Hebron should have been a place of worship and sacrifice. Hebron was a religious place and David granted permission to Absalom to go. David knew that there was trouble brewing under the surface and he thought that by sending Absalom to Hebron would have been good enough to correct the problems within.
-There is a real principle laid out before us: Worship and sacrifice can never make up for a lack of character. Going through the motions of worship will not sustain you. For real worship to occur we have to put our hands on the head of the sacrifice (Lev. 1) and tie it down to an altar.
-So it was that Absalom managed to pull off the greatest coup when he lured Ahithophel into his camp. Ahithophel was one of David’s closest and most trusted political advisors. For years, he had demonstrated great faithfulness in serving David.
-But Ahithophel had an old wound that periodically flared up and served up much pain in his life. This pain came from the old sin in David’s life for Ahithophel was Bathsheba’s grandfather. Over and over, as the years rapidly passed, he would feel her pain as David added another wife here and another concubine there. But he suffered in seeming silence until there came a time for him to take advantage of his bitterness.