Summary: Before David was forced into the wilderness he was obsessed with his own comfort and the satisfaction of his own needs. It’s only when everything is taken from him that he becomes obsessed with God Himself, finding full satisfaction in his praise of Him.
Love That is Better Than Life
I came across some actual signs this week.
On a plumbing company’s van: “A flush beats a full house!”
At a tire shop in Milwaukee: “Invite us to your next blowout!”
At a towing company: “We don’t charge an arm and a leg. We want tows.”
On a maternity room door: “Push. Push. Push.”
At an optometrist’s office: “If you don’t see what you’re looking for, you’ve come to the right place.”
In a podiatrist’s office: “Time wounds all heels.”
Outside a muffler shop: “No appointment necessary. We hear you coming.”
In a restaurant window: “Don’t stand there and be hungry. Come on in and get fed up.”
On a church sign: “You’re not too bad to come in and you’re not too good to stay out.”
Picture with me another sign that may have been posted outside King David’s palace about 3,000 years ago: “The King has bolted because his boy has booted him out.” As we’ve been studying the Book of Psalms this summer, we’ve learned that David wrote most of them. Pastor Jeff did an excellent job last week helping us see how David’s sins of adultery and murder led him to confession in Psalm 51. Even though he was forgiven, there were still some consequences to his actions. As we come to Psalm 63 this morning, we discover that David penned these words when he was in the “desert of Judah.”
Let’s go back and set the context. There were two times when David was out in the wilderness of the Judean desert. The first time was when King Saul was hunting him down in the latter chapters of 1 Samuel. The second time David was on the run was when his son Absalom had conspired against his own father and declared himself king in the book of 2 Samuel. We know from Psalm 63:11 that David was the king when he wrote this psalm, so the setting must be when he was fleeing from Absalom since he wasn’t king when Saul was chasing him. After David had sinned, and Nathan the prophet rebuked him by saying, “You are the man” in 2 Samuel 12:7, David was told that things were going to fracture in his own family in verse 11: “This is what the Lord says: ‘Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity upon you…’”
In 2 Samuel 15, David’s son Absalom obtained a chariot, some horses and 50 men. For four years he got up early and met with people at the city gate to resolve their legal claims. When people would bow down to him, he would take hold of them and embrace them. As a result, verse 6 tells us, “He stole the hearts of the men of Israel.” Absalom then set up a rival throne in Hebron and declared himself to be king. Instead of choosing to fight, David fled to the wilderness. Verse 30 reveals that David left Jerusalem weeping, his head covered in shame, the hot sand of the desert burning his royal feet as he ran for his life.
David was probably wondering what was going on. This was his son! This wasn’t supposed to happen! It didn’t make sense. He was lonely, sad, broken hearted, and afraid for his own life. He was betrayed by his boy, exiled from his throne, and humiliated in the desert. Are you experiencing something similar today? Are you faced with something that just doesn’t make sense? Have you been rocked by some bad news? Has someone pulled the rug out from under you? Do you feel like you’re just wandering in the wilderness?