Every psalm that David wrote reveals more of who he was, what he went through, and how he interpreted God and his circumstances. Our goal in this series is to extract lessons from his life and these psalms to help us live an abundant life that Jesus said He came to give us. This week, we move on to Psalm 25, where we read,
Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. Relieve the troubles of my heart and free me from my anguish. Look on my affliction and my distress and take away all my sins. See how numerous are my enemies and how fiercely they hate me! (Psalm 25:16-19, emphasis added).
Once again, we see that David was encountering trials and tribulations, the likes of which most people will never experience, which is why learning how he responded will most certainly help us stand firm in our own day of trouble. Let's see what we can learn this week.
David enjoyed immense popularity among the people when he first came to the king's court and began his military career. His success brought him into the limelight to the extent that people composed songs about his exploits and he could seem to do no wrong. The king offered David his daughter's hand in marriage and his fame spread to the surrounding nations.
Then one day, he fell out of favor with his father-in-law the king. The king heard people singing their songs and it didn't sit well with him:
When the victorious Israelite army was returning home after David had killed the Philistine, women from all the towns of Israel came out to meet King Saul. They sang and danced for joy with tambourines and cymbals. This was their song: “Saul has killed his thousands, and David his ten thousands!” This made Saul very angry. “What’s this?” he said. “They credit David with ten thousands and me with only thousands. Next they’ll be making him their king!” So from that time on Saul kept a jealous eye on David (1 Samuel 18:6-8 NLT).
How bad did Saul's jealousy get? So bad that he tried to kill David on three separate occasions. He also gave his wife away to another man and then used the army that Saul should have been using to fight the Philistines to pursue and destroy his son-in-law. I would say that things got pretty bad fairly quickly for David.
Yet like Joseph before him and Daniel after him, David stayed steadfast and true to the Lord. When he finally broke away from Saul, the word spread:
So David left Gath and escaped to the cave of Adullam. Soon his brothers and all his other relatives joined him there. Then others began coming—men who were in trouble or in debt or who were just discontented—until David was the captain of about 400 men (1 Samuel 22:1-2 NLT).
But later, when their families were captured during a military operation, we are told, "David was now in great danger because all his men were very bitter about losing their sons and daughters, and they began to talk of stoning him" (1 Samuel 30:6 NLT). I would say that point in his life was the lowest, and he found himself owning the title of Mr. Lonely.
WHAT DID HE DO?
What did David do at that rock bottom low point in his life? We aren't told the specific steps he took to climb out. Perhaps he wrote Psalm 25 or some other poetry we don't have today. It could be that he took his harp and went off to worship, pray, and think. Maybe he went for a long walk, watching his back the entire time. There was no one to meet with and no one to console him, but we are told that somehow, "David found strength in the Lord his God" (1 Samuel 30:6).
I don't know exactly how he did that, but somehow, in some way, David went to God and "found strength." In his loneliness and while experiencing failure and betrayal, he touched God or perhaps it's better to say God touched him. Whatever David did, he strengthened himself, returned to his men, led them so they could recapture their families, and continued his path to the throne God had promised him.
How do you react in your lonely times when no one understands you or what you're going through, and everyone, including God, seems to be piling on trial after trial? What do you do to strengthen yourself in the Lord? What activities can you engage in that always seem to encourage your heart and renew your vision and energy? This week's PowerPoint for Living is
The path to an abundant life can be a lonely one. You must be familiar with what you do that lifts your spirits and strengthens your resolve to carry on. In other words, identify what you do or where you go that when you do, God is always waiting there for you. When you find it, make sure you stay connected to it.
It has been said that it's lonely at the top. The key when you're there is to remember that you're not alone, and God has promised not to protect you from difficult times, but to be with you as you go through them. Have a blessed week!