I started this morning by reading Psalm 57. It’s title says it’s written by pre-king David when he had fled from Saul into the cave.
It’s opening line gives you the tone of the song –
Have mercy on me, O God…
in you my soul takes refuge…
until the disaster has passed.
It’s hard sometimes to sympathise with and ‘feel’ some of the songs of David. He had a pretty rough life. I can’t relate to many of the trials he went through.
I certainly haven’t had anyone actively try and kill me.
hiding for years,
afraid for my very life.
I struggle to make these psalms ‘my own’.
I often read aloud. I try read with feeling and emotion. Slowly. Letting the words sink in.
I did that with this psalm, and it got slower and darker.
There was a small pause in verse 3:
God sends his love and faithfulness.
Then it’s back to lions and ravenous beasts and spears and arrows and swords and nets and pits and distress.
I could see his pain, his terror and plight; but it was still distant.
But then everything changed. Verse 7, it picks up a beat. I read it with a bit more passion. A bit louder. I began to speed up. He talks about making music.
Awake, my soul!
It’s a new morning. He praises God. I was feeling this. I was excited.
Great is your love, reaching to the heavens.
Your faithfulness reaches to the skies.
I know these songs. I could sing it with him.
He closes with a line he’s already used before: be exalted O God, let your glory be over all the earth!
I was smiling and cheering as I read these words aloud.
God is exalted!
He is glorious!
He is over the whole earth!
His love IS great!
He is faithful!
It’s like it was a new song. I was feeling this now.
Then I imagined David as he was writing this. Hiding in a cave; literally hiding for his life. Doing all he can to survive. A fugitive, on the run.
And I thought, maybe I’d write a psalm like the first half of this one too: Save me God! Have mercy! HELP!
That, I understand.
But how does he end so full of praise? How does he go to sleep so full of darkness and fear, but awake so steadfast and full of music?
He knows God.
The one true God, who is full of love and faithfulness.
God is over not just this little cave where I might be hiding – not even just over the earth; He is above the heavens – the skies that stretch endlessly into the universe.
He is that BIG.
Yet he knows and cares for little David hiding under a rock!
I may not be able to relate to the real terrors and horrors that plagued David through much of his life, but his worshipful response through them, certainly puts things into perspective for me and whatever I might be going through right now.