Let’s recite this Psalm together. But here’s the order to do it in. Each section will be on the screen for us to read. I need someone 35 years old or less to come up here and help me lead.
35 years old and under – read the Blue
36 years old and up – read the Green
Everyone read together – read the Red
Read Psalm together.
This is one of the Psalms that has an ancient introduction before verse 1 giving us its authorship and setting, and even an ancient tune by which it may be accompanied. Since we are reading through the Bible chronologically, and are in the historical section about David’s life, we have been and will be, reading several of David’s Psalms along with 1 and 2 Samuel.
This week we read in 1 Samuel about Saul’s jealousy of David and desire to kill him. After David killed Goliath, the girls came out singing, “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands.” It was a top hit song that even the Philistines heard about. Saul was not smiling when he heard those words. But we read that David continued to have great success in battle and became famous in Israel. From 1 Samuel’s account, it almost seems like everyone loves David except Saul. Did you get that sense? Well, the Psalms of David that speak about those times reveal that David sees things otherwise. Psalms 54-59 all appear focus on that chapter of David’s life as he flees from Saul, and, instead of soaking in the popularity, they express David’s concern that enemies are all around him, seeking to bring him to ruin.
The Psalms depict David in dire need of help from those who would destroy him. Join me in reciting a few lines: Psalm 54:1-3, 55:1-5, 56:1-2, 57:4, 59:1-4. Does this sound like a popular hero loved by all? No. David sings like one who is desperate and under great oppression!
Where can David find hope? What source of comfort and strength is there for him? Where can David find confidence and deliverance?
Here in these Psalms we get to overhear what David himself thinks and feels as he endures being a fugitive and in danger of capture and death. David finds himself number one on king Saul’s hit list. And even when David twice has the chance to kill Saul, and is being egged on by the men who follow him, David resists. Why? What’s going on inside of David that makes him the man after God’s own heart? Well, here in the Psalms we have it clearly laid out before us. We have an inside glimpse into David’s heart. What do we discover? Here in the Psalms we find just how dedicated to God this man David really is.
David runs to God for mercy and deliverance! He openly, publicly declares his faith in the Lord, God of Israel! God is the saving hope of David. God is the saving source of deliverance from his enemies. God is David’s saving refuge and strength. God, the Lord, the Holy One of Israel is David’s rock, redeemer, deliverer, savior, fortress and defense. Psalm 56:3-4, 12-13. Psalm 57:7-11. 59:9, 16-17.
How would you describe David’s relationship with God? It helps to compare and contrast Saul and David’s relationship with God. Saul loved God’s deliverance and guidance for victory over his enemies, but Saul didn’t love God. God said, “Saul has turned away from me.” Saul still wanted the benefits of God’s power, but Saul didn’t love God. When God told Saul that He was taking the kingdom from Saul, Saul did not submit to God at all, but protected his throne with a vengeance. For Saul, God was not HIS God, but Samuel’s God.
David kept following God even when everything seemed to go against him. David loved God. For David, God was HIS God, and David was submissive to God’s will and prayerfully waited on God’s deliverance.
Let’s conclude with one of the clearest revelations of David’s heart for God: Psalm 63.
This beautiful Psalm reveals David’s love for God. David was willing to declare God’s praise among the nations! Not just in worship, but everywhere.
The object of our love controls us. Do you have a heart of love for God like David? Are you willing to ask, seek, knock and persist in pleading with God for such a heart?
The one thing God wants and desires most from us is our love. God has given us His love. Have you given your heart to God?