Last week, we looked at the first three verses of this Psalm – as David provided a summary of his entire Psalm.
David’s experience with God was based on his relationship with the Most High – what he had discovered, throughout his life, about God’s character, nature and faithfulness.
In the times when David was in the midst of hardship or trouble, David offered first-hand testimony: “I call upon the Lord… and I am saved from my enemies.” (18:3)
Then we have verses 4 – 19…
David provides some vivid imagery of his personal experiences with life… and with God. He takes the time to capture the essence of what our troubled times do to us, and what they feel like…
“The cords of death encompassed me; the torrents of destruction assailed me; the cords of Sheol (the place of the dead) entangled me; the snares of death confronted me.” (18:4-5)
When we really think about it, our times of intense trouble bring us right to death’s door. Our hardship causes us to feel trapped, helpless, hopeless. All we can see is our trouble. All we can feel is our despair. We have no clue as to how to fix our situation – and no sense of when our time of turmoil might come to an end. We are caught. Stuck. Entangled in our fears and worries.
But David does the one thing, the only thing, that can provide hope to the hopeless and help to the helpless: “In my distress I called upon the Lord; to my God I cried for help.” (v. 6)
And does God ever respond! Verses 7-15 describe a God Who is so eager to help us that He shakes the whole earth with His action!
God enters David’s time of trouble full force – bringing the power of His Presence into direct confrontation with the circumstances that have brought David to his knees (literally!). “The earth reeled and rocked… the mountains trembled… He bowed the heavens and came down… riding a cherub He came swiftly… He made darkness His covering… and out of the brightness before Him, hailstones and coals of fire broke through His clouds.” (from vs. 7-12)
But not only does God enter David’s situation, He does something about it. Verses 13-15 tell us that God speaks out on David’s behalf.
The very same God Who spoke all of creation into existence… was now specifically speaking into David’s time of trouble. And there is no way to escape or resist what the Lord declares on our behalf.
Trapped and helpless, David cries out to the God Who offers liberation and infinite and undeniable help. And God answers His prayer with a vivid expression of just how much He cares for His children.
David offers us one more nugget of truth – that brings valuable insight into WHY God enters our times of trouble so magnificently… David declares: “He rescued me, because He delighted in me.”
What a thought!
Most of us struggle to see ourselves as a delight in God’s sight… We tend to feel like God tolerates us… or puts up with us… or is mostly frustrated with us (because of our weakness and failings). But nothing is farther from the truth.
David “cuts to the chase” with truth that is meant to inspire our hearts – to get us to understand that God does what He does because He has decided to love us. He knows we are but dust – but He chooses to pour out His infinite love to us anyway.
We who love God, are precious in His sight. We are the objects of His attention and affection. We are the focus of His divine favor.
Our troubles are NOT God being mad at us. Our troubles are the times when God can show us just how much He loves us – and just how much we are His delight!