Journey with Daniel
“Psalm 57”Categories: Seeing God Through the Psalms
There’s a painful truth to life – you will encounter difficult people on your journey from Earth to Home. You’ll encounter people who are rude, mean, disrespectful, hurtful – it will happen. It could be coworkers, family members, even brethren.
For David it was the king. King Saul was overcome with intense jealousy and suspicion against David. The large part of 1 Samuel is focused on Saul’s attempt to kill David. David went from being the hero – the giant slayer, to the nations #1 most wanted. Saul sought him every day (1 Samuel 23:14) – no rest – running, hiding, sleeping with one eye open. This all comes to a head in 1 Samuel 24. David and his men are hiding in a cave in Engedi, and by coincidence Saul enters that same cave for a moment of rest. David had everything he needed to seek revenge against Saul, to end this senseless manhunt. He had the opportunity to kill Saul. Instead he cuts off a piece of his robe, knowing that it was not his place to kill the Lord’s anointed.
Psalm 57 was written during this event in the cave. In this psalm we find 4 things to remember when facing difficult people (Saul’s) in your life:
Seek God’s protection (v. 1). David found his refuge from the storm in the wings of God. There is comfort in knowing that God’s love never fails (v. 3, 10). Though others will fail me, disappoint me, turn against me – God’s love will not. His love endures. When I remember how God sees me (reading passages like Psalm 8, Romans 5, 1 Peter 2), the feelings of insecurity and anger will melt away.
Seek God’s Will (v. 2). “God who fulfills His purpose for me.” When I face a difficult person, I should consider “perhaps our paths crossed on purpose.” Maybe I can help them. Through David’s patience and instruction, he not only spared the king but brought him to repentance (for a moment). Maybe the difficult people in our lives are there for us to help. When most would write them off or sling evil back, in us they find someone who returns good for evil, and curses for blessings (1 Pet. 3:9). And thus maybe God is allowing this person in my life, not just for me to help them, but for this person to help me grow to become more and more like Christ – more merciful, more peaceful, more loving and gracious.
Seek God’s Justice (v. 3). Yes, God has established governments in the nations, purposed to upholding what is right and preserving justice, but the ultimate judge, the ultimate source of judgment is God. When you’ve been hurt by another, don’t operate on their level. Don’t hurt in return. Don’t further evil. Don’t do Satan’s work. We overcome evil with good (Rom. 12:21). Don’t take justice into your own hands. Let God be God and trust in His timing.
Seek God’s Glory (v. 4-5). Ask this question, ‘In this harm, in this situation, how can God be glorified? How can I respond in a way tat will not dishonor my God – rather how can I suffer in a way that glorifies Him? Don’t let Saul’s steal your song (v. 6-7). Don’t quit on God because others have treated you wrong. Even in hardships – I’ll praise the Lord. Even in pain – I’ll praise the Lord. Because even in hardships God is good. Even in difficulties I have much to give thanks for.
A lesser man would have killed the king without hesitation. But not David. He sought what was best for his enemy, a man who was ruining his life. And God calls David a man after His own heart. That’s the heart we ought to aim for – a heart like David’s – a heart like Christ’s.
Holy Lord, merciful God, there are times I’ve been hurt by the words and actions of another. I know I am not alone in facing such situations, but the pain is real. Help me to respond like Your servant David. Help me to respond like Christ. Help me to place my trust in You. Help me not to become jaded towards others, but to love my neighbors, and to love even my enemies. Help me to return curses with blessings, to return harm with healing. Help me to seek what is good for others. Let me learn through these moments. Let me grow to be more like Christ – let my heart be soft and teachable. I’ll never turn my back on You. You are always with me. In good or in pain, in peace or in strife, Father my aim is glorify You. Use my life to show the world how truly great You are.