A Psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom his son.
O Lord, how many are my foes!
Many are rising against me;
many are saying of my soul,
there is no salvation for him in God. Selah
But you, O Lord, are a shield about me,
my glory, and the lifter of my head.
I cried aloud to the Lord,
and he answered me from his holy hill. Selah
I lay down and slept;
I woke again, for the Lord sustained me.
I will not be afraid of many thousands of people
who have set themselves against me all around.
Arise, O Lord!
Save me, O my God!
For you strike all my enemies on the cheek;
you break the teeth of the wicked.
Salvation belongs to the Lord;
your blessing be on your people! Selah
I was reading this earlier and a couple of things struck me. This Psalm refers to a period when David is in great distress, and has de facto been usurped as king by his precocious son, Absalom (whose name somewhat ironically means “father of peace”).
Indeed, David is struggling to find support from those around him, doubting even God will help him. David’s response is to remain firm in faith, crying aloud to God’s holy hill (the temple mount-to-be in Jersualem), from where he had been forced to flee. Thus, he is acknowledging that while Absalom is sitting on his throne, it is ultimately God who’s in charge.
David sees the very act of waking up after going to sleep as evidence of God’s faithfulness to him (with good reason, after all, his life is in danger!), and so his faith is strengthened.
He goes out with the confidence to face his enemies and even to wish God’s blessing on his people who have turned on him, hope for the sinners!
This is how David models faith in dire straits- trust in God with some grace thrown in, an example for us all.