David’s Song for Protection (18-08-21)
King David had many wives and sons, and relations within the family were often difficult. Ammon, one of David’s sons raped his half sister Tamar and was later killed by Tamar’s full brother Absalom who then fled into exile. David, though, loved Absalom and restored him to his home.
Over time Absalom plotted against his father and gathered an army around him, forcing David into exile. A battle followed and Absalom was defeated and killed by David’s army. In spite of his treachery, David mourned the death of Absalom as well as pardoning his enemies. Psalm 3 was written by David at the time when he fled from his son Absalom.
Bible Reading: Psalms 3:1-8
Lord, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me!
Many are saying of me, "God will not deliver him."
But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain.
I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.
I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side.
Arise, Lord! Deliver me, my God!
Strike all my enemies on the jaw; break the teeth of the wicked.
From the Lord comes deliverance.
May your blessing be on your people.
The relationship of David and Absalom reminds me of the parable of the prodigal son, except that for David and Absalom there was no happy ending. When loved ones or friends fall out, or when one member makes choices that cause problems for others in the family, it can be difficult to find a way through without appearing to be taking sides. Love, as David knew, holds the key.
Whatever Absalom did, David’s love for him never waned. In spite of his betrayal, David never wanted the death of Absalom and, following the battle that resulted in Absalom’s death, David grieved for his son. He also forgave his enemies. David’s harsh words, therefore, about striking the jaw of his enemies and breaking the teeth of the wicked, must be seen within the bigger picture of his love for Absalom and his forgiveness of his enemies. We are on a journey with God, and sometimes it takes time for our feelings to catch up with our faith.
Whatever circumstances we face, and however we are feeling, David’s psalms remind us that we can be totally honest with God in our prayers. God can cope. As David found, being honest with God helps us to work through our emotions and come to a place of peace and rest, a place from where we can say with David, ‘Because the Lordsustains me, I will not fear’.
Are there times when you have felt betrayed or under attack? Be honest with God about your feelings and know that ‘from the Lord comes deliverance’.
Are there families you know of with broken relationships? Pray with David, ‘May your blessing be on your people’.
Make me a channel of your peace