Throughout the daily life of any individual living on earth, there will be times in which he faces circumstances that may be characterized by the statement, “stuck between a rock and a hard place.” The psalmist David had many days like this. Throughout his life he faced a king that wanted nothing more than to kill him, the sinful actions in which he took part, the sins of others, the rebellion of his son, the death of a child born to him out of wedlock, and many other difficult times which may have lead a worldly person away from the Lord. However, king David was a man searching to live in accordance with the will of the creator (Acts 13:22). Because of this, David wrote a psalm which should be the prayer of any Christian who is experiencing adversities in his walk with the Lord. Let he who is faced with these times put his trust in the Lord (v. 1).
“LET ME NEVER BE ASHAMED”
Because of his trust in the Lord, David asked the most powerful God to never allow his circumstances to make him ashamed. Paul, likewise, stated that in God would he put his trust and that would cause him to continue to preach the Gospel of Christ (Rom. 1:16). Imagine, if you will, you were the apostle Paul and were writing a letter to the Christians at Rome in order to prove the statement that justification only comes in Christ. That was a large undertaking in a time when some of the Jews within the church were attempting to state that justification comes from the New Testament of Jesus Christ and from the Law of Moses (Gal. 1:6-10) and the government of the time would have Christians to forsake the Lord and worship in their pagan ways. Now, look at the world in which we live today. People attempt to convince Christians to forsake the truth of the Bible and believe in false truths like evolution, homosexuality, adultery, fornication, and many other things. The person putting his trust in the Lord may pray this to the Lord and never be ashamed of the truth of God’s word.
Isn’t it the thought of those downtrodden that someone would come and help them come out of their situation? David obviously felt this and expressed it in his cry to the Lord for Him to bring him out with the righteousness of the almighty. If the Lord has the power to create all that is, then He hasthe power to deliver his creation from the trials of this life. Not only does He have the power to do so, but He possesses the knowledge and willingness to as well. Peter wrote that the Lord will always know the way by which He can deliver the godly out of the temptations, or trials (2 Pet. 2:9). Jesus Christ, the second member of the Godhead (John 1:1-3,14), stated that the Lord loves His creation so much that He was willing to allow His son to die in order to give mankind the opportunity to be saved from their sins if only they have an obedient faith. If the Lord has the opportunity, ability, and willingness to bring mankind out of his biggest problem, sin, then He has the opportunity, ability, and willingness to bring him out of the trials of life.
“BOW DOWN YOUR EAR TO ME”
One of the greatest blessings of being a child of God (Eph. 1:3) is the ability to pray to the Lord in petition of things with which we need His help. John wrote that the Christian has the confidence in knowing that if he prays to God, He hears him and He will answer that prayer (1 John 5:14-15). If one were to put themselves in the mindset of David, he would understand the plea to the Lord that the Almighty listen and “bow down” His ear to him. Isn’t it the case that during the times of trials in life, a person’s prayer life becomes drastically more important to him? James, the writer of a book addressed to brethren who had been scattered throughout the known world because of the persecution of the righteous (Jas. 1:1), recorded that the continuous and needful prayer of a child of God will always work for the better of that Christian and the situation in which he finds himself (Jas. 5:16b).
“BE MY HOUSE OF DEFENSE”
David pleaded to the Lord that He would be a “strong rock” that would become a house of defense to protect him. The Lord is the strong foundation of a Christian’s faith (Mat. 7:24-27), and He will allow him to not worry about the rains of life because the foundation is secure. There are many places in this world in which there are a great number of earthquakes. Those living in those areas are always mindful that the earth may begin to shake, but if their houses are built with adequate foundations then the likelihood of the structure making it through the shake are drastically increased. When our faith is built upon the Lord, there is absolutely no reason to believe that it will faith when our lives are shaken, and that is exactly what David wanted.
“YOU ARE MY ROCK”
Much like the plea of David for the Lord to be his strong rock on which his defense is founded, he proclaims that the Lord was his rock and his fortress. Many times in the Scripture, the Lord is asked to do something and said to be already doing it. The question arises, “Why did David ask the Lord to be this, and then say He already was?” The reason is because David wanted that to always be the case! A man might have a house which is built upon a rock, but he has the ability to move that house if he so wishes. David understood the Lord’s protection was upon him but that may not always be the case if David did not continue to be a child of God. The church of Jesus Christ was founded upon such a rock (Mat. 16:18) and Jesus stated that the church would never be defeated, but what if a specific congregation moves away from the Lord? Will that church continue to be founded upon that rock? The answer to this is obviously, no. And David understood that the Lord was protecting him in all he did, but it was still needful that he pray to the Lord to continue to be that fortress of protection. Christians, likewise, must always remember to allow the Lord to be their fortress during times of distress through faithful obedience to Him.
“LEAD ME AND GUIDE ME”
The psalmist knew the Lord was the source of his direction. Many in the world today believe that the Lord will speak directly to them and tell them what is to be done, and the psalmist would have experienced this because at that point the Lord was speaking to the people. Today, we understand that to no longer take place because the written word is available (1 Cor. 13:8-10), but the Lord still leads and guides His people today. He has given those living today the inspired word of God, the same word that is said to be able to make a man complete and give him everything which is to be used in life and godly living (2 Tim. 3:16-17, Phi. 1:3). If a man allows the Lord to lead him through His divine word, there can be nothing which stands in his way (Phi. 4:13). And, much like David, he will know how to escape the problems of life and will have the Lord with him.
“PULL ME OUT”
Not only will the child of God be able to escape tribulations, the Lord will pull him out of situations laid by others meant to trip him in his walk. If there is one person in the Bible who had these nets laid for him, it is David. It has been mentioned that he experienced his son rebelling, the king of the nation attempting to kill him, and many other situations which were begun by other people for the sole purpose of stopping David. It may be the case that a Christian experiences situations which he has been put into by the unrighteous of this world. The society of America is quickly becoming more and more hostile for the godly, and many are seeking to stop New Testament Christianity altogether. The words of the psalmist give light to the feeling of many righteous people no matter what dispensation under which they are living. David followed this statement with acknowledging that the Lord was the source of all his strength.
“I GIVE MYSELF TO YOU”
David’s statement that he gave his spirit to the Lord is the basis of this psalm. It is because he gave everything to the Lord that he wants Him to help him, deliver him, listen to him, protect him, lead him and deliver him. When a person recognizes that the Lord is the only one to be followed in this life, he will understand that a prayer like this will be answered by the Lord. This statement shows without a doubt that the psalmist had the utmost confidence in the creator during all dangers and troubles. It is interesting that the Christ said these words while on the cross of Calvary (Luke 23:46). Some state this to mean that the psalm under consideration was actually a prophecy of the Christ, but it is entirely possible that the statements of David and Jesus were directed to the Lord to denote the great trust given to the Lord by both men in their times of need. It should be the case that the Christian has given his entire being to the Lord, it is this which will give the most assurance in times of need.
“YOU HAVE REDEEMED ME”
No matter what the circumstance of life, the Christian finds hope, peace and satisfaction in the fact that the Lord has forgiven all the sins which at one point separated him from the Lord. David thought this to be the most important thing in his situation. He understood that no matter what happened in this life, what others did to him for his faith, or what he put himself through by way of his iniquity the Lord is merciful and forgiving. Christians have that hope as well. Though it may be the case that a Christian stumbles in his walk, whether it be because of the traps laid by others or his own actions, the Lord will always be there to help him back up and continue to be his rock and his fortress in life’s horrible situations (1 John 1:7-9, Rev. 1:5).
The words of David, written so long ago in a time much different than our own, were written for a prayer to the Lord in his time of distress. Isn’t is wonderful to know that if we ever see circumstances like David, or when we see problems of our own, the Lord is there to help, hold, head and hedge us from life’s problems if we simply give ourselves to Him. Always remember the words of Paul when he said that there is no problem or situation in which we find ourselves that isn’t common to man and is above the Lord’s help (1 Cor. 10:12-14).