“Hear my prayer, O Lord!” David cried out to God for mercy. He was counting on the Lord’s faithfulness and righteousness. Yet he also needed God to show him compassion, since he knew that no one alive was perfectly righteous before the Almighty.
David was not merely engaging in philosophical speculation about the relationship between a divine being and a less than perfect man. He was in trouble from real enemies who were seeking his destruction. He said to God, “My spirit faints within me.” As he contemplated his challenging situation he said, “My heart within me is appalled.”
David remembered earlier times in his life. What were the old days like for David? He did not say. He only recorded the fact that his consideration of the past led him to worship the Lord and to long for God’s presence. “My soul thirst for You like a parched land.”
This great author of so many wonderful psalms was not a man of infinite spiritual strength. He had an awareness of his limits, and he knew that he was about to break. “My spirit fails!” As he spent his evening crying out to the Lord, he hoped for a very speedy deliverance. “Let me hear in the morning of Your steadfast love, for in You I trust.” Perhaps in the morning light he would know better what the Lord wanted him to do. “Make me know the way I should go.”
David needed the work of God’s Spirit in his time of greatest distress. God had a plan for His beloved servant, but he would only know what he should do if the Lord Himself would lead him “on level ground.”
Some might have sought the comforting presence of God only to follow their own desires. This was not David’s intention. “Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God!”
Would David fail the Lord? There can be no doubt that this godly man did greatly sin against the Lord he loved. One of his descendants would eventually come who would sit on the throne over the kingdom of heaven forever. About that Son of David, the Father Himself would say, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to Him.” (Matthew 17:5) Jesus would never disappoint His Father.
This Jesus, our perfect Messiah, was “pierced for our transgressions.” (Isaiah 53:5) He was “cut off out of the land of the living.” (Isaiah 53:8) He died to save us, but now He lives forever as the King of a resurrection world. One day He will come again in judgment. Those enemies who will not receive His mercy will be counted as His adversaries. They will be “cut off” from the communion of all who have eternal peace in Christ. The Lord, who is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, will come in glory. He will make a distinction between those who have been His friends and those who have ultimately spurned His grace.
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Father God, is there yet a powerful help for us today? You know our sin, and You know the vigor of the enemy who has come against us. We want You. We remember Your word and study it with diligence, seeking a way out of our great trouble. You are God, even our God, and You will bring our souls out of danger at just the right time. You will turn our enemies away from Your humble servants in the day of their hot pursuit, for You care for Your beloved children. Even if we die, we shall surely live in Your presence forever.