Have you ever felt as if the whole world was against you?
Did it ever seem as if, no matter how hard you try, everything you touch goes sour?
Did you ever feel responsible for bringing misery and harm to those whom you love?
Do you ever feel as if you are a complete and utter failure in your service to your Lord?
Then to make matters worse…
Did you ever feel as if NO ONE understood, nor cared about what you were going through?
In our lesson for this morning, we will be looking at how David handled these feelings and how he found spiritual peace and refuge in the presence of his Lord…
“And it came to pass, when David and his men were come to Ziklag on the third day, that the Amalekites had invaded the south, and Ziklag, and smitten Ziklag, and burned it with fire; And had taken the women captives, that [were] therein: they slew not any, either great or small, but carried [them] away, and went on their way. So David and his men came to the city, and, behold, [it was] burned with fire; and their wives, and their sons, and their daughters, were taken captives. Then David and the people that [were] with him lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep. And David’s two wives were taken captives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite. And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God. (1 Samuel 30:1-6)
“To the chief Musician on Neginoth, A Psalm of David. Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me [when I was] in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer. O ye sons of men, how long [will ye turn] my glory into shame? [how long] will ye love vanity, [and] seek after leasing? Selah. But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the LORD will hear when I call unto him. Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah. Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD. [There be] many that say, Who will shew us [any] good? LORD, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us. Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time [that] their corn and their wine increased. I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.” (Psalms 4:1-8)
6a) And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters:
Here we are told that David was “greatly distressed”. The phrase “greatly distressed” is translated from a Hebrew phrase that means to feel tremendous, overwhelming, unbearable pressure on all sides. What was the source of all this pressure? …
Why type of pressures was David experiencing?…
1. the nation of Israel, being led by King Saul, was against him;
2. the other Gentile kingdoms he had invaded now knew of his hiding place in Ziklag, and would surely be out for revenge;
3. when King Achish would hear that David’s deceptive invasions caused the Amalekites overthrow of Ziklag, Achish would, most certainly, turn against Him;
4. He had lost both of his wives, and to his knowledge were probably had been tortured, raped, and enslaved or, possibly, dead;
5. David’s own men, rightfully, blamed him for their great loss and they wanted him to be killed;
6. Worst of all, he knew that he had sinned against his Lord several times, leading him down this path to loneliness, sorrow and heartache…
a. he had failed to trust the Lord with his safety, but had sought refuge from the enemies of God;
b. He chose to compromise his integrity by lying. He had chosen to remain on good terms with the Philistine King, by deceitfully concealing his invasions into the surrounding Gentile nations;
c. Finally, he agreed to lead his men from Ziklag to accompany the armies of Achish, thus leaving those in his care without any military protection.
(He knew that he was derelict in his God-given responsibilities and was now experiencing the chastening hand of the Lord.) For a detailed look at the events that brought David into this condition please see Part #1 of our study.
6b) but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God. (1 Samuel 30:1-6)
What was David’s solution to this entire situation? He found encouragement in his Lord.
In other words, David reflected on the person and work of God that gave him hope for deliverance and strength. In the same way, when we are faced with these situations in life, we too, can find solace in truths about our Lord.
We will now look at Psalm 4:, and we will learn how David found this wonderful encouragement in the midst of such horrible trials…
Psalm 4: is a Psalm that may have been written at this exact time in David’s life… let’s take a moment to study Psalm 4 with an eye to understanding the Scriptural principles that gave David such great encouragement during this devastating time in his life….
Introduction To This Psalm (vs 1a)
1) To the chief Musician on Neginoth, A Psalm of David.
This Psalm was written by David and meant to be played on a stringed instrument during times of worship.
David Addresses The Lord: (vs 1b)
Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness:
David immediately looks to the Lord for his deliverance
thou hast enlarged me [when I was] in distress;
David remembers past deliverances from his trials
have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer.
David approaches the Lord humbly, realizing he does not deserve the help of the Lord.
David Addresses His Tormentors (vs 2-3)
2) O ye sons of men, how long [will ye turn] my glory into shame? [how long] will ye love vanity, [and] seek after leasing? Selah.
David recognizes and verbalizes the trials set before him.
3) But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for himself:
David recognizes the Lord’s special relation with His people
the LORD will hear when I call unto him.
David exercises faith that the Lord will forgive him of his failures and hear his prayer
David’s Addresses The Worshippers (Applying The Lessons Of The Psalm). (vs 4-5)
4) Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah. Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD.
David reflects upon the significance of the Lord’s mercy and hearing us in times of difficulty:
It encourages us to recognize the greatness of the Lord
It encourages us to live holy lives
It encourages self-examination
It encourages us to wait upon His intervention and not take matters in our own hands.
It encourages us to give of ourselves in His service
It encourages us to place our faith in Him is deal with these issues for our good.
David Addresses The Lord (vs 6-8)
6) [There be] many that say, Who will shew us [any] good? LORD, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us.
David requests the Lord to show Himself to those who believe they are beyond His grace and mercy.
7) Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time [that] their corn and their wine increased.
David now affirms the gladness and encouragement he has received. This gladness transcends any gladness that this world has to offer.
8) I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.
David now affirms the peace and security that he has been given by the Lord.
THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION:
No matter what may have taken place in our lives, no matter how impossible a situation may seem, when we think upon the person and work of our Lord, we can find grace, comfort and peace in the midst of our storms.
In this lesson, we have seen some basic principles that will aid us in finding the comfort that only the Lord can supply….
1. Recognize immediately look to the Lord for his deliverance, avoid panicking and acting from fear.
2. Remember past times of Divine deliverance from trials in an effort to increase our faith.
3. Retain a humble spirit within us knowing that we do not deserve His help nor intervention.
4. Remind ourselves of the hopelessness of our situation without the Lord.
5. Reflect on the Lord’s special relation that He possesses with us as His chosen people
6. Respond in faith, trusting the Lord entirely for His intercession, our wellbeing, and our future.
7. React accordingly to His merciful intercession:
a. Recognize the greatness of the Lord
b. Live holy lives
c. Examine ourselves in light of His Word
d. Wait upon His intervention and not take matters in our own hands.
e. Give of ourselves in His service
f. Place our faith in Him is deal with these issues for our good.
May the Lord bless you as you seek His truth, in these difficult times in which we are living.
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May the Lord bless your study of His Word. Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”