My thoughts (Vivian Wyatt):
One of the things I have always liked about the Book of Psalms is that, in many of them, you can sense the mood changes of the psalmists. And this Psalm is a very good example as David runs the gamut from dark despair to a calm confidence in God.
In the beginning, David is feeling overwhelmed by his enemies who, unfortunately, are led by his son Absalom. This comes at a time when David is feeling particularly vulnerable because it wasn’t so very long ago that he had taken possession of Bathsheba and had her husband killed. His detractors are saying that God will not help him because of what he has done.
Haven’t you felt like this? You life seems to be in shambles; nothing is going the way you planned and to top it off people are talking about you. You may even begin to think that God is no longer on your side; that God no longer loves you.
However very quickly, David takes his eyes off Absalom and his followers and looks to God. He sees God as a shield, a source of glory, and the one who lifts up his head. As his shield, God protects David from his enemies. As his source of glory, God gives him dignity, honor and vindication instead of the humiliation that seemed to be encasing him. As the lifter of his head, God encourages him.
Because David is now looking at God, he remembers the things God has done for him; that he had cried out to God and God had heard him. He remembers that he went to sleep and God awakened him; and because of this he will not be afraid even if ten thousand people surrounded him.
How wonderful it would be for us if two verses later (it appears to be a short time, but we don’t know how long it took David to get to this place) we could look to God and remember all the times God was there for us. All the times we cried out and God heard us; all the blessings we received, and because of our remembrances we could be encouraged.
Then David does, the only he has left to do…he prays to God for help and closes in praise.
What a wonderful example for us. Trouble strikes, take your eyes off your troubles and turn to God. Once you come into God’s presence, remember all the things God has done for you and then take your troubles to God in prayer. Finally, praise God for the expected response.
Thought for the day: In this life, there will be moments of great stress and even despair. There will be times when we will feel alone. There will be times when we hang our heads in defeat. Thankfully, as David teaches us, the Lord is our shield, our glory and the lifter of our heads!
We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the suggestions on the How to Pray page.