1 I cry aloud to the LORD; I lift up my voice to the LORD for mercy.
2 I pour out my complaint before him; before him I tell my trouble.
3 When my spirit grows faint within me, it is you who know my way. In the path where I walk men have hidden a snare for me.
4 Look to my right and see; no one is concerned for me. I have no refuge; no one cares for my life.
5 I cry to you, O LORD; I say, “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.”
6 Listen to my cry, for I am in desperate need; rescue me from those who pursue me, for they are too strong for me.
7 Set me free from my prison, that I may praise your name. Then the righteous will gather about me because of your goodness to me.
This was written by David when he was running from Saul. As I read this psalm and reflect on the times in my life that God seem so far from me, I can sense the desperate need that David longed for at this time in his life. These times are characterized by rejection even from those who should be supporting you. It seems during these trialing times you must defend yourself from lies and dishonest statement from friends and foes alike, that are used to discredit you and your activities. This was the case with David at this time in his life. David was being hunt down as a criminal. He was separated from his friends and family. It was at this time that David even had to take his parents from their home and leave them with the King of Moab to protect them from Saul. The only ones that surround him at this time were those who were distress, who were in debt, and those who were discontented with the events happening in Israel at that time. These people looked to David for support, and he became captain over them.
As I study the issues that David deal with at this time, found in I Samuel chapters twenty-one through I Samuel thirty-one, I can see him praying verse six of this psalm. Toward the end of this time period these words of David were recorded in I Samuel 27:1 “And David said in his heart, I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul: there is nothing better for me than that I should escape into the land of the Philistines; and Saul will despair of me, to seek me any more in all the borders of Israel: so shall I escape out of his hand.” David just seem to give up at this time. The memory of the time he was anointed by Samuel to be the next King of Israel was pushed to the back of his mind. The memory of time spent in the service of King Saul and the relationship of being his son in law were history. His desire was to rest and find safety among the very enemies he once had defeated.
However, there is hope in God. David realized this in verse seven of this psalm. In this verse I see a principle that the church today needs to grasp and take hold of in order to have others gather around them. This principle is simply looking to God for deliverance instead of taking matters into my own hand. The church of Laodicea lost this principle of relaying on God to rescue and taking care of them. In Revelations 3:17 this church is characterized by these words “I am rich and have gotten riches and have need of nothing” yet to the Lord “they know not that they are wretched and miserable, poor and blind and naked”. In other words, their principle was “God helps those who helps themselves and see we have prospered by this principle.” And yet in God’s eyes they were poor, naked and blind. God intervenes in your life for many reasons, however when He does it always for His glory and refining you for his purpose. When we wait on the Lord and go through the refining process people will see God’s goodness to us.
So, as you read this psalm reflect upon the gloom and loneliness that David must have faced during these times and the hope, he still had in God to be his refuge and his portion in the land of the living. The key to David’s life is that his heart was fully devoted to the Lord. Being fully devoted to the Lord will bring times of difficulties in our lives and these times might be hard for us to understand. However, not being fully devoted to God will bring destruction to our life. Solomon is a perfect example of someone who follows God and then decides to go and pursue his purpose. In I Kings 11:4 “As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father had been”. He turned from God and God left him. So, we need to be like David and realize that when our spirit grows faint within us, it is God who know our way and all we need to do is to look to him for direction.