David immediately appeals to God for an answer, basing his appeal upon past experience:
‘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.’ (v.1)
Not only does he base his appeal upon God supplying relief in the past, he points to the fundamental truth of the salvation of his soul and that is the righteousness of God supplied by His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ!
‘But now, the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference’ (Romans 3:21,22)
The mercy he asks for and receives also is the direct result of the Lord Jesus Christ’s atoning work upon the Cross and here in the Old Testament, the gift was given looking ahead to the Redeemer’s death, burial and resurrection, the Fountainhead of God’s matchless grace! David’s focus quickly turns to his adversaries: ‘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.’(v.2)
He questions the actions of these lost men as they are turning his honorable testimony into a reproach through worthless and empty lies. Selah, here denotes his deep contemplation of the situation as this assault upon his reputation is serious. His response to this fierce and intense character assassination is key: ‘But know that the LORD has set apart him that is godly for Himself: the LORD will hear when I call unto Him.’ (v.3)
His understanding includes the knowledge that he has been separated unto God for a high and holy purpose, therefore, he knows this attack by the enemy will be taken care of by the LORD and His wisdom. He lets the situation in the LORD’s hands and then gives seven direct commands for communion and worship of God resulting in the attitude of Godliness:
‘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.’ (v.4, 5)
The first calls for an attitude of awareness of the actual presence of the holy God of heaven, His presence is dependent upon the sinless condition of the soul, then, heart to heart communication takes place, in the quietness of meditation. Selah, again calls for focused consideration on what has just been revealed. The righteous sacrifices of joy (Psalm 27:6), praise (Hebrews 13:15), thanksgiving (Psalm 50:14), a broken spirit (Psalm 51:17) and uplifted hands (Psalm 141:2) are emphasized here in this private and personal time of fellowship and close communion with the LORD as we have entered into David’s closet, alone with him and his LORD. David’s final command in (v.5) shows the fundamental necessity of exercising faith:
‘For without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he that comes to God must believe that He is and that He is the Rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.’ (Hebrews 11:6)
‘There be many that say, Who will show 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 and sleep: for Thou, LORD, only makes me dwell in safety.’ (v.6-8)
With abiding peace David’s one on one communion continues as the thoughts of his mind reveal the taunting statement of the adversary in (v.6a). His immediate response is to request additional illumination from the LORD which causes him to remember the paling contrast of their temporal joy for their ‘good’, which is earthly abundance, with the powerful presence of his eternal ‘good’ which is the heavenly abundance of joy in his heart (v.6b, 7) when the LORD manifests His presence. This intimate and private look into David’s prayer life ends with him falling to sleep, safely in the arms of Jesus! (v.8). The familiar promise: ‘I will never leave thee nor forsake thee’ (Hebrews 13:5) given by the Lord Jesus Himself, guarantees the presence of our loving Savior, Who is with us in each and every situation we face, regardless of the adversaries we encounter in life!
Chaplain L.E.Wolfe www.btmi.org I-85 Exit 35 SC McPilot Stop in, and please pray for our ministry!