Up Close and Personal
Lord, may I look at the past with thanksgiving, at the present with faith and at the future with hope.
Read Psalm 18:1-50
 For the director of music. Of David the servant of the LORD. He sang to the LORD the words of this song when the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. He said:
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
Here, God came in power and deliverance, and King David was saved from his enemies. Sometimes that happens for us and sometimes it doesn’t. But God is with us always.
This psalm appears originally in 2 Samuel 22 where David, coming to the end of his life, praises God for his faithfulness in all the vicissitudes of his experience. The reasons for David’s profound happiness (1) are readily evident. Even though powerful enemies had surrounded him and death seemed imminent (4,5), he did more than merely survive. He was victorious (37,38), and he knew that this triumph was not the result of his military prowess. It had to be God’s work; no other explanation made sense. When all was lost and David descended into despair, he cried out to God for delivery (6). The victory was God’s (36,40,43). That is why he sang “The Lord lives!” (46). It’s an exultant, thankful cry, and the climax of Psalm 18. David’s experience was of a living God, not a disinterested or distant being, nor a lifeless image carved in stone or wood, but a living, caring, personal and responsive God.
I’m no king and my life is very different from David’s, but I can still confidently declare that my Lord lives! No doubt the same is true for you. Just like Israel’s greatest king, we know that he who has created all that exists is also our shepherd. We have our own experiences to share of God’s gentle shepherding in our lives.
Like David, too, we have stories of times when it feels like God has forgotten us forever. For days on end, even months, we long for an unmistakable indication of God’s presence and care. During such times, God requires of us a patient trust. As we trust him, he will fill our hearts with confident love and praise to enable us to sing this wonderful psalm with assurance and hope.
A praising, thankful heart puts life’s perplexities in perspective. Spend some time thanking and praising God now.
Lord God, although I may not know what life will bring, I offer my praise to You. I claim the promise that whatever the circumstance, You are always with me.
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