I am trying to imagine how hard it must have been for David when Saul started trying to kill him. Here was the king he was serving and doing everything for. He led armies into battle and won great victories for Saul. He became best friends with Saul’s son, Jonathan. He married Saul’s daughter, Michal. Everything was going wonderfully.
But then Saul got eaten up with fear and jealousy.
Saul was afraid of David, because the Lord was with David but had departed from Saul.
Saul became convinced that David was a threat to his family continuing on the throne:
“They have credited David with tens of thousands,” [Saul] thought, “but me with only thousands. What more can he get but the kingdom?” I Sam 18:8
So Saul sought to have David killed.
Saul sent men to David’s house to watch it and to kill him in the morning. I Sam 19:11
Michal helped David escape and David started living a life of being on the run.
It is at this time that David wrotes Psalm 59. His words describe well what he felt:
Deliver me from my enemies, O God; be my fortress against those who are attacking me.
Deliver me from evildoers and save me from those who are after my blood.
See how they lie in wait for me! Fierce men conspire against me for no offense or sin of mine, Lord.
How tough it must have been to have his own countrymen turn against him. There must have been soldiers seeking him that David knew personally. It must have felt like such a betrayal. This was the king he had pledged to serve. This was his father in law. He had done nothing wrong. Yet the king ordered his men to find David and put him to death.
Look at the wording David used — attacking me, after my blood, lie in wait for me, conspire against me. He felt like he was under a constant mortal threat.
And he felt like the world had gone topsy-turvy. One minute he was leading men into battle and living in the palace. The next he was a fugitive.
But here is what David said at the end of the Psalm, after all his ranting and complaining:
But I will sing of your strength,
in the morning I will sing of your love;
for you are my fortress,
my refuge in times of trouble.
You are my strength, I sing praise to you;
you, God, are my fortress,
my God on whom I can rely. (Ps 59:16-17)
David sang of God. He sang because he knew God loved him. He sang because he knew God would protect him.
In the end, David lived by faith. It was faith that helped him survive and face the perils of the day.
And the same is true for me. I can relate to David’s life at this time in a way. God hasn’t acted in the way I thought he would. I’ve given my life to serve him. Yet I’m not in the place I thought I would be. I feel cynical and jaded.
So, just like it was with David, it is only faith that will get me through.
I love how Romans 1 talks about faith: This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.”
Whatever I accomplish in my life, will be accomplished, from start to finish, by faith. Let me start living that way today!