Scholars have titled this psalm “The Lord Helps His Troubled People,” “Morning Prayer of Trust in God,” “Save Me, O My God,” and others. David wrote this psalm “when he fled from Absolom, his son.” The historical reference is to 2 Samuel 15, though you may choose to read chapters 13-18 (or more) for more complete context. If I were in David’s shoes, the rebellion of my son would cause me fantastic physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual distress. So, what does the Lord’s anointed do in such times of trouble?
He prays. He humbles himself under the mighty hand of God and cries aloud, “O Lord, my God.” Though his adversaries, with their voices, defy God (v. 2), with his voice, he exalts God.
In his solitude with God, he acknowledges his deliverance in three ways. The Lord is our shield. He protects every part of us: heart, soul, mind, and body. He is our glory because we know him, belong to Him, claim His promise of salvation, and conform to Christ. And He is the lifter-up of our heads. The idea is that God enables us to rise and overcome our troubles and smile back at them. James writes, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness” (James 1:2,3). Whether we sink in times of trouble or rise depends on our faith and prayer. God wants to help us smile on our problems, but if we do not seek His help, it will not come.
Despite his adversaries and trouble, David could still lie down and sleep. Fearlessly he rested, calmed by Divine peace. When he awoke, Divine courage emboldened him to be unafraid of thousands. Undoubtedly, answered prayers of the past gave him confidence in future prayers. All that remained was for the battle to play out.
How often do we find ourselves in trouble? I dare say daily. When in troubling times, let us follow David’s example. When we encounter trials of various kinds, let us humble ourselves before God in prayer and ask for help to smile upon our trouble and consider it pure joy. Let us seek refuge in His Word for peace while we rest to rise refreshed and confident in the victory God has won. We will be fearless, for what have we to fear among those who do good? And if God is for us, who can be against us? Then we will look back on our trouble and smile, saying, “To God be the glory, great things He has done.” May He give you peace in your sorrow and joy in your pain in Christ Jesus, our Lord. Amen.
Adam Somers is the preaching minister of KVCC.