Just over 30 years ago I was working for a small publishing company and had poured my ‘heart and soul’ into the relaunch of a magazine. Not only was I an employee of the company, I was also one of three shareholders. Then, without notice, the two other shareholders decided that ‘my’ project should be taken over by another company with which they were associated.
I was devastated. I literally cried, the grief was overwhelming, what could I do?
I think that David must have felt something similar when he wrote this psalm. Although we cannot be sure of the exact circumstances, it appears from verse 2 that there is a direct threat to his life. His ‘friend’ is giving advice “flee to your mountain” and asks, in effect, ‘what on earth can you do in such circumstances – everything is hopeless’. The implication is, just go and hide and hope for the best, it’s out of control.
This psalm is David’s powerful declaration of faith and an answer to the question ‘what do you do when the rug is pulled out from underneath you?’
David says, “In the Lord I take refuge” and “The Lord is in his holy temple…” and ‘misses nothing’. He has confidence that God will act on his behalf. He is not going to curl up in a heap in a corner and give up. He is going to keep ‘looking up’ (take refuge in God), confident the “The Lord is righteous, he loves justice; the upright will see his face”.
For the director of music. Of David.
1 In the Lord I
How then can you say to me:
‘Flee like a bird to your mountain.
2 For look, the wicked bend their bows;
they set their arrows against the strings
to shoot from the shadows
at the upright in heart.
3 When the foundations are being destroyed,
what can the righteous do?’
4 The Lord is in
his holy temple;
the Lord is on his heavenly throne.
He observes everyone on earth;
his eyes examine them.
5 The Lord examines the righteous,
but the wicked, those who love violence,
he hates with a passion.
6 On the wicked he will rain
fiery coals and burning sulphur;
a scorching wind will be their lot.
7 For the Lord is
he loves justice;
the upright will see his face.
Lord, thank you, that when it feels like ‘the rug has been pulled out from underneath my feet’ you are with me and I can trust you. I declare Lord that with you no situation is hopeless because you are ‘the God of hope’.
I may not be able to recover the things I lost but, you have new things and opportunities to give me. Thank you that you do not miss anyone. Nothing and no-one slips underneath your ‘radar’!
You are good, and your loving kindness is everlasting. Thank you that you reveal yourself to people who are looking for you. Help me not to allow circumstances to distract me form your love and goodness.