God’s covenant is secured (1-7)
John Paton was a missionary in the South Pacific Islands. One night hostile natives surrounded the mission station. Paton and his wife were totally helpless. They cried to God for deliverance. When daylight came, they were amazed to see their attackers had left. A year later, the chief of the tribe was converted to Christ. Remembering what had happened, Paton asked the chief what had kept him from burning down the house. The chief replied in surprise, “Who were all those men with you there?” Paton knew no men were present – but the chief said he was afraid to attack because he had seen hundreds of big men in shining garments with drawn swords circling the mission station. God preserved these missionaries for they are not only His servants but His children.
In times of trouble David was able to cry out to God to save him. In his earnest prayer he lamented ‘I am poor and needy’ indicating to us that he was afflicted, totally depressed and helpless. He prayed “preserve my soul, for I am holy” – for I am godly. This statement does not mean that he deserves for God to answer his prayer. David had sinned often and he needed God’s forgiveness. David’s confidence in the Lord was established on the basis that God had entered into an everlasting covenant with him. It was all by the grace of God.
As God’s chosen people, David can have the free access to God despite of his failures towards God and man. We can come to God because we are His children. Whatever our condition, we are accepted by God and He is eager to hear our voices. When we go to God in prayer, He is always near and real. We may not always feel that God is listening, but He is. He cares and He will respond. Psalm 145:18 reminds us that we can take comfort in the fact that God is deeply concerned with what concerns our hearts: “The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon Him, to all that call upon Him in truth”.
God’s character is unchanging (vv. 8-13)
David knew the character and attributes of God which gives him the hope and endurance in prayer. Seven times in this Psalm, David uses the name, Adonai or Lord. It emphasizes God’s lordship and sovereignty. He made the nations and all are under His control. David said in Psalm 86:8, “There is none like unto thee” and in verse 10 he says, “For thou are great, and doest wondrous things”.
As children we used to sing the song, “My God is so great, so strong and so mighty there’s nothing my God cannot do. The mountains are his. The valleys are his; the skies are his handiwork too. My God is so great, so strong and so mighty, there’s nothing my God cannot do, for you”. God is sovereign and in control of everything. He is above our understanding and nothing is too difficult for Him. He is also
merciful and gracious, slow to anger and full of unfailing love, mercy and truth (13 -15). The prophet Jeremiah wrote, “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness” (Lam. 3:22-23). We can take heart that even when we fail, our faithful God comes to us in mercy and compassion that never fails. God’s abundant love, grace and mercy should motivate us to come to Him in prayer. He knows what is best for us. His ways are higher than our ways and we should not resent them in any way. Therefore David always remains teachable. He writes, “Teach me thy way, O Lord.” (11-12). David surely remembered how the Lord carried out His greater plan through Joseph when he allowed him to be sold into slavery in the hands of their enemies, the Egyptians.
Never get to a point where you are too wise in your own eyes. Solomon wrote in Prov.3:5-7 “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil.” Do not think that everything always has to work out perfectly and immediately to suit your expectations. Realize that God is working His greater will, way and wonders in and through you if you are trusting, obeying and praising Him.
God’s glory shall prevail (vv. 14-17)
David’s enemies were proud of themselves and their abilities. They were violent and totally ignorant of and indifferent to the God of Israel. But David asked the Lord to demonstrate to the nations that He is alive and able to deliver him from destruction. The battle against evil men wasn’t just a spiritual warfare. David affirms that it was to be a witness of God’s power and goodness. David affirms that he will glory God’s name forever (v.12). One reason that God brings trials into our lives is that we will call upon Him and then glorify Him when He rescues us. In all troubles we should look for ways to magnify the Lord so that others will be drawn to Him.
We live in troublous times in which we need to pray for our nation. In the celebrations of her 48th birthday, let us be thankful to our political system and in their leadership. If you must disobey, do it respectfully. We must use every legal channel to express our protest. If we resort to anarchy to promote our cause – no matter how noble – we are violating the principle of submission to authorities. The end does not justify the means. Violence, vandalism and other destructive acts are to be avoided. Bombings, assassinations, harassments and deceptive propaganda have no rightful place for the Christians. We are to be witnesses and do all things for the glory of God.
Paul says in 1 Timothy 2:1-4, “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”