O LORD, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me! Many are saying of me, God will not deliver him,]But you are a shield around me O LORD; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head. To the LORD I cry aloud, and he answers me from his holy hill. I lie down and sleep, I wake again because the LORD sustains me. I will not fear the tens of thousands drawn up against me on every side.
This Psalm has a very helpful title. We are told that it was penned by David when he fled from his son Absalom. You can read the account of this tragic period in David’s life in 2 Samuel 15.13-17.24.
In brief summary Absalom conspires to take the throne from David causing him to flee from Jerusalem as the people side with his son against the anointed king.
So David finds himself very much alone apart from a few who remain faithful to him and here he is taunted by those who are now his enemies ‘God will not deliver him’.
I wonder if you have ever had an experience in which all the odds have seemed stacked against you. Something which seems to be insurmountable and you have even wondered if God has forsaken you. Somehow it feels like the bottom has dropped out of your world. It could be a redundancy notice, the death of a spouse or child, a cancer diagnosis, bankruptcy to suggest just some life shattering events.
If you have had such an experience what did you do? And did the action you took lift you from despair and set you on your feet again?
Note the three things David did.
He reminded himself who the LORD was and what he had done. V.3
Having done so he cried aloud for help and God answered v.4
He lay down and slept and woke without fear. V.5
You see the solution is not in ourselves in such circumstances but in the sovereign LORD of glory. God alone can provide that help and sweet sleep which is a sure sign of it having been given.
While I appreciate that they were not facing traumatic circumstances it was a joy to hear each of three of my grandchildren reciting with Mum or Dad as they went to bed the words of Psalm 4.8
I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone O LORD, make me dwell in safety.
May each of us who reads this today have such confidence in our great God that nothing can drive us to hopelessness and helplessness.