Thursday, August 4, 2016

Thoughts on Psalm 20:1a

May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble (Psalm 20:1a)

Imagine you’re the mayor of a small town of about 600 people. You go on a business trip, which turns out to be a bust, and so you head home early. It’s a 3 day drive home. A long and disappointing trip. But you’re excited to get home to relax and see your family.

As you pull into your town, you notice that every house has been burned to the ground - including yours. Everything you’ve worked for, everything you’ve built is suddenly reduced to a pile of ashes. And no, you don’t have fire insurance.

Can you imagine it? Where are you going to sleep tonight? Everything you own now consists of what is in your car. It’s all gone.

Ah, but the day is not over yet. You are suddenly gripped with horror: “Where is my family?”

A witness stops by and breaks the news to you: “It was a huge caravan, maybe part of the drug cartel. Your family is missing. They’ve been kidnapped, along with all of the other women and children in town. And honestly we don’t know if they are still alive.”

It’s hard to relate to such a devastating story, isn’t it? But this isn’t fiction. It’s a true story, and it happened to the man who wrote Psalm 20.

And I suppose no matter how we think we might react, we would probably respond exactly as David and his men did:

Then David and the people who were with him lifted up their voices and wept, until they had no more power to weep. 1 Samuel 30:4

Completely heart-broken. They’ve lost everything. Try and put yourself there, if you can.

What would you do?

But again, the Day of Trouble is not over for David. It gets worse still:
Now David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and his daughters. 1 Samuel 30:6

David’s followers are about to impeach him from office - and not with ballots, but with fist-sized rocks!

He’s lost his home, his family, and now he is the target of a lynch mob!

Now (prepare for sarcasm) if David has been diligent in studying the book of Job, he thinks to himself, “Job also lost his possessions and his family. God must be punishing me. I guess I should just sit down and wait for the boils to cover my body.”

It’s very tempting in the Day of Trouble to identify with Job. But David didn’t do that. And we shouldn’t either.

But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God. 1 Samuel 30:6

David pushed away those thoughts of “God is punishing me. I messed up so I deserve this.” And he reminded himself of God’s faithfulness. He recounted how many times God has been there for him in the past. And he grabbed hold of the promises God has made him that still hadn’t come to pass (namely, that David would one day be king of Israel, which he wasn’t yet).

And in that process, David stepped out of fear and dread - and moved into an attitude of Trust. And he had clarity of thought to make his next move:

So David inquired of the LORD, saying, “Shall I pursue this troop? Shall I overtake them?” 1 Samuel 30:8

That is so powerful! After having the “Day of Trouble” of a lifetime, David inquires of the Lord. And what happens?

And He answered him, “Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all.” 1 Samuel 30:9

God answered him in his Day of Trouble! He gave him instructions on what to do - and even told him what the result would be! And what was that result?

So David recovered all… And nothing of theirs was lacking, either small or great, sons or daughters, spoil or anything which they had taken from them; David recovered all. 1 Samuel 30:18-19

This is amazing. A real life example of the power of Trust. David and his men recovered everything - after a Day of Trouble that is almost incomprehensible. This is what happens when we move out of fear, dread, and panic, and step into an attitude of confidence in who God is - He is a Father who answers us when we need Him.

Can you now hear the conviction in David’s voice? As he sings:
May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble

May we have that same conviction in our voice as we sing.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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