Though it is not always clear for us that God might be with us or has abandoned us. Even for Christ Jesus in the hour of his death it was not clear for him that God would still be with him. Naturally if Jesus was God, like so many Christians think, than God would always have been with Him because he himself was God and never had to be afraid of man because they could do God nothing and death also can do nothing to God. But as a real man of flesh and blood Jesus had enough reasons to fear man as well as death.
Coming from the root of King David Jesus also could think of the agony and fear David had gone through his life as well.
Today, reading his 17th psalm we perceive that the more troublesome the circumstances that surrounded him, the closer he came to God. With many other men it is the same. I must agree, also for me, it took two near death experiences before I got such an intimate relationship with God. Before the last terrible accident I was already a believer for years, but at moments had doubts about my faith and about others their belief, like the Trinity, if they would not be right and I be wrong. But in the end God gave me enough answers and got me to belief the non-trinitarian way is the right way.
In today’s Psalm 17 we read King David his prayer,
“13 Arise, O Jehovah, Confront him, cast him down: Deliver my soul from the wicked by thy sword; 14 From men by thy hand, O Jehovah, From men of the world, whose portion is in [this] life, And whose belly thou fillest with thy treasure: They are satisfied with children, And leave the rest of their substance to their babes.” (Psalms 17:13-14 ASV)At that time also David was able to say that Jehovah, God, had tried his heart. He at that stage knew that God had visited him more than once and had given him more than once signs. There were moments in his life that he ignored those signs. We too sometimes forget God or ignore His directions.
The man of God, David, knows that God has tested him and thinks God will find nothing, but god knows the heart very well and knows our bad and good doings. As any man, David was also fallible and also did some faults, which perhaps seem horrible in our eyes, but god was able to forgive him when David repented. Also when we repent God shall be willing to be close to us and be forgiving.
We have to question ourselves who we want to follow, man and his traditions or God and His ordinances!
Are we willing to do like Jesus and King David, so that we can say like him
I have purposed that my mouth will not transgress … by the word of your lips … My steps have held fast to your paths …” (verses 3-5).“The word of your lips” is of course, God’s word; God’s words gave David the strength to hold fast to godly ways: but do we use his word today as earnestly as David did then?
“I have called upon thee, for thou wilt answer me, O God: Incline thine ear unto me, [and] hear my speech.” (Psalms 17:6 ASV)Are we willing to call onto God? Are we willing and looking forward to such an intimate relationship as David and Jesus had with their heavenly Father?
David established an intimacy in his relationship with his God. What an example this is for us – and we have the wondrous further blessing of a mediator and Saviour!
David next prays,
“8 Keep me as the apple of the eye; Hide me under the shadow of thy wings, 9 From the wicked that oppress me, My deadly enemies, that compass me about.” (Psalms 17:8-9 ASV)Our we willing that Jehovah is with us even at the moments that we might be found in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness (Deuteronomy 32:10) When we prefer to follow Jesus, his teachings and believing his words instead of the doctrines of man, we may be sure that by this son of God we may be blessed and God shall be willing to be merciful and guiding us.
“Jehovah recompense thy work,“How precious is thy lovingkindness, O God! And the children of men take refuge under the shadow of thy wings.” (Psalms 36:7 ASV)In God we may trust. Every day of the year god is wiling to hear our call and to be with us. When we are willing to give our heart to Him he shall be there too for us. Doubtless kindness and mercy shall follow.
“«For the Chief Musician; [set to] Al-tashheth. [A Psalm] of David. Michtam; when he fled from Saul, in the cave.» Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me; For my soul taketh refuge in thee: Yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I take refuge, Until [these] calamities be overpast.” (Psalms 57:1 ASV)
“I will dwell in thy tabernacle for ever: I will take refuge in the covert of thy wings. [[Selah” (Psalms 61:4 ASV)
“For thou hast been my help, And in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice.” (Psalms 63:7 ASV)
“1 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say of Jehovah, He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in whom I trust. 3 For he will deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, And from the deadly pestilence. 4 He will cover thee with his pinions, And under his wings shalt thou take refuge: His truth is a shield and a buckler.” (Psalms 91:1-4 ASV)
and a full reward be given thee of Jehovah, the God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to take refuge.” (Ruth 2:12 ASV)
“Surely goodness and lovingkindness shall follow me all the days of my life; And I shall dwell in the house of Jehovah for ever.” (Psalms 23:6 ASV)
“One thing have I asked of Jehovah, that will I seek after; That I may dwell in the house of Jehovah all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of Jehovah, And to inquire in his temple.” (Psalms 27:4 ASV)
Dare we come close to God, like David and Jesus did? Are we willing to put our will aside, like Jesus did not his own will (which he would have done when he was God) but fulfilled God's Will? Would we love it to be kept as "the apple of God's eye"?
May our steps hold fast to God’s paths that we may be “willing” as God’s judgements falls on our world, as they fell on Jerusalem long ago. May we, especially at that time, say to our Saviour as David said to God in this Psalm,
“Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings, from the wicked who do me violence …” (verses 8,9).
Preceding article: A heart in the right place and brightly burning faith