A Call to Prayer
Introduction: This text was penned by David either during his pursuit by King Saul or his flight from Absalom. In any case, the enemies he is facing are ''evil men'' (wicked v.2), persecuting him for righteousness' sake, and seeking to harm him by physical violence and by slander. He likens them to wild beasts eager to tear him limb from limb. (v.2).
Yet, in the midst of all that is happening to him, he displays a rather encouraging response. This text is full of David's confidence and faith that Almighty God is there for him. (1-3). He then focuses on the awesome privilege of being in God's presence and the security he finds there (4-6). However, not unlike you and I, he begins to speak of his fear in v.7. John Phillips said, ''We must never forget that fear lives right next door to faith.'' Those who have a problem and who are facing it right now hardly need to be reminded of that. We ride the roller coaster from faith to fear over and over again. One moment we say, ''Everything's going to work out fine.'' The next moment we are looking at our circumstances in absolute despair. How did David handle the situation when he found himself at the bottom of the mountain?
There is such a great contrast between the two sections of verses 1-6 and 7-14 that some expositors insist that the psalm is the work of two different people. They argue that no person could switch so suddenly from faith to fear, from trust to trembling, from confidence to cowardice. However, we only have to look at our own deceitful hearts to see that such a switch is not only possible, it happens all the time, often within the same prayer. Faith and fear very often fight each other for the mastery of the soul.
The overwhelming challenge to my heart in this passage is intimacy.
''One thing I have desired of the Lord,
That will I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord
All the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of t ...
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