My Refuge in Times of Trouble

by Bethany

Relevant Text: Ps. 59:16-17
Full Text: 1 Sam. 18-19 and Ps. 59

Success | After he defeated Goliath, David became an instant celebrity. First, he got a new job – instead of tending sheep, he was commanding troops [1]. Along with that, he became a national hero: “All Israel and Judah loved David, because he led them in their campaigns” [2]. He also got two new wives and, since both were daughters of Saul, he became a son-in-law of the king [3]. Indeed, the hand of the Lord was on David: “In everything he did he had great success, because the LORD was with him” [4].

Jealousy | Saul, however, began despising David for his popularity. He became like H.G. Well’s character, Mr. Polly – “not so much a human being as a civil war” [5]. He was miserable, possessed, suspicious, jealous, angry and paranoid. Although David served him faithfully, Saul was obsessed with making David miserable. After twice failing to kill David with his own spear, Saul sent bloodthirsty men to surround his house and kill him [6]. Since his command had the force of law, David had nowhere to turn. Therefore, David had to flee as a fugitive, leaving his home and family.

Music | Yet, David did not complain to his friends or lash out at God. Instead, he sang about the mercy and might of God against his opponents: “See what they spew from their mouths … But you laugh at them, LORD … You are my strength, I watch for you … God will go before me and will let me gloat over those who slander me … Let them be caught in their pride … Then it will be known to the ends of the earth that God rules … I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble” [7].

Prayer | Lord, Like David, You may bless us incredibly, but all of our blessings can be lost in a moment. Yet, we know that, although we may weep for a night, we will praise You in the morning – not with shallow or silly songs, but with deep and weighty ones that acknowledge the loss and the pain [8]. Therefore, we pray that You would wean us – as You did David – from our earthly attachments and help us to cling to You as our refuge and strength in times of trouble. Amen.


[1] See 1 Sam. 18:2, 5  |  [2] 1 Sam. 18:16 NIV  |  [3] See 1 Sam. 17:25; 18:17-21  |  [4] 1 Sam. 18:14 NIV  |  [5] H.G. Wells, The History of Mr. Polly.  |  [6] 1 Sam. 19:11 NIV  |  [7] See Ps. 59 NIV  |  [8] As Charles Spurgeon said, “The music of the sanctuary is in no small degree indebted to the trials of the saints.”

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