Seventy-five of the Psalms are attributed to David (seventy-three have his signature; Jesus attributes Psalm 2 to him, while the author of Hebrews attributes Psalm 95 to him). One-third of these flow from the days of his conflict with his son Absalom. David's greatest worship flows out of a heart broken by the grief of betrayal and loss.
Betrayal and loss cause deep pain, and out of the cocoon of pain either bitterness or worship emerges. Sorrow demands the appropriation of God's presence and the recognition of His greatness. Worship rescues David from losing both his kingdom and his mind.
David's life follows a trajectory of worship:
During this painful period in David's life he pens words of desperate hunger for God:
Robert Browning Hamilton, a poet from a past century, captures the truth that sorrow is a great teacher:
I walked a mile with Pleasure;
She chatted all the way;
But left me none the wiser
For all she had to say.
I walked a mile with Sorrow,
And ne"er a word said she;
But, oh! The things I learned from her,
When sorrow walked with me.
Sorrow may not be a villain if she leads us to worship; she may be God's goodness.
During the majority of David's life he dealt with adversity from opposing nations or adversity from within Israel. What do the psalms in today's reading reveal about how David handled both sources of adversity?
David highlights the opposing forces of trusting the LORD and fretting about evil and evil doers in Psalm 37. What are the effects of both trusting and fretting? Both we and you and also our little ones. I myself will be surety for him; from my hand you shall require him. If I do not bring him back to you and set him before you, then let me bear the blame forever" (Genesis 43:8-9).
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