Posted: May 26,2008
We are reminded that this is a Psalm of Instruction
written while David was fleeing from his son Absalom. It was addressed
to the Sons of Korah a group certainly familiar with ungodly family
members. They were also in charge of the music at the temple where this
was to be sung in public worship. We look this week at verses 6-11
which I am calling “An Instructive Prayer”. I will ask you to
have your Bible handy and I will not take our study space to quote the
In verses 6-8 I find, ‘A Prayer Of
Remembrance’. The prayer is coming from a ‘cast down soul’.
I have mentioned this position of being cast down as a sheep’s term of a
disease that leaves the lamb in a dying cockroach position. David here
remembers in verse 7 ‘Past Situations’. He remembers three times
when God has miraculously saved Israel. David mentioned the ‘…land
of Jordan…’, which speaks of the day God led them from the
wilderness life to the abundant life by rolling back the Jordan River.
He also remembers the battle with the Hermonites, King Og, and Sihon.
Rahab mentions this battle that it caused her heart to melt. It must
have been a day of great victory for Israel. He remembers the hill of
Mizar, a part of the Mt. Sinai chain where the law was given. It is the
law, when remembered, that causes us to cast our self upon the Lord. Be
careful when our thoughts look more inward than upward. Self can
provide no comfort in a time of need. Blessed is the down cast soul who
runs to the Rock that is higher than him.
David also remembers in verse 7 his ‘Persistent
Sorrows’. David sees his sorrows as a “…waterspout…” He
feels like the depths of earth and heaven clasp hands around him. The
clasping of the hands of sorrows has covered him over with overwhelming
billows of sorrow. It sure is a picture of hopelessness for David.
He remembers in verse 8 a ‘Present
Song’. He sees the loving-kindness of God as a life preserver in
the ocean of sorrow. When he sees this act of God’s preservation he
breaks our in a song of the night. Martin Luther said the mark of a
great Christian is one who can sing when the Devil has his hand over
In verses 9-10 we find the “Prayer
Of Request’. David makes request of the rock of his salvation in
verse 9. Faith can always ask a question when one feels God has
withdrawn his presence. David asks the question of ‘Why these ways?’
Let us not forget the greatest one to ever live cried out ‘Why hast
thou forsaken me?’ In verse 10 he makes another request of ‘Why
these words?’ His enemies’ continue to attack him with the words of
“Where is thy God?” The one who first made up the rhyme of ‘sticks
and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me’ didn’t
have a clue as to what he was saying.
In verse 11 we find a ‘Prayer Of Reliance’. David
makes a ‘Contrast Of Reliance’ between being cast down and giving
praise from a healthy countenance. You may ask how can one go so
quickly from being down to praising God. We see in verse 11 the ‘Connection
Of Reliance’. He says to himself within “…hope thou in God:”
David decides to put his confident expectation not in surrounding
circumstances but in his Sovereign Creator. How can we do less than
this in our time of family trouble?