Sunday, May 03, 2009

The Back Story

“A Psalm of David” (Psalm 11:1)

There is no escaping it, no matter who you are and no matter where you go. In every place sacred or secular, exalted or common, Mocking Birds can be found doing their business in places where they have no business doing it. These “bird brains” are everywhere in our world today, dumping their smelly load on unsuspecting souls.

In David's day, they were the fearful voices urging him to flee for his life to the mountains. Let me give you some of the back story details which lead up to this Psalm being written.

David had already slain the mighty giant, Goliath. And old King Saul, a cowering man of intemperate disposition, had brought David to sit in his Courts. His decision was based partly upon his own fading memories of when the Lord had anointed him for some of his earlier victories.

There can also be little doubt that envy was at work in Saul’s heart as well. After all, it couldn't have helped matters when the people began singing in public one of their favorite choruses -- "Saul has slain his thousands, but David his ten thousands!"

And perhaps Saul's decision was also driven by political expediency, for the people loved David greatly; and Saul, no doubt hoped to gain their favor by showing himself to be David’s friend.

But Saul was a tormented soul, vexed by demonic powers that filled his heart with terror, and poisoned his mind with foolishness. During one of these wicked rants, Saul grabbed his spear and hurled it at David; intending to pin him against the wall and end his ascent to Israel’s Throne. He missed.

It was in this tempestuous political climate that the faint-hearted counselors in the court sought audience with David, and urged him to take flight. “Run to the mountains,” they cried, “for the evil bows are bent, the wicked arrows are aimed to shoot under cover of darkness at every heart open to God. The bottom's dropped out of the country; good people don't have a chance!”

They were alarmed, and tried to convince David to respond to the situation in the way they thought was best – “Run for your life!”

But David knew better, for he knew the Lord. And this Psalm is his answer to their unwise advice. Thankfully, God led him to write it, and has preserved it for us unto this very day. Now we ourselves can respond as David did when it seems that “the bottom has dropped out of the country, and good people don’t have a chance.”

Tomorrow, we will look at how David replied to their anxious nonsense.


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