Thursday, June 7, 2012

I Lay Down and Slept

I have so many friends and family who are going through hard things right now.  While I was thinking of these things, and reading about some of them through my social networking this morning, I was reminded of this Psalm of David.

When you read it, think of David and his whole story.  He was a shepherd boy from Bethlehem.  He was anointed to be the next king when he was still a young man.  He fought Goliath.  He played harp to soothe Saul.  Saul tried repetitively to kill David.  David eventually gathered a following, but refused to kill Saul, or to take over the kingship before God's timing.  Because of this, there were many times during which he lived in constant fear of Saul and Saul's armies. 

Then later, after David was king, his son, Absalom, gathered a following.  Absalom rose up against David, his father.  It was during this time, we are told, that David wrote the following Psalm.

Psalm 3

Lord, how they have increased who trouble me!
Many are they who rise up against me.
Many are they who say of me,
“There is no help for him in God.” Selah

But You, O Lord, are a shield for me,
My glory and the One who lifts up my head.
I cried to the Lord with my voice,
And He heard me from His holy hill. Selah

I lay down and slept;
I awoke, for the Lord sustained me.
I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people
Who have set themselves against me all around.

Arise, O Lord;
Save me, O my God!
For You have struck all my enemies on the cheekbone;
You have broken the teeth of the ungodly.
Salvation belongs to the Lord.
Your blessing is upon Your people. Selah

This Psalm so well depicts David's stressful situation.  "Lord, how they have increased who trouble me!  Many are they who rise up against me."

Things are so bad for David that others say, "There is no help for him  in God."  Perhaps David was even tempted to think this.

But David affirms that his salvation is from God, "But You, O Lord, are a shield for me, My glory and the One who lifts up my head."

David called upon God.  He set before His heavenly Father, in prayer, all his worries and concerns and fears.  "I cried to the Lord with my voice, And He heard me from His holy hill."
God heard him.

Now read on.  A few lines further on, David tells us that he "...lay down and slept."  And awoke safely because, "...the Lord sustained me."

We don't have actual armies lined up against us.  At least most of us do not.  But in this sin-filled and broken world, we do have plenty of troubles.

Just as the Psalmist took comfort in God's presence, even amidst fear and danger...even amidst fear and danger to the extent that others supposed God had forsaken him...Even then, David called upon God.  He called upon God and then lay down and slept.  Just imagine that.  With troubles surrounding him, he slept peacefully.

We have that same comfort.  We have the same promises from God that David had.  The promises of God's providence and care.  The promise of God's love and wisdom, which are so much greater than are ours.  Infinitely greater.

And most importantly, just as David had, we have the promise of eternal salvation through Jesus.  "Salvation belongs to the Lord.  Your blessing is upon Your people."

With that perspective in mind, may we all call upon the Lord.  May we hand over to God all our cares and troubles and worries.  And lie down and sleep.  Sleep without worry.  Sleep without fear.  In Jesus.


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