Scripture Text: Psalm 109:21-26
Question of the Day: How does a believer, in this case David, feel when beaten down by enemies?
Many Christians down through the centuries have suffered at the hands of those who outnumbered them—the wicked people around them. In the Old Testament it was not only the righteous who suffered, but also the prophets who spoke in the name of the LORD, and they were not treated very well. Here David explained to us how he felt when his enemies hounded him, and the words are very graphic. And as he pours out his heart to the LORD, there is hope because he clung to what he knew was true about the God he served.
Here are the words of the text: “But You, O GOD my Lord, deal with those evil people to protect your precious name and because of Your overwhelming steadfast love toward me, and come to my rescue! I am poor and need Your help so much, and my heart is crushed in me. I disappear like a fast moving shadow in the evening, and am shaken off like one shakes off a bug from his clothes. My knees are weak from going without food in a fast, and my body is very thin with no fat. I am the object of scorn to those who accuse me; when they see me they just shake their heads. Come to my rescue, O LORD my God! Show me once again Your overwhelming and steadfast love by delivering me.”
It is obvious from David’s words that he knew that it was only God who could rescue him. Why would God come to his rescue? David was concerned about God’s reputation when he asked God to rescue him, “for Your name’s sake”. What would motivate God to come to his rescue? David addressed God as the “Sovereign God” indicating his strong belief that God controls all things through His awesome power. Then he asked God to come to his rescue because of His overwhelming and steadfast love, saying that “it is good”. Would the same God that we worship come to our aid with both the love that we need and the power to help us out of our difficulty?
Now we come to the heart of today’s passage: David described the depths of his trial like this: He tells us that he is poor and needy. His heart is stricken in him. This indicates how depressed and down David felt. His life was slipping away from him like an evening shadow as the sun goes down. He feels like he is easily shaken off like a bug shaken off of one’s clothes. Does a Christian ever have such a hopeless feeling of rejection by those around him/her? His knees are weak because of the fact that he has been fasting. When fasting, our strength has been weakened by lack of food. Do trials and difficulties make us feel like we have been fasting for some time and are quite weak? His body had become gaunt, with no fat! The NLT says, “I am skin and bones!” Many who have gone through extreme trials have testified that they don’t feel like eating, and it would seem that they get weaker and weaker. He was aware that he was the object of scorn to those who accused him, and that when they saw him they just shook their heads. Is the physical pain that we feel amplified by the misunderstanding of this around us and the scorn and reviling that they give?
David began this section and concluded it with a plea for “the LORD my God” to help him in line with His steadfast and overwhelming love. Where would any of us be any day of our lives were it not for the steadfast love of the LORD and His faithfulness in being there for us continually. So when we are at the lowest of low places in our lives, we can have great hope—just because even though the rest of the world may be against us and scorning and reviling us, yet our God is always there with His love to help us out once again. We may be beaten down, but His love lifts us up!
Prayer: O God, You know what it is like for us down here because You have made this world and allowed it to go the direction it is now going, and besides that, in the Person of Your Son, You were here and saw firsthand the plight of man. And that is why, even though we are feeling very very low, yet we can always count on Your steadfast love to lift us up. Amen!
David B. Virts has written a book called “Knowing, Seeking Worshiping — a study of the character of God.” It is available by calling 615-945-0611.