Jdg 7-8; Mark 8; Psalm 3-4
Our Psalms offer us very contrasting prayers although one speaks to the other.
Psalm 3 we are told is of David, when he is fleeing from his son Absalom. The story of David and his son we will come to in time in our journey through the Old Testament – but for now it is enough to know that Absalom has staged a coup and David with a small band of those who have remained loyal have fled.
For the cast majority of those who read posts such as these it is hard to comprehend the depths of David’s loss and terror. His son has risen against him, his kingdom torn from his hand, and now he flees for his life. None of us can really know anything like this – yet in the midst his entire confidence is in God. He is both transcendent and imminent – a shield around him – and also the one who sustains him. God is his life, yes even David’s life.
Having said that we cannot know the depth of David’s predicament – who amongst us has every fled from those that seek to kill them – there is still as much disquiet in our hearts as if this were the case. The human creature often knows fear and distress which seems not to have a comparable external referent. And in the midst of this, Psalm 4 gives us wise wise counsel. For in the midst of the turbulence it is all too easy to be reactive and lash out against the ‘enemy’ – to ‘take the law into our own hands’, which is in effect to ‘take the name of the Lord in vain’.
The Psalmist calls us to a better path – a life giving path – ‘When you are disturbed, do not sin. Ponder it on your bed, and be still’
When our life is lived in the light of the knowledge of God, our perspective radically alters. We need not sin. It is the turbulence of our heart that is the very source of sin. ‘Trust in the lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding’ That is the path of Peace – of Shalom. Of discovering Home (your life is hid with Christ in God)