David’s Prayer in the Storm
The hurricane Fiona caused significant damage in the eastern portions of Canada this week. The initial damage estimate was at 700 million Canadian dollars. In Florida, hurricane Ian destroyed so many houses and properties and caused untold miseries as it moved to South Carolina yesterday. Powerful storms like these have affected many people.
Powerful storms are like big and heavy problems that we carry around. In particular, relational problems have negatively affected people around us. David was in a similar predicament here in Psalm 55. He likened his huge problem to a violent wind and powerful storm. He said, “7 I would flee far away and stay in the desert;8 I would hurry to my place of shelter,far from the tempest and storm.” Psalm 55:7-8.
Tempest refers to the violent wind like hurricanes that strong storms carry. David was in the middle of a violent conflict which has something to do with his close friend, confidant, adviser, and co-worshiper. He was betrayed by this friend and somehow it affected his whole kingdom. All of us have been there or are going through some tough times, perhaps involving a friend whom we thought betrayed us. And thus, we can all learn from David’s experience. What did he do that we hope to follow? Several things, first, he cried out to God in anguish.
1. David’s prayer of anguish.
“1 Listen to my prayer, O God, do not ignore my plea; 2 hear me and answer me. My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught 3 because of what my enemy is saying, because of the threats of the wicked; for they bring down suffering on me and assail me in their anger. 4 My heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death have fallen on me.” Psalm 55:1-4, NIV.
· David was literally crying out loud to God. He was grieving for his family and kingdom’s disasters.
What stormy problems did David have?
· His enemies were hunting him down so he’s on the run.
· His enemies were spreading lies and malicious accusations (v. 2) that made him suffer mentally and emotionally (“distraught” v.1).
· A very close friend betrayed him and conspired with others for his destructive overthrow (see v.11) and demise (See vv.13-14).
· David confessed and admitted before God these problems affected the condition of his heart vv.4-5.
· There’s no greater pain for David than to see his family and kingdom in chaos.
· David cast all his heavy burdens to the Lord.
· David’s confession to God flows out from that deep horror and despair that he wanted God to show up right away and do something about his tempest and storm.
2. David’s prayer for escape.
“6 Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest. 7 I would flee far away and stay in the desert; 8 I would hurry to my place of shelter,far from the tempest and storm.” Psalm 55:6-8
· If David could only fly away in haste like a dove, from his stormy problem and hide somewhere safe, he would have done so.
· He recognized his mental and physical limitations because his enemies were closely related to him.
· David decided to flee and leave his city for the sake of his family and people.
· The Lord listened and allowed David to escape from harm. He lived to write at least 73 Psalms and died in his old age.
· When we pray to God for an escape door especially from family conflicts, He directs our steps.
· The Holy Spirit, as our counselor (see John 14:26-28), provides that escape through applicable principles found in the Bible.
3. David’s prayer for justice.
“9 Lord, confuse the wicked, confound their words, for I see violence and strife in the city. 10 Day and night they prowl about on its walls;malice and abuse are within it. 11Destructive forces are at work in the city; threats and lies never leave its streets. 12 If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it; if a foe were rising against me, I could hide. 13 But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend, 14 with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship at the house of God, as we walked about among the worshipers. 15 Let death take my enemies by surprise; let them go down alive to the realm of the dead for evil finds lodging among them.” Psalm 55:9-15
· Destructive forces sowing chaos in Jerusalem v.9.
· Falsehood being spread about David v.10.
· A close friend, a worshiper of God, was the instigator of evil and chaos in David’s city v.13-14, so he knew where David would hide.
· David prayed for divine judgement right away to spare his kingdom from further violence and destruction.
· David did not avenge for his overthrow from his reign but relied on God to restore his kingdom to him, which God did.
· At this point, though not mentioned, it is impossible for David not to remember God’s promise to him back in 2 Samuel 7:16, “16 Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.’”
· David places his confidence on God who is all-knowing and all-powerful who can fulfill His covenant with him.
Questions to ponder.
· Where do you place your confident on, dear friend?
· What causes your anguish and panic?
· What do you normally do whenever you are in the middle of a stormy family relationship?
· Would you rather rely on your own feelings or on the Lord who knows all things and can do all that He promised to do as revealed to us in the Bible?
· Would you trust God’s judgement or yours?
· What do you resolve to do today?