Morning Prayer of a Christian in Danger and Affliction.
A Psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom, his son, 2 Sam. 15, 14, probably written on the morning after the day of the flight, when David saw nothing but danger and destruction on every side, when his heart expressed the thoughts which arise in the hearts of all children of God as they battle with affliction. V. 1. Lord, how are they increased that trouble me, the idea of their increasing number being brought home to David by the fact that his own son had joined their ranks. Many are they that rise up against me, as his adversaries along every line, but particularly in the rebellion of Absalom. V. 2. Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah. David's condition at that time, as history shows, 2 Sam. 15, 23. 30, was such as to make all men doubt the possibility of his deliverance, while his enemies openly stated that he could no longer expect any help from the Lord. The word Selah was a term used in music which, according to its etymology, denoted some sort of augmentation or elevation; either the orchestra at this point played in full strength, or the accompaniment was increased in loudness, or both voices and instruments were raised in loud tones. In this way David set forth the greatness of the distress under which he was laboring. He does not, however, give way to despair, but turns to the Lord in a fervent prayer for deliverance. V. 3. But Thou, O Lord, art a Shield for me, protecting him against all the attacks of the enemies; my Glory, the source of all David's dignity and authority as king, and the Lifter up of mine head, sure to raise him out of the deep depression with which he was then battling, which beset him on all sides. It is the lot of the children of God in this world which they must suffer that they are always in deep tribulation; but out of the very depths of their misery and woe they can and shall look up to the God of their salvation. V. 4. I cried unto the Lord with my voice, in loud and fervent supplication, and He heard me out of His holy hill, the mountain of His presence, Mount Zion, where the Tabernacle had now been erected and where the Temple was afterwards built. Selah. Again a pause in the psalm, in order to bring home the great truth of the Lord's answering prayer. V. 5. I laid me down and slept, instead of spending the night in useless lamentation; I awaked, still safe and secure, not yet delivered into the power of his enemies; for the Lord sustained me, it was David's confidence that the hand of Almighty God was upholding him, and this fact gave him his calm assurance in the midst of dangers. V. 6. I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, no matter how great a multitude Absalom might gather to crush him, that have set themselves against me round about. This was not spoken in boastfulness, but with the quiet assurance of faith in the almighty protection of Jehovah. V. 7. Arise, O Lord; save me, O my God! a confident cry to Jehovah to interfere now in the happenings of the world; for Thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek bone; Thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly, like the jaws of ravenous beasts or tearing monsters, the crushing of whose jaws and teeth not only renders them harmless, but is equivalent to their complete overthrow. V. 8. Salvation belongeth unto the Lord, He can and will help in every trouble, for there is no limit to the power at His disposal. Thy blessing is upon Thy people. David prays not only for his own deliverance, but for the welfare of his whole nation, a large part of which had been led astray in the rebellion then incited by Absalom. Selah. Thus David prayed even for his enemies, just as all Christians, sure of their own deliverance, make intercession for all men, also in the petition: “Thy kingdom come!”