“Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me! For my soul trusts in You; and in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, until these calamities have passed by. I will cry out to God Most High, to God who performs all things for me. He shall send from heaven and save me; He reproaches the one who would swallow me up.” Psalm 57:1–3
After David’s disastrous attempt to seek asylum among the Philistines he returned to Israel and hid himself in the cave of Adullam which was in the wilderness of Judah near the Philistine border.
David’s time at the cave appears to have been peaceful and he was there for quite some time. We know this because while there he collected a band of men numbering about four hundred. Scripture also tells us that David’s family came to him while he was at Adullam seeking protection from Saul and his men and David took them to Moab and secured refuge for them there until his conflict with Saul was ended.
David may have enjoyed relative peace in Adullam but the threat of violence and death was an ever present companion. In fact, the longer he stayed in that one place the more real the possibility was that news would filter back to King Saul and then the army would be called out and he would be on the run again. Only now the burden was greater. Now he had the provision and care of four hundred men and their families to worry about. And you can’t run nearly as fast as a group as you can when you only have yourself to worry about.
In Psalm fifty-seven David turns his overburdened heart to God. “Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me! For my soul trusts in You; and in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, until these calamities have passed by.”
In today’s psalm David focuses his hope and trust on what he knows God will do for him. There’s very little recalling what God has already done for him; only one line of verse six recalls how David’s enemies have fallen into a pit trap they had prepared for him. Still David repeatedly expresses his faith and conviction that God will look with favor upon him and defend him from the attacks of King Saul.
The last five verses of this eleven verse psalm are entirely verses of praise. I love the strength I hear in verse seven, “My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and give praise.” And I love how verse eight becomes even more exactingly triumphant, “Awake, my glory! Awake, lute and harp! I will awaken the dawn.”
What does your day hold for you? The possibilities can’t be any worse than they were for David. Just as David found hope and strength to begin his day with praise so can we. Take some time to praise God as you begin this new day.