Has your life ever gotten out of control? Have you ever wondered how in the world you will be able to continue in the race of life? Have you ever thought that maybe death would be easier?
If so, you’re in good company. And if so, I would plead with you to keep reading, because there is a help for the depression described above later in this post.
David was in just such a position. He was fleeing from King Saul, who in a jealous rage had decided David was a threat to his throne and must be destroyed. So when we see David, he is hiding in a cave with his men because Saul has issued kill on sight orders to his soldiers.
Then Saul has to relieve himself, so he goes into the very cave in which David is hiding. David’s men say, “Hey, look, God has handed him over to you. Kill him and end our trouble.”
David wants to. He really does. And it is clearly shown in the fact that he approaches Saul and cuts off a corner of his robe. But David also fears God and wants to honor Him, so instead of striking down Saul, he prays.
The first lines of David’s prayer are a plea to God to hear him; his request is important and he finds it necessary to tell God this. Then he requests that his praying posture would be reverent; he doesn’t want to pray flippantly. Then he asks God that God guard his mouth, which relates both to interactions with Saul and the words of his prayer. In verse 4 he requests that God keep him from partaking in sinful delicacies with other sinners. In verse 5 he points out that he would rather be beaten and rebuked than partake in sin. Then David prays verse 6:
When their rulers will be thrown off the sides of a cliff, the people will listen to my words, for they are pleasing.
And here we have a verse that has stumped commentators for a long time. David is praying for help and deliverance, and then all of a sudden this seemingly vindictive line gets thrown into the mix. The fact that this verse is future tense also complicates the situation. It is almost as if David is prophesying the death of Saul. Let’s look closer at this verse.
David says that something will happen when the rulers of the people are thrown off a cliff. The thing that he says will happen is that the people will hear the goodness of David’s words. In a sense this is David working through his prayer and coming to a conclusion: if God answers his prayer, his words will be godly and pleasing and he won’t be seen as a murderer when Saul dies.
What David is doing is looking into the future. He has his eyes on what is to come rather than the here and now. This would be a worthy pursuit for any believer to take upon himself. Rather than focusing on the negative here and now, focus on the positive to come.
The phrase in our passage today, “When their rulers will be thrown off the sides of a cliff” can also be translated, “When their rulers fall into the hands of the Rock.” As the author of Hebrews tells us, “It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (10:31). This is a picture of the final judgment: sin, death, sinners, and Satan will fall into the hands of God for judgment. He will avenge the wrongs inflicted upon His people. He will make the wrongs right. He will be perfectly just.
As such, even in the most heinous of situations we can look to God and trust Him. When life looks like crap we can trust Him. He is a good God. He will vindicate His people, and He will avenge Himself on those who are not His.
The way this is possible is Jesus. Jesus let Himself fall into God’s hands for the final 3 hours on the cross so that He could take the punishment we deserve. If you have not trusted Him, you will fall into His hands someday. I don’t want this for you. I want you to trust Jesus.
If you’ve trusted Him, keep pressing into Him. He will get you through even the hardest of times just like He got David through. In your times of hardship remember that God is sovereign, and He will make everything right in the end.
In this with you.
Solo Deo Gloria
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