God Our Rock 1, 2 Samuel; Psalms

“Why, O God?” and “For how long?” are questions that David must have (and if you read the Psalms very much you will see that he did) ask often.  “Why do my enemies constantly persecute me?  What wrong have I done?”  David, the man after God’s own heart, the young man who had been anointed as the next king over Israel, certainly had more than his share of persecution.  He had attempted to be faithful to his king (Saul) and had become a great military hero fighting for his nation and his king.  (So much so that people were able to sing “Saul has slain his thousands; David his ten thousands”).  He had stood up when no other would to face the taunts of the wicked Goliath and had in faith slain the brutal giant to deliver Israel from the Philistines.  He had played his harp and sung to the king in order to alleviate his periodic maladies and had been the best friend to the king’s favorite son.  If ever there had been a faithful subject to a king (or man before God) it had been David.

And yet, David found himself continually persecuted and harassed.  The more he tried to serve and honor his king, the more Saul seemed determined to hate and to kill him.  Twice David had barely escaped being run through with a javelin in the midst of Saul’s seemingly random fits of rage.  David had seen the bride he had been promised (Saul’s daughter Michal) given to another man simply to spite him.  Finally the death threats became so intense that David was forced to flee for his life.  From that day onward, he had lived like a wild animal being hunted for sport.  He was able to take refuge for a time in the midst of the enemy Philistines by pretending to be insane.  But Saul was relentless in his pursuit of David.  He chased him from village and mountain throughout the dry and parched Judean wilderness – forcing him to live as a fugitive; never knowing whether he was safe or if the chase would ever end.  Twice he had an opportunity to kill Saul, yet he refrained, “Who am I to kill the Lord’s anointed?”

But undoubtedly David grew tired.  He was forced to wonder why he faced such unaccountable persecution.  Why did Saul pursue him?  What had he done wrong?  Where would he ever find rest?  “Why, O God?”  “How long, Lord?”  David’s world was always changing and he was constantly facing frightening new situations and an uncertain future.  (Does any of this sound familiar to where you are? Or where our nation is?)

In the midst of such incredible uncertainty and as he fled from place to place, he took comfort in the one thing that never changed.  “To you I call, O Lord my Rock” (Ps. 28:1).  No picture is more frequently used by David for his God than that of a rock.  David often made his temporary makeshift camp in a mountain hideout or in a cave.  He would take refuge in a “rock.”  Even as his daily circumstances changed he saw the mountains of Judea remaining the same – and this reminded him of the great unchanging one.  The one who was the same from day to day.  The one who had anointed him to be the next king over Israel.  He was reminded that although things had changed and new persecutions constantly came, the Lord was still his rock.  The one thing that could never be moved or shaken.  And he knew that the Lord would ultimately vindicate him before his enemies even as He had promised.  Ultimately, God did, of course, vindicate David and fulfill all His promises.

In the midst of life’s (and the nation’s and the world’s) uncertainties, cling to our Lord, our Rock – the mighty fortress who cannot be moved or shaken.  God saw His servant David through his difficulties and He will see us through as well.   “The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace” (Ps. 29:11)