“The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous and his ears toward their cry. The face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth. When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.” Psalm 34:15-17 (ESV)
This Psalm of David is noted for being written shortly after he had feigned insanity before the Philistine King of Gath. He did so to avoid any reprisal for what he had done. It was the hometown of the giant Goliath whom David had killed. Using the sword of Goliath, David cut off his head after knocking him out with a rock from his sling. (1 Samuel 17:1–51) This psalm, and others, were written while David hid in a cave with his men. King Saul was hunting David to kill him. We are apt to forget sometimes that our God is very near to His own. David was conscious that the Lord was watching over him and ready to help him at all times. But we note that David was talking about righteous people and you may wonder if this applies to you. Be assured that if you have believed in Jesus as your Savior, then God has declared you to be righteous. That is what we call justification by faith. So this applies to all who believe through faith. God’s eyes are on every movement we make and He is listening to hear our call.
“Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me, for in you I take refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed.” Psalm 57:1 (NIV)
“Mercy me!” These days it is the name of a band and/or the name of a song sung by a different band. It is an exclamation with the same meaning as the words David wrote in this Psalm. He was calling on God for mercy and for protection. Twice David had an opportunity to dispatch King Saul who was hunting to kill him. What is interesting about this verse is the fact that when David wrote this song he was recalling when he was hiding in a cave where he had an opportunity to be rid the threat of death by killing Saul and being rid of him permanently. Instead, David hid in the cave and trusted God. David, anointed to be King after Saul, knew his own need for a refuge for his soul, and he found that in God. He could be secure and safe spiritually. He didn’t have to kill Saul. David chose to trust in God who promised to keep Him safe forever. We need and have the same refuge. God has promised us a safe place with Him for our souls, for eternity. So we can say with David, “We have our refuge in our God.”
“For today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:11 (NASB)
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5 (ESV)
What does Christmas mean to those of us who belong to the family of God? Today and always it is good to keep in mind that at Christmas we celebrate what God did to make it possible for us to join His family. Two verses, one from the Gospel of Luke and one from the Gospel of John bring to us today’s promises. The promised Messiah’s coming was fulfilled in person the day Jesus was born in Bethlehem. We read what the angel told the Bethlehem shepherds recorded in Luke. In John we read again of the light that Jesus was and brought to earth. Light which evil darkness is unable to snuff out. The world does not comprehend this light and so remains in darkness. It was not only the shepherds who needed a Savior. We needed a Savior too, and He did come to save us. Let’s remember what a great difference it has been in our lives, to have a Savior. Jesus has saved us from sin and from sin’s eternal punishment. And He saves us today from uncertainty, fear, and confusion. Let’s remember this promise today as we hear the words of our verse read.
“From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” Psalm 61:2 (NIV)
Now we know that King David, the one who wrote these words, never did that much world traveling so that he could say he was at the end of the world. He is using a figure of speech common even for us and what he meant was that no matter where he was, God would hear and respond when he prayed to Him. We can trust this promise and we can trust that God hears us no matter where we are. That is both in location and in circumstances. Our situations may make us feel like we are far from God. We aren’t. We might question if He hears us. He does. David also recognized that God had things to reveal to him which were beyond anything he had yet experienced. He asked God to lead him to a rock that was higher than any place he had so far reached. This is true in our case too. God has things to show us, each which are beyond anything we have yet known. This is the promise we have that when we need Him, God is here with us leading us to greater fulfillment in our lives.