Swimming Against the Tide of Circumstance

Israel
Cave in En Gedi (Photo credit: andrew dowsett)

Chapter-a-Day Psalm 57

My heart is confident in you, O God;
    my heart is confident.
    No wonder I can sing your praises!
Psalm 57:7 (NLT)

According to the liner notes at the beginning of Psalm 57, David wrote these lyrics at a very precise moment in time. Let me set the stage:

  • David had been anointed the future King of Israel by the prophet Samuel when he was a young boy of 12 or 13.
  • David subsequently killed Goliath and became wildly popular. He becomes best buds with Prince of Israel. Things were really looking up for the young man.
  • Check that. Rather than being made king as prophesied, David suddenly finds himself the victim of jealous hatred by the current King of Israel (who was given to mental health issues and fits of homicidal rage).
  • David flees for his life into the barren desert and holes up in the back of a cave.
  • Crazy King Saul (think Javier Bardem in Skyfall) and a posse of a thousand men find out where David is hiding and hit the trail to kill him.

And, at that moment the wanted young man hiding in a cave with a psychopath monarch and one thousand soldiers bearing down on him picks up his harp and sings: “My heart is CONFIDENT.”

Of course he does. The truth of matter is, those of us who follow God are called, time and time again, to swim against the tide of momentary circumstance and natural human emotion. Faith trumps fear. Trust in God leads to inexplicable peace and joy in the midst of terror:

  • “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Written by Jeremiah as he surveyed the destruction of Jerusalem and watched desperate people eating the flesh of their own dead children to survive; Lamentations 3:22-23).
  • “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” – Jesus (Matthew 5:44)
  • “You are blessed when people insult you, persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil about you because of me.” – Jesus (Matthew 5:11)
  • Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. – (James 1:2-3)
  • We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. – Romans 5:3
  • Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. – I Thessalonians 5:8

When you consider that David was “a man after God’s own heart,” then it’s no wonder that in the midst of tough circumstances and facing overwhelming odds David felt a surge of confidence. So it is with those whose hearts are surrendered to God who is exceeding, abundantly in and through, above and beyond momentary human circumstance.

6 thoughts on “Swimming Against the Tide of Circumstance”

  1. 2 I cry out to God Most High,[b]
    to God who will fulfill his purpose for me.

    So often we traverse this life wondering what by chance will happen today in our journey. As Christians, we believe that every day has purpose and works toward a greater end. I love this verse because it reminds me that God will fulfill his purpose for me. I need to be open and available for His work.

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