‘Praise to the Lord, who o’er all things so wondrously reigneth, / Shelters thee under his wings, yea, so gently sustaineth!’
The reason for David’s profound happiness can be readily seen in the ensuing verses. Even though powerful enemies had surrounded him and death at their hands seemed imminent, he did more than merely survive. He was victorious, and he knew that this triumph was not the result of his military prowess. It had to be God’s work–no other explanation made sense. When all was clearly let and David descended into utter despair, he cried out to God for delivery. The victory was God’s. That is why he sang, “The Lord lives!–an exultant, thankful cry… the theological climax of Psalm 18:2 David’s experience, yet again, was of a living God—nota disinterested or distant being, nor a lifeless image carved in stone or wood, but a living, caring, personal and responsive God.
I’m no king, thank God and my life is lived on a very different stage from David’s, but I can still confidently declare that my Lord lives! No doubt the same is true for you. Just like Israel’s greatest king, we know that he who has created al that exists is also our shepherd. We have our own stories to tell, our own experiences to share go God’s gentle shepherding in our lives.
Like David, too, we have other stories, of times when it feels like God has forgotten us for ever. For days on end, even months, we long for an unmistakable indication of God’s presence and care. During such times God requires of us a patient trust. And when a Christian friend or companion is enduring such times, we must take care not to burden them further with slick ‘solutions, but instead stand by them with our love and prayers.
Prayerfully recall some special times go God’s gentle care, and thank him. Pray for any friend who is yearning for an indication of God’s closeness and love.