How long did Saul hunt David? One estimate is about four years – from 1012 – 1008 BC. Long enough that several of the psalms he wrote were obviously from that time period. And it shows in the construction of those psalms. Imagine being continually on the run, living often in caves, and knowing that any day, your pursuers could catch up to you, and end it all.
Verse 5 contains a line that was quoted by Jesus on the cross (Luke 23:46) as He died: “Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, ‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!’ And having said this he breathed his last.” The psalm goes from despair into the assurance of God’s grace twice – first in verses 1-8, and again in 9-24. Many of the verses adapt easily to the plight of any righteous person who has ever suffered:
Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am in distress;
my eye is wasted from grief;
my soul and my body also
For my life is spent with sorrow,
and my years with sighing;
my strength fails because of my iniquity,
and my bones waste away.
The last two verses contain the advice from a man who spent all those years running, hundreds of days of fear, dread, despair and anguish. He encourages us to take heart and have patience – wait on the Lord!
Love the Lord, all you his saints!
The Lord preserves the faithful
but abundantly repays the one who acts in pride.
Be strong, and let your heart take courage,
all you who wait for the Lord
Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog. All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility. When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com. For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.