1. He has heard my voice
Sometimes it seems that our prayers always contain cries for help and surely God must get tired of them. Can’t we go through a period when everything is good, and we don ‘t need to ask for help all the time? Does God ever think “what do they want this time?” While we might get self conscious or even embarrassed about continually pouring our problems to God asking for his help and deliverance, it never bothered David. It doesn’t bother God either. In fact, Peter reminds us that we should cast all our anxieties on him because he cares for us (1 Peter 5:7), God wants us to depend on him, to bring our every need to him so that he can show how much he cares by meeting our need. Psalm 28 is another example of David facing a difficult situation and crying out to God.
There was only one thing certain in David’s life. It was God, he was David’s rock, always reliable, never failing. God was his foundation and his strength, when everything fell apart around him, God was there. When other supports that he trusted in, his health, wealth, strength, friends failed him, God stood firm, never wavering. Now David needed assurance that God was listening to him, his language – “I become like those who go down to the pit,” suggests that he might have believed he was close to death and desperately needed God’s intervention.
David did not want to suffer the same fate as those he calls evil. He didn’t want all he had worked for to disappear, to be torn down. He is not just speaking about people who are disobedient or sinful, these were people who had put themselves against God. They wanted to destroy the work of God’s hands, David wants them destroyed instead. When we see people deliberately trying to destroy the things of God, even the church; when we see campaigns to upset what we know as proper moral decisions or mistreat the poor and broken we naturally get angry and want those who are guilty to suffer the consequences of their actions. This is how David thought and how he prayed. How should we respond?
There is no question that there are times that we need to stand against evil, to fight on the side of the hurting and the oppressed and yet Jude writes that we are to “show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh” (Jude 23). It is good to be reminded that those who do evil things are not the enemy, they are victims of the enemy held captive to do his will. We should act and pray for their deliverance, being careful not to become contaminated by the same sin.
David did not doubt that God had heard his prayer and that he would answer he writes: “Blessed be the Lord! For he has heard the voice of my pleas for mercy. The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.” He knew God had heard him, and he had faith that God would deliver him, not only him but all those that were his people. He was their saving refuge, a source of deliverance and a place of safety. He ends his prayer with short requests for the people:
Save your people
Bless your heritage
Be their shepherd
Carry them forever
As I write these words, they are my prayers for all those who read them too. That whatever you face God will rescue you from it, he will bless your heritage because it is his heritage, he will guide you through the valleys and carry you when you can’t take another step, and then he will set you down in a high place.