September 5 I Sunday
1 Corinthians 15:1-28
“The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know Your name trust in You, for You, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek You.” —Psalm 9:9-10
Of the 150 psalms, David penned over 70 of them. From his psalms, we get profound insight into David’s life as the ruler of Israel, and what is remarkable is that he carried his position of leadership on his knees in prayer.
As we read Psalms 9 and 10, we get a glimpse into what it must have been like as a king. To appreciate the content, we must consider the context. When God led His people out of Egypt and into the Promised Land, He placed them in the nation we presently know as Israel. If we were to look on a map where Israel was in the Old Testament, we would notice that it was surrounded by large empires. Israel was a bridge between nations. If the Assyrians wanted to attack Egypt, they would have to go through Israel. If Egypt wanted to attack the Hittites, it would have to go through Israel. The nation of Israel found itself in the heart of these empires.
Why would God choose to plant His people in such a vulnerable position surrounded by these larger empires? The reason: Israel was planted in a position where it would have to continually depend upon God. For example, when we study how God ordered the economy of Israel according to His law with all of the provisions for the poor and the oppressed through the gleaning laws, the Sabbath laws and the cancellation of debts, God placed Israel in a position where the Israelites would have to trust Him completely for His provision and for His protection.
Returning to the content of Psalm 9, David begins with praising, worshipping and extolling the wonders of who God is. Afterwards, David speaks of how the Lord reigns and is a refuge to the oppressed and how He will govern His people with righteousness and justice. But David also acknowledges the presence of enemies from the surrounding nations that seek to oppress them, and the struggles experienced within the Holy Land. These verses lead to the beginning of Psalm 10, where David acknowledges the vulnerability that he feels in his predicament as he cries out, “Why, LORD, do You stand far off? Why do You hide Yourself in times of trouble?” (Psalm 10:1).
Do we notice how real and raw David’s prayer was towards the Lord? God was using David’s bleak circumstance to bring him into greater dependence upon the power of God to deliver him from the troubles he faced. God is never far or hiding when we are in trouble. As Psalm 34:18 declares, “The LORD is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
Prayer: Dear God, in the difficult circumstances that I face, I know You are with me. Thank You for using these moments of crises to draw me into greater dependence upon You.