A psalm of David. When he fled from his son Absalom.
1 Lord, how many are my foes!
How many rise up against me!
2 Many are saying of me,
“God will not deliver him.”
3 But you, Lord, are a shield around me,
my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
4 I call out to the Lord,
and he answers me from his holy mountain.
5 I lie down and sleep;
I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.
6 I will not fear though tens of thousands
assail me on every side.
7 Arise, Lord!
Deliver me, my God!
Strike all my enemies on the jaw;
break the teeth of the wicked.
8 From the Lord comes deliverance.
May your blessing be on your people.
Expressions of lament are prevalent throughout the Psalms. To lament means to feel or express sorrow or regret for; to mourn. I am glad laments are found over and over in the Psalms and throughout our sacred texts. It gives me hope to see that thousands of years ago, people were sorrowful and regretful, just as I am in my own life. These are “normal” human emotions and it is OK to express them straight to God. In our church’s terminology, “God is big enough” for all of our emotions.
This Psalm, traditionally attributed to David, begins with a cry for help. This Psalmist was surrounded by enemies who posed a physical threat and taunted him about his faith. You can almost hear them scoff as they shout, “God will not deliver him.” The writer felt overwhelmed and called on the One who he knew could save him. He cried for help in one breath and expressed confidence in God’s ability to save him in the next. This is the heart of lamenting scripture. We cry out to God and in so doing, God meets us right where we are. We can doubt in one sentence and praise in the next. And God continues to be big enough for all of it.
What do you do when you doubt God? How does this Psalm encourage you?
Dear Lord, let me hear your word anew. Guide me to open my heart and my soul to your ways. Please hear my prayers, my cries, my celebrations, and my worries. Be with me as I navigate this world. Show me how to use my whole life to serve you and your purposes. Thank you, Lord, for this day. Amen.
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version ® NIV ®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2014 by Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.