“A Song to the Lord Who Preserves and Prospers His People,” is the heading in my Bible to this Psalm.
However, have you ever wondered in times of affliction, adversity, and sorrow, “where is the Lord?”
Have you ever felt so vulnerable, defenseless, and unsafe that you didn’t feel protected?
Have you ever suffered through periods of failure, loss, or poverty that prosperity seemed like a far distant, unrealistic dream?
It’s important to remember that the man who wrote Psalm 144, King David, wasn’t always on top of the world. Even though he achieved fame for slaying the giant Goliath, and was anointed to be King of Israel, David’s early life was anything but easy.
Perhaps for 10 years, David lived life on the run, as an exile, fleeing the wrath of King Saul who harassed him, hunted him down like an animal, and sought to kill him. During this time David hid in caves, traversed the wilderness, and basically lived a nomadic life. In addition, there were warring factions in the land he had to fight and harassment by the Philistines and other enemies.
However, even after he became King over Judah, the title to the throne of all Israel was not undisputed. It would be some 7 years before he was recognized as King over the nation.
During all these years, David learned a lot about himself. About God. And about God’s providence, protection, and purpose for his life. In this Psalm, which draws on his experiences written in Psalm 18, David praises God and seeks His continued blessing. In it, we learn about a perspective on life that will help us during turbulent times.
#1 We Serve a Loving Lord Who Personally Cares for us. (vv.1-4).
Through all of David’s experiences, he kept a close relationship to the Lord. Note the repeated use of the personal pronoun “my” as he reflects on God’s constant care for him.
He says God is…
David reminds us in difficult times it’s necessary to rely on the Lord. To know that He’s there. That His love is unending. And His care is constant. While there may be times, we wonder “why”…why is the happening to me, be assured that you serve a God who loves you. Knows you. And cares for you.
#2 We Serve a Powerful God Who Can Victoriously Deliver us from our Enemies. (vv. 5-11).
These vivid images, familiar to the Jewish people, and found in other Psalms speak to God’s majesty. Power. Strength. And mercy. Time and again, God had provided for David and delivered him from his enemies. In fact, the entire history of Israel is one of deliverance. One of which dramatically demonstrates God’s divine nature and protective presence.
When we find ourselves in the midst of personal trials, spiritual temptations, or antagonist forces, let’s never forget who we serve. His capacity to make a way of escape. And His ability to defeat the devil’s devises that seek to destroy us.
Let’s take our eyes off the world’s problems, perils and pitfalls, and keep our eyes focused on God who will, in His time, bring victory to His people.
#3 We Serve a Benevolent God Who is the Giver Good Gifts. (vv. 12-15)
The nation of Israel was God’s chosen people. In defending them and defeating the enemies, David was serving God. As a result, God provided the blessings that He promised. Home. Family. Children. Food. Safety. Prosperity.
Regardless of the evil that men may inflict on us in this life, never forget that God is good. God is great. God is gracious. And God is always the giver of “every good and perfect gift” (Jas. 1:18).
Let’s not allow some temporary and transitory issues or obstacles in our world to divert our attention from whom we serve. How He provides. What He can do. And where we’re all ultimately headed.
What David wrote 3,000 years ago is still true today.
“Blessed are the people to whom such blessings fall!
Blessed are the people whose God is the Lord!”
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman