May 19, 2023 - Psalms 53-57
Saul, the Ziphites, the Philistines . . . David had so many enemies who sought to kill him. But he had a Friend who was greater than them all. Merle Haggard has this song, “Leonard,” in which he sings about a songwriter who left the business and “followed Jesus,” later writing several big hits for Haggard but losing his family on the road and who falls into drink and despair. At the end, though, Leonard’s life is turned around, and there are two lines that I have always wondered about:
And I wondered if I'd ever see him sober
But I forgot about a friend that Leonard knew.
That “friend” . . . Well, whether or not it was a reference to Jesus, we know how he is able to turn a life around. And we know how safe a resting place is found in him. David declared, “In God, whose word I praise, in the Lord, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?” (56:10-11) Along with David, we are able to testify: “Behold, God is my helper; the Lord is the upholder of my life” (Ps 54:4).
Behold us, Lord, and let our cry
Before thy throne ascend,
Cast thou on us a pitying eye,
And still our lives defend.
. . . Thy forgiving grace we trust,
And in thy pow’r rejoice:
Thine arm shall crush our foes to dust,
Thy praise inspire our voice. –Isaac Watts (1785)