Mess or Message; Trial or Triumph?

Only God can turn a mess into a message, a test into a testimony, a trial into a triumph, and a victim into a victory. Whether people have misinterpreted your actions and motives as being a mess, or whether they really are, this is a chapter that can be a great help to you. Though it contains controversial themes, it is a wonderful portion of God's Word that we can learn from.

Introduction — Myths about this passage

This past Tuesday, a Facebook friend shared a post that I thought was excellent. It said, "Only God can turn a Mess into a message, a Test into a testimony, a Trial into a triumph, a Victim into a victory." And as I was reading that post I was realizing that it not only spoke of what God can bring out of apparently negative situations, but it exposed how we tend to focus on the negative in our lives. And I did a little experiment, and looked at sermons that have been preached on this chapter just to see what people's perspectives were. My first surprise was that there are precious few people bold enough to even preach on it. Of the 357 pastors who did a series of sermons in 1 Samuel, all but 21 completely skipped the chapter, and of those 21, 100% saw David as being in sin, backslidden, and not living by faith. Now, I only looked at one website of sermons, and its true that those weren't Reformed preachers, but I think they are representative. For them this chapter was a mess, not a message. Looking at the chapter through our sanitized 21^st^ Century perspective, they couldn't see the wonderful testimony, the triumph of God's grace, or the victory that God was bringing out of apparent defeat. Of course, not all people have such a negative perspective. Reformed commentators like Walter Chantry are appalled at the negativity people heap on this chapter. Unfortunately he didn't say much about the chapter, but he did say that it illustrates David's incredible faith in God and faithfulness to God. And I agree.

But that little exercise got me wondering how many of you face similar situations to David. Perhaps you are trying to make the best of a bad situation, but you get nothing but criticism. All 357 pastors are getting on your case, right? The Saul's have written you off. Many in Israel think you are a traitor. The political junkies can't believe that you are voting for (whoever). They criticize what you eat, drink, your habits, your friends, your clothes. In fact, it seems like your motives are constantly being misinterpreted. Well, if that is even a little bit true of you, perhaps you will appreciate this chapter. Or if your life really is a mess (and they haven't misrepresented you), perhaps you will start looking at the message that is in your mess, and the triumph that is in your trial. Either way, this is a chapter that we ought not to write off as being irrelevant to our times. And because of the misinterpretations of the chapter (and the consequent misinterpretations of David) I thought I would approach the text by confronting the six main myths that surround it.

Myth #1 – This whole chapter represents a time of backsliding and lack of faith. Fact – David's Psalms during this year and a half (86,131,141)1 say otherwise, and God prophesies positively of this whole period (1 Chron. 12:16-18).

Myth number one is that this whole chapter represents a time of backsliding and lack of faith in David's life. And there are various ways that people try to prove that. One common way is to say that the name of God doesn't even come up in this chapter. They say that this is a deliberate strategy to show that God was absent from David's thinking. Well, first of all, I would tell you that chapter divisions aren't inspired. They weren't put into place almost a millennium after the Bible was written. And here's the point: the glorious, God-centered section that I preached on last week happened at the same time. The "and" in verse 1 is a waw-consecutive in the Hebrew, which means, this is what happened next. It follows right on the heels. So the NASB and ESV translate it as, "Then David said in his heart." So this assumption is just bad exegesis.

But even if you ignore that fact, that kind of exegesis actually proves too much. If the absence of God's name in a chapter means that the people in it are not walking with God, then we are in trouble in a number of places in the Bible. The words God, Lord, or Jehovah don't appear in Exodus 26 where Moses is making plans for the Tabernacle, and they don't appear in Exodus 37 (where the gifted Bezalel is making the tabernacle furniture), or in Joshua 16 (where faithful Israel receives its inheritance from Joshua), or anywhere in the book of Esther, or Proverbs 4, Proverbs 7, Proverbs 27, or in the great love chapter, 1 Corinthians 13. I think it proves too much. It's not a legitimate exegetical point.

Others will appeal to the myths that are in your outline to try to prove that David was backslidden. And we will look at those later. But one argument that is mentioned is that David makes decisions in this chapter without ever praying about it. But that is an argument from silence. We don't know that he didn't pray. In fact we will look at the Psalms to show that he did. But even before we get there we can see that this passage isn't totally silent. As you will see later, David is obeying God's guidance in this chapter to the "t" in his dealings with the Amalekites. In fact, there isn't anything in this chapter that would necessitate the view that David is backslidden. Instead, preachers are importing into the text their own 21^st^ century prejudices.

And it's so easy to do. My children over the years have very politely dialogued with me about why I have insisted on a given rule, or a given way of dressing, or a given way of doing things. They are willing to submit to the house rule, but they have wanted to know if I would be willing to discuss it's Biblicity. And as we have discussed things on the Bible alone (which for me is always a fun project) I have come to realize that a lot of my prejudices aren't Biblical prejudices, and I have had to change them. And I believe that a lot of the prejudices modern man has against this chapter are simply because the church has become a bunch of mild manner people, teaching other mild mannered people, how to become more mild mannered. And then they judge David by our own mild manners. It doesn't work that way. It is Scripture that judges our mild manners. Amen?

Here's how I dispose of this first myth. Whenever I look at a historical chapter, I look at it from several angles. First, I try to see if any Biblical laws are being violated. And my conclusion is, "No." Everything that these sermons excoriate as a sin, they cannot find a chapter and verse for. That means they are defining the sin, not the Bible. Second, I try to see if any Biblical mandates are being followed by David. And my conclusion is, "Yes. He is obeying more than one Biblical mandate." And these commentators are actually criticizing David for following God's law. And we will look at that in a moment. Third, I look to see if any other passages interpret what is going on in this chapter. And of course, 1 Chronicles 12 gives a wonderful interpretation of what happened during these sixteen months in Philistia. And the interpretation is very positive – that God was building His kingdom. And interestingly, when Amasai defected to David during the time period described in our chapter, the Holy Spirit came upon Amasai and he prophesied. Let me read to you what the Spirit of God said through Amasai:

1Chronicles 12:17 And David went out to meet them, and answered and said to them, "If you have come peaceably to me to help me, my heart will be united with you; but if to betray me to my enemies, since there is no wrong in my hands, may the God of our fathers look and bring judgment."

So David himself is thinking in terms of God, and God's ethics, and he appeals to God. He's not talking like a backslidden person. But it's the next verse that is so interesting. Verse 18 says,

1Chronicles 12:18 Then the Spirit came upon Amasai, chief of the captains, and he said:

"We are yours, O David;

We are on your side, O son of Jesse!

Peace, peace to you,

And peace to your helpers!

For your God helps you." So David received them, and made them captains of the troop.

Well, there is a definitive statement from God's Holy Spirit that God's approval, peace, and blessing was upon David in this chapter, and that God Himself was helping David in all of the activities listed here. God endorsed what David was doing. So that is an inspired interpretation of what is going on.

The last thing that I do is to try to see if David wrote any Psalms during the period of time that the chapter is dealing with. There are various sources that can help you in this. But it is generally thought that Psalms 86, 131, and 141 were written by David during this sojourn in Philistia. I have a list of eight other possible Psalms for this period, but I will stick with these three. It is impossible to read those three Psalms (or for that matter, the other eight) and not see that David mourns that he is in exile, but he rejoices that God will never forsake him. He puts his trust in God and seeks to humbly wait for God's guidance. Just as one example: in Psalm 86 David says, "Bow down Your ear, O LORD, hear me; for I am poor and needy. Preserve my life, for I am holy; [and he is not proud in saying that; He is saying it by the Spirit's inspiration. He is not backslidden. He says, "for I am holy." He goes on:] You are my God; save Your servant who trusts in You! Be merciful to me, O Lord, for I cry to You all day long. Rejoice the soul of Your servant, for to You, O Lord, I lift up my soul." And as you keep reading you see that he daily went to God's grace, had daily prayer, gave statements that Jehovah is far greater than the gods who are around him (indicating that he is in a foreign land), and speaks of his trust in God despite the fact that God has allowed violent men to chase him.

Now I have spent more time on this point because I think it illustrates how easy it is for people to make wrong judgments about others. So you've got 21^st^ century man thinking poorly of David, and Saul thinking poorly of David, and many other Israelites thinking poorly of him. What do you do in those circumstances? You go to God like David did. And you continue to faithfully serve, like David did. And when you are tempted to have a temper tantrum, you humble yourself before God like David did in Psalm 131. And when you feel like lashing out with your tongue at all the judgmental people around you, you use David's words in Psalm 141, where he said, "Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips. Do not incline my heart to any evil thing…" And when you get sick and tired of people criticizing you, you look for the grain of truth that might be in their words just like David did in Psalm 141:5. He said, "Let the righteous strike me; it shall be a kindness, and let him rebuke me; it shall be as excellent oil; let my head not refuse it. For still my prayer is against the deeds of the wicked. Their judges are overthrown by the sides of the cliff." So he is willing to have a heart that is soft and open to the rebukes of others, but since he sees nothing wrong with what he is doing, he continues to do the activities listed in this chapter. In fact, any temptation that you might face when you are going through the mess, the misunderstandings, and the misplacements that David experienced in 1 Samuel 27, are answered by the Psalms he wrote during this period: Psalms 86, 131, and 141. And actually there are about eight more that you could benefit from as well. And I know this first point was long, but it provides a firm foundation for each of the other points.

Myth #2 – David was in sin by leaving Israel. Fact - David found greater kindness from an unbeliever than he did from the church. (vv. 1-4)

Misconception #2 says that David was in sin by leaving the physical land of Israel. They say that God had given this land to Israelites, and it was rebellion to leave the land. For example, one sermon said,

David sinned grievously in seeking refuge among the enemies of the Lord.

I have no clue where he got that idea. Were Joseph and Mary in sin when they took the baby Jesus with them and fled from Herod and took refuge among God's enemies in Egypt? I don't think so. God told them to do that. If they weren't in sin, I don't see how you can accuse David of being in sin. Another sermon said:

David abandoned the Lord and His people and crossed over to the enemy…

Abandoned his people? I don't think so. I think they abandoned him, and he was making the best of a bad situation. And anyway, he didn't abandon the 600 and their wives and children. In fact, 1 and 2 Samuel deliberately present this growing army of Israelites as being the new Israel that is forming. He didn't abandon them. The sad fact of the matter is that David found greater kindness and generosity from unbelievers than he did from the compromised church. And this is a strange phenomenon that some of you have experienced. I've had business men tell me that they would rather do business with a pagan than a Christian because so many Christians have ripped him off, or have expected free services, simply because he was a Christian. Well, part of the problem is that they are dealing with compromised antinomian Christians. Another sermon said that this leaving of the land was:

direct disobedience to the ancient commands of the Almighty.

Well, he never quotes those commands, and there are none. And to me this illustrates that modern evangelicals can be very quick to judge something to be sin that has no chapter or verse behind it. It is an insidious form of legalism masquerading as righteousness. Should David have followed Saul's invitation to join his army again? If he had, he would have been dead. Verse 4 makes that quite clear. It says, "And it was told Saul that David had fled to Gath, so he sought him no more." That verse implies that Saul was looking for David again, and secondly that the only reason he stopped was because David was no longer in the land.

So leaving Israel was not sin for three reasons: First, he had no choice. He was being pursued. And just as Matthew 10:23 commanded Christ's disciples to flee to other cities when they got persecuted, I have a number of passages from the Old Testament that command God's people to flee in certain circumstances; not all, but certain circumstances.2 Second, Joseph and Mary are just one example of several that could be given that God did not mandate that Israelites stay in Israel. Third, David wasn't even leaving the territory that God had promised to Israel. He was in effect staking out territory that he would later possess. Ziklag used to belong to Israel.

And all of this illustrates how we shouldn't feel guilty over the expectations of a Saul or even the expectations of modern commentaries if they can't prove their assertions of sin and finger shaking from the Bible. Galatians 5 tells us, "Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with the yoke of bondage." There are always going to be Pharisees out there who will try to make you feel guilty for drinking, dancing, eating chocolate, or doing something that they disapprove of. And you must resolve to stick to the perfect law of liberty. Once the perfect law of liberty is either added to or or diminished, we lose our liberty. That's our second lesson.

Myth #3 – David should have trusted God to protect him in Israel. Fact – David now had numerous women and children to care for, and staying in Israel would have been foolishness not faith. (vv. 1-4)

The third myth says that by going to Gath, David showed that he lacked faith. They say that he should have trusted God to protect him in Israel. I'll just quote one example of this broken thinking. One person wrote,

It was very dishonoring to God. Had He not sworn to make David king, to cast forth his enemies as out of a sling, and to give him a sure house? Had not these promises been confirmed by Samuel, Jonathan, Abigail, and Saul himself? Had not the golden oil designated him as God's anointed? How impossible it was that God should lie or forget His covenant!... It would be easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one jot or tittle of the divine promises to become invalid.

Surely, then, it was unworthy of David to say, in effect: "I am beginning to fear that God has undertaken more than He can carry through… I have waited till I am tired. Now it is time to use my own wits and extricate myself while I can from the nets that are being drawn over my path."

But let's read verses 1-4 and see if this criticism really holds up. Verse 1:

1Samuel 27:1 And David said in his heart, "Now I shall perish someday by the hand of Saul.

[And the rest of the verses say, "if I don't do something."] He didn't say, "I'm doubting God's promises." He said, "If I don't get out of here I am going to perish." And this highlights David's true faith versus a faulty view of faith that is rampant in America. It is a passive view of faith. It affects people's thinking on finding a job, birth control, getting out of debt, politics, and so many areas. Of course, people aren't consistent. They will be passive in one area of life, but they don't passively wait for groceries to jump off the shelves into their houses and they don't wait for God to spoon-feed food into their mouths. But to be consistent they really should. In so many areas of life they do nothing and say, "I'm just going to trust God." That passive view of faith is the utter antithesis of Hebrews 11. It is a counterfeit. It's an antinomian faith. In fact, it is the same view of faith that Satan presented to Jesus. Satan in effect told Jesus, "Hey Jesus, it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than one jot of God's promises to become invalid. Let me give you one of His promises. Psalm 91 says, "He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you. In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone." So why don't you take Him at His word? Why don't you put your trust in God to the test by jumping off this temple and watch the angels carry you. Wouldn't that be really glorifying to God?" And of course Jesus said, "No, it would not be." It would violate the rest of the Psalm, which commanded Jesus to take responsibility of His actions. And that is what David is doing. While trusting God (and it would take trust for him to go into enemy territory), he was going to make the best plans that he could to take care of his family and of those under his care. That is genuine faith. So verse 1 continues:

There is nothing better for me than that I should speedily escape to the land of the Philistines; and Saul will despair of me, to seek me anymore in any part of Israel. So I shall escape out of his hand."

1Samuel 27:2 Then David arose and went over with the six hundred men who were with him to Achish the son of Maoch, king of Gath.

1Samuel 27:3 So David dwelt with Achish at Gath, he and his men, each man with his household, and David with his two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the Carmelitess, Nabal's widow.

David had numerous women and children to watch out for. When he was by himself he could scramble over mountains and cliffs to escape from Saul, but with all of these now under his care, he had to come up with a different plan. Faith does not test God by jumping needlessly into dangers' way. If there is no command being violated, faith causes us to seek the most prudent and wise plan and trust God to bless it. That is all that David was doing.

And what I learn from this is that we must never divorce trust from personal responsibility. It would be as stupid as a farmer who, without having plowed the fields, without having planted seed, and without having watered it, sits in his easy chair trusting God to bring in a harvest. That's not faith. That's presumption. Yet how many times do people "trust God with their finances" when they are violating God's laws of harvest by not taking care of their finances. I like the statement by Oliver Cromwell when his soldiers were outnumbered and outgunned. He told them, "Trust God and keep your powder dry." The Reformed doctrine says that trust believes that the duty is ours and the outcome is God's. But you don't separate those two. Human responsibility and trust must be held together.

Myth #4 – David was in sin by setting up his own civil government. Fact – The growing army of defectors and their families (see 1 Chron. 12:1-22) constituted a legitimate Israel in exile, which would have needed a magistrate. (vv. 5-7)

Myth #4 says that David was in sin by setting up his own civil government in verses 5-7. Let's read those verses.

1Samuel 27:5 Then David said to Achish, "If I have now found favor in your eyes, let them give me a place in some town in the country, that I may dwell there. For why should your servant dwell in the royal city with you?"

1Samuel 27:6 So Achish gave him Ziklag that day. Therefore Ziklag has belonged to the kings of Judah to this day.

1Samuel 27:7 Now the time that David dwelt in the country of the Philistines was one full year and four months.

David had enough people with him to fill a small town. If every one of the 600 men had a wife and children, there were at least 3000 people to take care of on day one. That's a small town. But 1 Chronicles 12 says that almost immediately there were many more people who had defected to David. It gives a long list of captains, "the least of whom was over a hundred, and the greatest of whom was over a thousand." That's several thousand more men that needed to be governed. And if they chose David to be the mayor of Ziklag, he had all the authority of a king. And when you read this chapter together with 1 Chronicles 12, it becomes clear that God is painting a picture of a new Israel that was emerging with an ever expanding army. Verse 22 of 1 Chronicles 12 says, "For at that time they came to David day by day to help him, until it was a great army, like the army of God." David was not abandoning his calling. He was more and more fully entering into his calling of being the king of Israel. And we can learn from this that you are responsible to God for your calling, and you shouldn't let others dictate what your calling is.

Myth #5 – David was in sin by violating God's Just War Principles (standing law) in his massacres of the Amalekites. Fact – God specifically commanded (Ex. 17:13-16; Deut. 20:16-17; 25:17-19; 1 Sam. 15; Josh 13:1-2,13; etc.) the extermination of these peoples as a non-standing-law judgment. (vv. 8-10)

The fifth myth is the constant assertion that David was in sin by violating God's Just War Principles in his massacres of the Amalekites. Let's read the verses and then discuss them:

1Samuel 27:8 And David and his men went up and raided the Geshurites, the Girzites, and the Amalekites. For those nations were the inhabitants of the land from of old, as you go to Shur, even as far as the land of Egypt.

1Samuel 27:9 Whenever David attacked the land, he left neither man nor woman alive, but took away the sheep, the oxen, the donkeys, the camels, and the apparel, and returned and came to Achish.

1Samuel 27:10 Then Achish would say, "Where have you made a raid today?" And David would say, "Against the southern area of Judah, or against the southern area of the Jerahmeelites, or against the southern area of the Kenites."

Modern evangelicals find this behavior abhorrent, and it explains why almost nobody preaches on these verses, and those who do accuse David of violating God's law. Here is my response:

First, I would say that what David is doing definitely does violate God's just war principles – if he hadn't been fighting Amalek. Ordinary warfare against nations such as Moab or Egypt could never engage in wholesale destruction such as this. But I have given five passages where God specifically commanded the annihilation of every man, woman, and child from those tribes within the borders of Israel. Their cup of iniquity was so full that they had been judged in God's court and God used Israel as His executioner. No human court could do this, and no human magistrate could authorize it. Standing law for war did not allow for this. But this was special warfare known as Herem warfare (or if you want the Hebrew pronunciation it is M®r&Ej), and it took inspired, divine revelation to engage in that. It does not continue to apply for today. Let me repeat that. It does not continue to apply for today. It didn't even apply for most of Israel's history. But Exodus 17 commanded Israel to utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek. Deuteronomy 25 repeated the command. And when you read 1 Samuel 15, you will see that Saul was commanded not to allow any survivors of Amalek. Saul was rejected from the throne by God precisely because he spared the king of Amalek. What David is doing was not cooked up in his own brain. As a magistrate of Israel, he was fulfilling what Saul had failed to do. He was acting as a good king of Israel should.

What possible application can we make from these verses when the herem kind of warfare is no longer allowed to mankind? There are four applications that can be made. The first is that this utter destruction that God commanded was a picture of hell. Hell is infinitely worse than anything described in this chapter. Hell is what we all deserve. And if we cannot believe that God hates sin enough to judge sin this way, we will have an even harder time believing that God hates sin enough to create a hell.

Second, it shows the incredible nature of God's mercy toward Israel, and David, and anyone else who is saved. We all deserve the same judgment. We all deserve to go to hell. But God in His mercy loved us so much that He sent His son to endure hell in our place. In other words, God's wrath was poured out upon Jesus as our substitute. He endured herem so that we would not have to. And for those who put their faith in Jesus Christ (or in David's day, who renounced their tribe, put their faith in the coming Messiah, and became Jews), there is forgiveness, grace, and fellowship with God.

And just to show that this grace and forgiveness is not simply a New Testament reality, think about all of the former pagans who embraced the faith of David and became trusted soldiers in his army. His chief bodyguards throughout his life were Philistines. Did you know that? The Pelethites and Cherethites who were faithful to David and to his son Solomon were former Philistines. Think also of Uriah the Hittite, an incredibly faithful former Hittite who served God loyally. These just illustrate that anyone can escape the herem of God's judgment if they will put their faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior. Even in the original conquest this was true. When the tribe of Gibeon put their trust in God during the conquest, they did it in a devious way, but their faith was later praised by God. Even those under herem can escape by faith in Jesus. And so this passage points us to the Gospel.

A third application is that we should never soft pedal anything in God's word to make it politically acceptable. Saul tried to soft pedal the herem principle and as a result God rejected him from being king. That's how seriously God takes it when we are ashamed of His Word. Christ said in Mark 3:38, "For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels." So ironically, it was David who was obeying Christ's words and being faithful to Scripture, not modern commentators who are more interested in what people think than they are of what God thinks.

One last application of point V – it is legitimate to secede. To say otherwise and to make any national union perpetual is to idolatrize the union and make that nation divine. Only God is eternal, and for Abraham Lincoln to claim that the Union was eternal was to idolatrize the central government. It is legitimate to set up an alternative government like David did, and like America did when they seceded from Britain. But it is centralist presuppositions that make people critical of David setting up an alternative government.

Myth #6 – David was in sin by implying that he was pillaging his own people. Fact – David did not owe Achish full disclosure; but in any case, it was not a lie; he was attacking people in these regions. (vv. 10-12)

The last myth was the idea that David sinned when he deceived Achish into thinking that he was attacking Israelites. He didn't actually say that he was attacking Israelites. He just implied it when he told Achish which regions he had been attacking. But let's read the last three verses:

1Samuel 27:10 Then Achish would say, "Where have you made a raid today?" And David would say, "Against the southern area of Judah, or against the southern area of the Jerahmeelites, or against the southern area of the Kenites."

1Samuel 27:11 David would save neither man nor woman alive, to bring news to Gath, saying, "Lest they should inform on us, saying, ‘Thus David did.' " And thus was his behavior all the time he dwelt in the country of the Philistines.

1Samuel 27:12 So Achish believed David, saying, "He has made his people Israel utterly abhor him; therefore he will be my servant forever."

Keep in mind that the Canaanites (including the Philistines) were condemned by God to herem. So when the city of Ai (just as one example) was being attacked by Joshua in Joshua 8, did he owe Ai full disclosure? No. He was in warfare with them. He had his troops run to deceive them into thinking that they were fearful, and when the whole city chased them, they took advantage of that by bringing in other troops. God commanded that strategy, and without such deception, warfare would not work very well.

But secondly, he wasn't actually even lying. Every place that David attacked was an area that God had given to Israel as a possession, but the enemies had taken it back. And God blessed the faithfulness of David by giving him victory after victory against all odds. Certainly he had to wait before he could attack the Philistines. But he didn't owe them full disclosure.

Conclusion — "Your God helps you" (1 Chron. 12:18)

So I want to end by encouraging you to live your life before the face of God. If you are constantly trying to please man, it won't work. And when you follow God's Word, there will be people who will misunderstand you and misrepresent you. That's OK. Your goal in life is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever, not to glorify man and enjoy their favor. Obviously nobody likes to be hated. But if you can cast off bitterness, anger, frustration and other negative emotions like David did in the Psalms, and if you can be faithful to God where you serve, you will find God helping you just as he helped David. He will help you against all odds. And in His perfect timing, he will bring you out of tribulation and into victory. I'll close with one of Kathy's favorite passages (Psalm 37:1-9):

Psalms 37:1 Do not fret because of evildoers,

Nor be envious of the workers of iniquity.

Psalms 37:2 For they shall soon be cut down like the grass,

And wither as the green herb.

Psalms 37:3 Trust in the LORD, and do good;

Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.

Psalms 37:4 Delight yourself also in the LORD,

And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

Psalms 37:5 Commit your way to the LORD,

Trust also in Him,

And He shall bring it to pass.

Psalms 37:6 He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light,

And your justice as the noonday.

Psalms 37:7 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him;

Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,

Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.

Psalms 37:8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath;

Do not fret—it only causes harm.

Psalms 37:9 For evildoers shall be cut off;

But those who wait on the LORD,

They shall inherit the earth.

Amen. Let's pray.


  1. F.B. Meyer also assigns Psalms 10,13,17, 23,40,64,69 to this period.

  2. Examples: Exodus 9:20; Numb. 35:6,11,15; Deut. 4:42; 19:3,5; etc

Mess or Message; Trial or Triumph? is part of the Life of David series published on March 4, 2012

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