By Bob Hoekstra
I hear the slander of many; Fear is on every side; While they take counsel together against me, They scheme to take away my life. But as for me, I trust in You, O LORD; I say, "You are my God." (Psalm 31:13-14)
Living by grace involves looking to the Lord as the one who must work His ways in and through our lives. Another distinctive indication that David lived in this manner was his habit of confessing the Lord as his God. "I say, 'You are my God'."
Such confessions by David were not mere religious ceremony, given in settings of ease and security. Rather, he made such confessions in times of threat and impossibility. When David voiced this particular confession, more than a few people were coming against him with a barrage of slanderous attack. "I hear the slander of many." The situation was so bad that fearful circumstances surrounded him. "Fear is on every side." His slanderers were conspiring against him. "They take counsel together against me." Their goal was a total victory. They were plotting in order to completely destroy him. "They scheme to take away my life."
David (like many of God's children) found himself in such embattled situations frequently. One of these many conflicts included cruel taunts that even accused David of being cast off by the Lord. "My enemies speak against me; And those who lie in wait for my life take counsel together, Saying, 'God has forsaken him; Pursue and take him, for there is none to deliver him' " (Psalm 71:10-11).
Another encounter was accompanied by a very distinct type of pain. David was under threat of death from the hand of Saul, the king he had faithfully served. The superscription from Psalm 59 documents this painful opposition. "A Michtam of David when Saul sent men, and they watched the house in order to kill him."
One opposition brought David a unique measure of personal agony. This occurred when David's own son came to usurp his father's throne. "LORD, how they have increased who trouble me! Many are they who rise up against me" (Psalm 3:1-2). The superscription above this Psalm indicates that Absalom led this army of insurrectionists. "A Psalm of David when he fled Absalom his son."
In each of these cruel and painful betrayals, David confessed the Lord to be his God. "But as for me, I trust in You, O LORD; I say, 'You are my God' . . . O my God, make haste to help me! . . . Deliver me from my enemies, O my God . . . Arise, O LORD; Save me, O my God!" (Psalm 31:13; 71:12; 59:1; and 3:7).
Dear Lord, I also want to confess You as my God when I face opposition or attack. Even when my heart is aching from the most painful betrayals, I want to confess You as the sovereign Master, who is in control of every aspect of my life, Amen.