We will now read two of David’s cave psalms. He has left behind him the footprints of his wanderings, in his sacred songs. Many record their lives by successive murmurings and rebellions, David by hymns and prayers.
In his lonely wanderings he made the woods and caverns echo with his prayers.
“The calm retreat, the silent shade
With prayer and praise agree
And seem by thy kind bounty made
For those who worship thee.”
But since God knew his path, he was not taken in their snares. We owe eternal praises to the Lord for keeping us out of the hands of our enemies.
In the worst times all is well if we do not lose our faith in the Lord. No matter how powerful our enemies, we shall overcome if we cling to the divine arm.
Very soon, good men and true mustered in great numbers under David’s command, and he was no more left in utter loneliness, but became a powerful leader. The Lord can find us friends when we are friendless.
Let us now read:—
As David could not go to the tabernacle to offer sacrifice and incense, he felt that his prayers would be accepted instead thereof. If we are forced to stay at home on the Lord’s day we should none the less worship the Lord in our hearts. The acceptance of prayer and praise does not depend upon place. True spiritual worship even in a cave, is far better than the finest formal service, though offered in a cathedral.
Psalm 141:3, 4
Even in his lowest case he did not wish to be as the wicked are when at their best.
It needs great grace to give reproofs aright, but it needs more to take them aright. Wise men are thankful when their errors are pointed out to them; but, alas! wise men are few.
When the world is bitter the word is sweet. Those who care not for us now may be glad of our comfort in their distress.
He was like wood broken and split up for the fire; he felt that he and his followers were devoted to death, yet he turned to God with hope.
His prayer was heard. He was preserved, and even so shall all believers be, if they will but repose their souls upon the faithfulness of God. All is well if faith be firm.
Fierce burning coals of juniper,
And arrows of the strong,
Await those false and cruel tongues
Which do the righteous wrong.
But as for me my song shall rise
Before Jehovah’s throne,
For he has seen my deep distress,
And hearken’d to my groan.
In vain the powers of darkness try
To work the church’s ill,
The Friend of sinners reigns on high,
And checks them at his will.
Though mischief in their hearts may dwell,
And on their tongues deceit,
A word of his their pride can quell,
And all their aims defeat.
My trust is in his grace alone;
His house shall be my home,
How sweet his mercies past to own,
And hope for more to come.
Oh! taste and see that God is good,
And that his saints are blest;
Grace never can be understood
Till in the heart it rest.
Oh! trust the Lord, desponding saint;
Of all that to him flee,
There’s none hath ever been in want,
And none shall ever be.
Captain of our soul’s salvation,
Perfect made thyself in woe,
Thou didst seek no reputation
When thou wast with man below:
‘Mid the lowest,
‘Mid the vilest thou didst go.
They whose ills were most distressing,
They who were of sinners chief,
Gladly sought thy gracious blessing,
Ran to thee for sure relief:
Thou didst bless them—
Thou didst carry all their grief.
All with heavy debts embarrassed,
Who no hope of pardon see,
All with fears of judgment harass’d,
Look for help, O Lord, to thee:
Thou dost freely
Welcome all who come to thee.
I bow towards thy mercy-seat:
Haste, Lord, thy servant haste to meet,
To thee, addressed, my sorrows rise;
Lord, bend thine ear, accept my cries.
O let my prayer before thee come,
Sweet as the censer’s fragrant fume;
And may the hands, which thus I rear,
An evening sacrifice appear!
O glorious hour! O blest abode!
I shall be near and like my God;
And flesh and sin no more control
The sacred pleasures of my soul.
My flesh shall slumber in the ground,
‘Till the last trumpet’s joyful sound;
Then burst the chains with sweet surprise,
And in my Saviour’s image rise.