was a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14). But what was the heart
of David like? Where may we catch a glimpse or two into David’s heart?
The best place to look into are the many psalms that David wrote – his
songs to God – for there he laid bare his heart for God and the world to
books have been written about the psalms, including David’s psalms. You
will find some of these gems in the BGST library. But one of the numerous
things that pop out of David’s psalms is that many of them were composed
in his times of trouble.
Psalm 3, David cries out “Deliver me, O my God! Strike all my enemies on
the jaw; break the teeth of the wicked” (v.7). Mercifully, he does not
ask that they be killed. The next Psalm opens with the plea, “Give me
relief from my distress, be merciful to me and hear my prayer.” And in
Psalm 5 David sings, probably softly, to God: “…consider my sighing.
Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God.” We can only sigh with
poor David, for who would think that the anointed one chosen by God to be
King of Israel would be in so much trouble after he was anointed?
Doesn’t conventional wisdom say that if you were a holy one chosen by
God your life would be plain sailing and a bed of roses?
first book of Psalms contains 41 psalms by David, and at least ten of them
arise from his times of trouble. The proportion in the second book is 15
out of 21 psalms. Isn’t it absolutely amazing how David found the time,
the energy, and the words to compose such immortal songs to God, amid the
hardships and deadly threats to his life? If you were desperately running
in the desert from thousands of troops sent out to kill you, would you
spare a moment to think about composing poems to God? Well, David
evidently did. His psalms show that God was very much on his mind, in his
heart, and on his lips even when he was in danger. Could that be one of
the things God loved about David?
Psalm 23 is familiar to most Christians.
When we go through dark places and fear gets a hold on us, we
automatically remember David’s reassuring words: “Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you
are with me”. However, how many of us are familiar with David’s Psalm
63? According to the
introductory remarks, this psalm came out of a time when he was in the
Desert of Judah. In the silence of the desert one’s thoughts tend to
turn towards God, and David’s thoughts were certainly on God:
“Oh God, you are my
the harshness of the dry desert, David thirsted not only for water, but
more so for God. What an example he is for us. In the stressful conditions
of our workplaces, do our thoughts turn to God in the same way?
verses down, David says to God:
did David say “better than life”? Wasn’t it because his life was in
danger? Why else was he in the
harsh Desert of Judah?
when David says “as long as I live”, doesn’t that signify that his
life was in danger of being snuffed out at any time?
we be like David, talking to God in poetry and song, in such a loving way,
when we ourselves face hardship and danger?
on his hard desert bed, David remembered God. Put yourself on David’s
coarse blanket and you will see overhead the millions of stars that
reminded David of God.
“On my bed I remember you.
stars told of the presence and the awesome power of God, and reassured
David. For in the psalm he
“Because you are my help
what about the enemies at his heels? Knowing
that God was upholding him, David was confident that:
“Those who seek my life will
David rejoice in the destruction of his enemies?
The last verse of the psalm reveals what David would rejoice in:
king would rejoice in God;
was conscious that he was the anointed king of Israel.
But far be it from him to kill the incumbent King Saul, whom God
had anointed earlier. Instead,
David chose to flee for his life, hiding in the desert, yet secure in the
knowledge that just as God had anointed him as king, God would protect him
through all the many hardships and dangers he faced, and in His time would
place him on the throne of Israel.
When we look into David’s heart, we see how much faith David had in God and how tranquil he was in times of trouble and lack of water. We find his heart full of the presence of God, full of praise and words for God. Would that our hearts become like David’s. In good times as well as times of hardship and trouble, may we too turn to God and sing to Him from the bottom of our hearts.