From Elijah’s mountain encounter with God I find myself immersed in these two Psalms of David. Clearly, David was seeking God, thirsty for God, needing God to present himself in the midst of David’s circumstances, which frankly don’t sound good. So I had to do some research, “when did David write these Psalms?”, “what was happening in his life?”; somehow, I thought having answers to these questions would help me to understand the scene I arrived on when I entered these Psalms.
Most scholars, all scholars never agree, believe David wrote these during the period of Absalom’s rebellion. For some reason as an adult with grown children and grandchildren, knowing that helped me understand the depth of David’s despair. Unlike, Elijah at Mount Horeb, David is being attacked from within his own family, but like Elijah, he feels threatened, depressed and deserted by God and man. He is starting to believe the rumors that God has forsaken him….I mean look at the evidence…2 Samuel 15-19…Absalom forces David to flee from his palace in Jerusalem, takes it over, declares himself King, spreads out on the roof of the palace and has sex with David’s concubines for all to see. To the people, perhaps even to David, It looked like GOD had deserted David.
And so David begins his prayer with a cry to God, a longing for God’s presence. He vacillates a bit between faith and doubt, but in this I hear his honesty before God. He taunts himself…BOY! I can relate to that. I do that, in fact, I may even use some of the same arguments, “Why are you so depressed?” “Why are you so upset?” Get a grip, Girl! Just WAIT for God!
OK, ok, I am depressed so I will pray to You. I recognize Your goodness in the world around me, I am praying. So why, please answer me, God, Why are my prayers hitting the ceiling? Why are you letting me be seen by non-believers this way? Ok, ok, reel it it, Carolyn, God is in control. WAIT for God! Yes, there I am in the midst of David’s torment, his moaning, and also in that faith that never lets go…the God Who never turns loose.
And so David, not the boy who slayed Goliath, not the young man running from Saul, not the King, the adulterer, but the aging, broken hearted father, with questionable fathering skills seeks, pants after the only One he can trust. Hear his cries:
Fight for me
Don’t reject me
Reveal your light and faithfulness
Hear his promise
I will express my joy and thankfulness
I will play my harp for You
I will acknowledge my deliverance comes from You
The conclusion of the story, not contained in the Psalms, does see David returned to the palace and for that he does worship and thank The Lord, but this journey ends without restoration of the father and the son. I am sure David, like I, would have loved to have gone back and made all his husband and father mistakes disappear. Instead he buried another son.
And so this journey sends me to my knees praying for my children and grandchildren, acknowledging my inept parenting, thanking God that my kids did not become serial killers (JUST KIDDING!!) and that our relationship as adults has blossomed.
I end remembering that Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.” and that takes me back to the first of Psalm 42 as I realize, I am always like a deer longing for streams of water in my relationship with God.
That probably means I am not going to find it in this Caramel Light Frappacino, I have slurped down while reflecting and writing this morning.
GO be like DEERS and DEARS!