Bible Study on King David
This I know, that God is for me...
by I Gordon
 ↩ You will notice that the heading for Psalm 56 says 'When the Philistines had seized him in Gath.' And the heading for Psalm 34 says 'A Psalm of David. When he pretended to be insane before Abimelech, who drove him away, and he left.' Both of these Psalms relate to the incident that we shall read in 1 Sam 21.
 ↩ As a youngster, David was a common shepherd boy who didn't seem to stand out greatly - not in the eyes of the world anyway. Not until one day when the Priest and Prophet of God, Samuel, anoints him as the future King of Israel. Soon, with all of Israel scared, David goes out alone against the Philistine giant Goliath and through faith in the Lord, defeats Goliath and becomes a national hero overnight. Hooray! There are parades, tambourines, dancing girls... the works. David soon becomes the personal attendant to King Saul, and it isn't long before he has married the Kings daughter. Everything is going fantastically. Just as God had promised right? I bet that David remembered the words of Samuel and thought that he would become Israel's king soon. One day though, while David is relaxing, and playing on his harp for King Saul, Saul does something unusual. Something slightly odd that is going to change things for David dramatically...
 ↩ Even a chapter or so before this David had spoken to Jonathon, Saul's son, saying that 'there is only a step between me and death' (1 Sam 20:3) It seems that his faith was practically gone now. It was a bit like Abraham before him who was promised by God that his descendants would be given the land of Canaan, and then only five verses later Abraham is lying to the Egyptians about Sarai his wife in case they kill him! (See Gen 12:7-12) Unfortunately it is so like our fallen natures to forget the promises of God in midst of fearful circumstances.
 ↩ This deceitfulness of David's shouldn't be thought of as anything clever. It is the actions of a man left only to his own pitiful resources when total unbelief has set in. And deceit doesn't pay. I read of a man who grew melons. He didn't do many things well, but melons were his thing. While inspecting his melons one morning however, he noticed one missing. The next morning it was the same. The third morning another melon had been stolen. He decided that action was necessary and promptly came up with a cunning plan! He put a sign up in front of the melons saying 'One of these melons has been poisoned.' It wasn't true of course, but the thief wasn't to know and the farmer reckoned the thief wouldn't take the chance. The next morning, all his melons were still there. Again, the next morning, all his melons were safe. On the third morning however, feeling somewhat pleased with himself, the farmer noticed that someone had altered his sign. The 'one' had been crossed out and replaced with a 'two'. 'Two of the melons have been poisoned!' He was trapped by his own plan. I think it was Shakespeare that said, 'what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive!'
 ↩ I have quoted this from the NASB. I did this because the NIV absolutely butchers this verse! The NIV makes it sound like the psalmist was only going to be sure that God was for him if his enemies truned away... and I know of nothing so faith zapping than basing whether God is for you on outward circumstances! I have looked this verse up in nearly every version, including the Jewish Publication Society to see how they translate this verse from their own Hebrew scriptures. They have it exactly like the NASB quoted above - 'This I know, that God is for me.' If you own an NIV then put a note in the margin, (or scribble it out and change it completely!)
 ↩ Because if you are a born again Christian then it is the truth whether you feel it or not! Sometimes we doubt, like David, because of things happening through outward circumstances in our lives. Sometimes it is because of what is going on inwardly. 'How could God still be for me with those thoughts and desires lurking within?' we ask. Christian, rest is in a totally different place. It can't be found through looking at your circumstances. It can't be found while looking at yourself. Corrie Ten Boom once said something you should memorise. She said 'Look at the world and you'll be distressed. Look within and you'll be depressed. But look at Christ and you'll be at rest.' And that is so true!
 ↩ I've written about this little part of Pilgrims Progress in other studies, but it is well worth repeating. One of my favourite parts of Pilgrims Progress is where the way becomes hard for Christian and Hopeful and they decide to take an easier path called Bypath Meadow. As night falls they become lost on this 'easier' path and fall asleep in the grounds of doubting castle. This castle is owned by Giant Despair and he finds them and throws them in his dungeon. For days they are tormented by Giant Despair. When all hope is gone, and they are due to die the next day, Christian suddenly says to hopeful... 'what a fool I have been lying in this stinking dungeon when I can freely walk away! I have a key in my bosom called Promise, that will, I am persuaded, open any lock in Doubting Castle...' And so they were free, escaping the clutches of Giant Despair and went on their way praising God.
I'm sure you understand the story so I won't insult your intelligence. Only to say that this is where we now find David in verses 10-13 as he once again sees the promises of God, knowing full well that 'God is for him.' Praise and thankfulness result!
 ↩ Let's say that there is a big fat juicy pear on the table. You could examine it and admire its beauty. You could tell all your friends that you've got one mighty fine juicy pear! Look at it, feel it, sniff it if you want... what ever you do, it is not until you bite into that pear that you taste it and really find out how good it is! David is telling us that with God the bite is essential. We need to taste of His goodness. It is important to study the word and learn about the character of God, but rest assured that God will want to teach you in practice what you are learning in theory! God must have reality within His people.