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Although he was a king, David was no stranger to trouble. From the time he defeated the giant Goliath as a young man, his list of enemies grew. Many had it in mind to destroy David, to force their own ill-gotten agendas into play. He was a man after God’s own heart, but many were after his life.
The first words of this Psalm invoke an image of David on his face before God, begging him to pay attention, to hear his desperate pleas. David’s world is filled with those who want to see him fail, whose evil ways only seem to bring them profit. David can’t do it alone. He brings his requests to God, and then he waits.
He waits for that word of assurance that God is on his side – that God will do something about the enemies who are closing in. Sinners can’t stay with God. It’s that plain, David reminds God. You hate evil people, remember? You destroy every liar; you despise violence and deceit.
But wait … wouldn’t that be David himself, the one with the eye for another man’s wife, the one who condemned an innocent man, the one with the family on verge of implosion? Mercy! David cries out. “Because of your great mercy I come to your house, Lord.” It is a moment of wonder, asking for guidance, for clarity. Despite David’s own sin, he is still confident that God will hear his prayer. That God will answer. And God does answer.
Even in the harshest days, we can come before God’s throne. Like David, we beg him to hear our cries. And the good news? He will. When life gets out of control, God provides protection and shelter. He gives us cause to rejoice in the midst of a storm.
O merciful God, who hears us in the midst of life’s darkest storms, spread your protection before and behind us, on every side and all around. Shield us from the plans of those who intend us harm, and grant us your mercy. We come to you Lord, broken. Because of your love we are whole again. Thank you, Father and King, for hearing me this day. Amen.