Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Mad As...King David?

Today's Psalm response is from Psalm 34:4-5, 6-7, 16-17, 18-19.  The psalm is beautiful, and full of great depth of meaning:

I sought the Lord, and he answered me, and delivered me from all my fears.
Look to him, and be radiant; so your faces shall never be ashamed.
This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them.
The face of the Lord is against evildoers,  to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.
When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles.
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted,  and saves the crushed in spirit.
Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.

I have to say, though, the little preface at the beginning of the psalm (added to let us know the why/when of the writing of this psalm) made me laugh out loud.  It reads:

A Psalm of David, when he feigned madness before Abimelech, so that he drove him out, and he went away.

David was in the courts of Achish (also known as Abimelech), when word came that he was "the" David...
“Is not this David the king of the land? Did they not sing to one another of him in dances,    ‘Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands’?”  So David knew he was found out.  His reputation had put him in a tough spot.  He was afraid now.  But, using his wits, he feigned madness.  Drool running down his beard and all."Then said A′chish (Abimelech) to his servants, 'Lo, you see the man is mad; why then have you brought him to me?  Do I lack madmen, that you have brought this fellow to play the madman in my presence? Shall this fellow come into my house?' ”

So this was the occasion of the writing of this psalm.  God had delivered David, in what would seem a very unorthodox manner.

There are times in my own life when I don't see how I should have escaped a situation relatively unscathed.  Or if a bit wounded, how I came out of the predicament at all.  God delivers us from temptations and tough times, still strengthened by His grace.  Even if we have to admit we're a bit mad...  :o)

"Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all."

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