How do you respond to a crisis? David was a man used to life-threatening danger. In Psalm 57 he is running again for his life from King Saul. This is an amazing Psalm that gives insight into how David responded to such situations.
In verse one, David said,
“Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by.”
His very life is threatened and yet he chooses to let God fight his battles. The grammar in this passage more literally says that “in the past, I have taken refuge in you God, and now I take refuge in you.” David was presently taking refuge in God because of his experience of God’s faithful protection in the past.
It is also important to see that David does not ask for the problem to go away, nor does he ask why difficulty has come to him. Instead, he confronted the danger by simply taking refuge in God until the storm of destruction was gone. He chose to trust God to protect him and live accordingly. That meant he had to yield to the leadership of God even when he did not understand his circumstances.
Why did David confidently take his refuge in God? I see at least two reasons. Notice the first reason is mentioned in verse two,
“I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me.”
I like what Gerald Wilson says about this statement. He said,
“The psalmist’s desire to seek refuge is based on an understanding of God that inspires confidence. God is one who ‘fulfills his purpose’ for the psalmist. The precise nature of that purpose is not clarified here, but it is certain that God’s divine plans will not be undermined by the plots and attacks of the enemies.”
David was resolute in his trust of God. He was confident that God would fulfill his purpose for him even though he was currently in a life-threatening storm. His circumstances implied that God’s promise to install him as king may not happen. Even so, David chose to trust God. He knew his God was able to accomplish his purpose for his life regardless of his current circumstances.
Do you struggle with whether God will accomplish his purpose for you? Sometimes I struggle to trust God to accomplish his purpose in my life especially when circumstances imply that he forgot me and my desires may never be fulfilled. David experienced these things too and yet was able to live in such a way that he was content with God’s will for his life whatever the outcome. His relationship with God was more important to him than how he served God. I too must choose to be content with God’s plan for me regardless of my circumstances.
The second reason for David’s choice to take refuge in God is found in verse three which says,
“He will send from heaven and save me; he will put to shame him who tramples on me. Selah God will send out his steadfast love and his faithfulness!”
David was convinced that God would once again express his steadfast, loyal, unwavering love, and faithfulness in his life. Why? Because David walked in a love relationship with God. He had a friendship that allowed him to completely trust God and his love for him.
Wilson again notes,
“Finding refuge in God does not mean the psalmist will escape any vestige of suffering. Rather, as verse four makes clear, refuge is in the midst of trouble and provides an enduring confidence even in the face of all evidence to the contrary.”
Father, thank you for the model of David. He responded to crisis by taking refuge in you. He did that because he experienced your protection in the past, was convinced that you would fulfill your purpose for him regardless of his circumstances and he believed that you would continue to express your faithful love to him. May I trust you as he did. May I be more concerned about my relationship with you than with how I serve you. You will fulfill your plans for me and I can rest in that.
Following Jesus with you,