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, until the destroying storms pass by.
The superscription of this psalm helps us to guess the background of this psalm. The psalm probably alludes to the events in 1 Samuel 24 when King Saul comes to kill David. And while he’s on his way to get David, Saul stops in a cave – it says (in Hebrew) – to “cover his feet,” which is a euphemism to describe what we would call “using the restroom.” And it just so happens that that’s the very cave that David and his men are hiding in! David had an opportunity to kill Saul but he did not. In this psalm David seems to be celebrating deliverance from his enemies by the Lord. This is one of the few psalms we have seen David not delaying expressing his trust in the Lord. Here we have him doing it right up front. David does not pray for the destruction of his enemies but he prays for God to protect Him from them. How God does that is left to God alone. It’s a great lesson for us as Christians. Storms are part of life and enemies exist but we do not pray for their destruction but for God to protect us and probably bring light to them. Let us continue to put our trust in God.
Almighty God, you have created the heavens and the earth and
made us in your own image: teach us to discern your hand in all
your works and your likeness in all your children; through Jesus
Christ your Son our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit
reigns supreme over all things, now and for ever. Amen.
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