David's desert song, Psalm 63, contains a decision he hoped would enhance his relationship with the Lord: he decided to rejoice in God.
But those who seek my life to destroy it,
Will go into the depths of the earth.
They will be delivered over to the power of the sword;
They will be a prey for foxes.
But the king will rejoice in God;
Everyone who swears by Him will glory,
For the mouths of those who speak lies will be stopped. (63:9–11)
David closes this psalm of worship with a pen portrait of his situation. To our surprise, he wasn't absolutely alone, because verse 9 testifies of those who sought his life to destroy it. Nor was he free from criticism and slander, according to the last verse. Nevertheless, in the midst of all this danger and deprivation, David chooses joy. Rather than allow his dire circumstances to dictate his attitude, he compared the long-term prospects of his enemies and celebrated his destiny.
Those who sought to kill David, to prevent him from becoming the king of Israel, had condemned themselves to the grave. They lived by the sword and were fated to die by the sword. Moreover, they would not be honored as heroes upon their deaths; they would become dinner for scavengers. David, on the other hand, had been promised the throne currently occupied by his enemy, Saul. He declares, "But the king will rejoice in God" (63:11). As the king-elect, he would not doubt his Lord's protection.
Are you as determined as young David to live beyond the grind of religious ritual? I encourage you to cultivate such a spontaneous relationship with your God that you never again fall into the predictable mold of empty religion. Once you have tasted the real thing, you'll never be satisfied with plateaus of phony piety. You will want only to be in "God's presence," regardless of your location. It is the most refreshing place to be on earth, even though, at the time, you may find yourself in a wilderness.
From Living the Psalms by Charles R. Swindoll, copyright © 2012. Reprinted by permission of Worthy Inspired, an imprint of Hachette Book Group, Inc.
Used with permission. All rights reserved.
In Embraced by the Spirit, we step away from the heat of theological battle that analyzes and criticizes and move quietly and closely to the One who has been sent alongside to help.