David is one of the most interesting people you read about in the Bible. He was at first a simple shepherd, then later became a celebrated warrior and notable king. Besides his military and political prowess, he was also an accomplished poet and musician. He wrote at least seventy-four of the one hundred fifty Psalms. A “man after God’s own heart” (I Sam. 13:14; Acts 13:22), it was from his lineage that the Christ was to come (II Sam. 7:12,13). Even though he fell mightily, he learned even then to trust in God. Much can be gleaned from his writings and his life, especially about his confidence in God.
Probably while he was still a young man, maybe even while he was yet a shepherd, he wrote the masterful 23rd psalm. This wonderful psalm has comforted countless millions through some of the darkest hours of their lives, as it can ours. In this Psalm, David expresses his complete trust in God for all of his physical and spiritual needs, even in the face of death. David demonstrated that trust in God both in defending his sheep from attack and when fighting the enemies of God’s people. He was heroic in facing the giant Goliath because he faced him in “the name of the Lord of hosts” (I Sam. 17:45).
David wrote Psalms also while he was in Saul’s court. In the 59th psalm, David wrote about those that were his enemies, that rose up against him and who lay in wait for his soul. David was referring to the fact that king Saul tried to kill him because of jealousy. David had been praised more than Saul for his exploits by many and Saul sent messengers in the night to slay David in the morning (I Sam. 19:11). But David trusted in God as his defense in the day of his trouble (Psalm 59:16).
This was not the only incident in which Saul attempted to kill David. On another occassion, David fled from Saul to the cave of Adullam (I Sam. 22:1). Saul later came to rest in this same cave, not knowing David and his men were already further inside the cave. David wrote in the 57th Psalm, “My soul is among the lions: and I lie even among them that are set on fire” (Psalm 57:4). David’s men encouraged him to take advantage of the situation, but David would not hurt Saul. The most he would do would be to cut off Saul’s skirt, but even this bothered David (I Sam. 24:5). He proved to Saul by his reticence to hurt the king that he was not out to destroy him. David professed his confidence in God throughout this incident in Psalm 57:1-3:
“Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast. I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me. He shall send from heaven, and save me from the reproach of him that would swallow me up. Selah. God shall send forth his mercy and his truth.”
This is the kind of confidence and trust that God asks of us today. Jesus said, “Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:31-33). When we are burdened with loads of care, Paul urged us to cast all our care upon God, for he cares for us (I Pet.5:7).
It is only when we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end, that we are made partakers of Christ (Heb. 3:14). If we want the reward that heaven offers, then we must never cast away that confidence (Heb. 10:35). We need to emulate the trust and confidence that David demonstrated in his life.
Eric L. Padgett