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Thursday, October 3, 2013

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The title of Psalm 57 “Prayer for Safety” fits chronologically after Psalm 56 asking God for mercy.  In 1 Samuel 22:1 it says, “David left Gath and escaped to the cave of Adullam.” That’s when all “those who were in distress or in debt or discontent gathered around him, and he became their leader” (22:2).  But in his heart he was alone with his fears and doubts and confusion over how God’s call for him to be king would ever be fulfilled. To all appearances, Saul was in charge of his destiny—Saul on the throne, and David a fugitive hiding in a cave.

While in the cave he wrote this Psalm and regained his courage with an amazingly positive tone of confidence and praise. He declares, “I will take refuge in the shadow of Your wings until the disaster has passed.” And while waiting for things to change in his favour, he says, “I cry out to God Most High, to God, who fulfils [his purpose] for me.” The NKJV says “who performs all things for me.” He is the God who acts, who does, who accomplishes. “He sends from heaven and saves me…; God sends His love and His faithfulness.” Love and faithfulness are not sent as abstract concepts; what this means is that God sends Himself in love and faithfulness.

So David can, without fear, be “in the midst of lions” so to speak.  He is confident that the evil they plan for him will turn back on them: “They dug a pit in my path—but they have fallen into it themselves.” In the midst of the most discouraging of circumstances he praises his Lord. Twice he raises the chorus, “Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth.” God is above it all and greater than any opposing force. Long before there is any sign of things turning around for him, David is already at peace in God’s purposes. “For great is your love, reaching to the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies.” The cave echoes with his song of praise. He raises his voice and sings, “Awake my soul! Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn.” The sun does not wake him up; he wakes the sun up with singing and praise!

As Ellen White says, “If there was much more praising the Lord, and far less doleful recitation of discouragements, many more victories would be achieved” (Evangelism, p.499). Don’t let your cave be your grave; fill it with the light of God’s presence by praising Him.


Garth Bainbridge
Ministerial Director
Greater Sydney Conference