May 16 (Daily reading: Psalms 3-4, 12-13, 28, 55) David knew both physical danger and extreme emotional stress when he fled from Absalom: “And David was going up…weeping as he went, and his head was covered, and he was walking barefoot” (2 Sam. 15:30). It was at this time that he wrote Psalm 3. “But You, LORD, are a shield around me, my glory, and the One who lifts my head … I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the LORD sustains me. I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around” (vv. 3-6). David wrote again in Psalm 4: “You have put joy in my heart … In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for You alone, LORD, have me dwell in safety” (vv. 7-8). Being able to sleep when things are not going well is a sign of our trust in our God who sustains us.
Another emotional blow to David was the betrayal of Ahithophel, his counselor, who conspired with Absalom against David. David was probably referring to Ahithophel when he wrote in Psalm 55: “For it is not an enemy who taunts me, then I could endure it … But it is you, a man my equal, my companion and my confidant; we who had sweet fellowship together … As for me, I shall call upon God, and the LORD will save me … Cast your burden upon the LORD and He will sustain you” (vv. 12-13, 16, 22). Even in the betrayal of his own son and his counselor, David found consolation and strength in the Lord. We must follow David’s example and go to our Lord when we endure emotional suffering, even more so when it is caused by the actions of someone close to us.
– Al Gary