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Discover the Book - Aug. 1, 2008

  • 2008 Aug 01

David’s Struggling Years


David suffers intense loneliness as he faces family conflict and danger. In I Sam 19:11 as Saul tries to murder him, David writes Psalm 59. These times of danger are from his boss and father-in-law King Saul. Instead of being eaten up by the intense loneliness he must have felt with job and family pressures all dumped on him at once--he expresses his needs to God. His prayerful responses to these tough times are captured in the Psalms and show a pathway through loneliness to the One who is closest of all. In that time of feeling so alone David writes Psalm 59—how to overcome the feelings of loneliness when we are in danger. David finds an unshakeable trust in God’s protection. Some key truths from this Psalm are:

1.    David turns to God in his fearful times v.1.

2.    David trusts God in his fearful times v.9.

3.    David triumphs through God in his fearful times v. 16. 

  • David learns to live with fear as he is a newlywed and faces the unpredictable outbursts of deadly rage from Saul. In First Samuel 20:35-42 as Jonathan warns him of the danger of Saul’s wrath, David writes Psalms 11 and 64.

1.    Psalm 11 is a meditation on why David should not just run away from dangers—he needed to run to the Lord first.

2.    Psalm 64 is the Psalm about the poison of jealous, hateful, and hurtful tongues. After David’s meteoric rise to giant slayer, King’s helper, royal son-in-law and commander—there were many who hated and envied him. God shows him how to deal with poisonous language directed at him. This could be in the time of Saul or also in the time of Absolom’s rebellion and the evil accusations of Ahithophel and Shimei (2nd Samuel 15-19) 

David suffers intense loneliness as he loses his job, and is separated from his family. David writes Psalm 52—how to overcome the feelings of loneliness when we are away from our work, home, and family. In First Samuel 21:1-9 as he flees to Ahimelech the priest, David writes this Psalm. Some key truths from this Psalm are:

    1. v. 1           God is good no matter what!
    2. v. 2-4        People will always hurt us.
    3. v. 5-7        Take God as your strength in times like this.
    4. v. 8-9        Wait for God, cling to Him, grow through the alone time! 

David is captured and goes from fear to terror to nearly a complete breakdown because of fear.

1.    In 1 Sam. 21:10-12 when David is captured at Gath he writes about this in Psalm 56.  In this Psalm David is confident (Ps. 56:9)!  Why! “THIS I KNOW THAT GOD IS FOR ME”. He confesses a distinct impression God is on his side!

  • Seek God.
  • Cry out to Him. Four times in three verses (v. 4, 10-11) David cries to Elohim—the Creator of the dove and everything else!
  • Remember His closeness in alone times. This Psalm was very popular. Psalm 56 is quoted by the writer of Hebrews 13:6 (Psalm 56:4, 11); by Paul in Romans 8:31 (Psalm 56:9); and most of all by Jesus Himself in John 8:12.
  • Remember that God cares. The tears in the bottle phrase speaks loudly of God’s promise to never leave us, never forget us, and we are not to fear what man can do to us.

2.    But as the time goes on his confidence fades and in 1 Sam. 21:13-15 we see him go into a terrible time of fear. Yet as he looks back on this dark hour he writes Psalm 34. In this Psalm we see David magnifying God. Because of his unwavering awareness God was watching.  

  • Psalm 34:3 Oh, magnify the LORD with me, And let us exalt His name together.[he gives glory to God] 
  • Psalm 34:4 I sought the LORD, [even in tough times he always sought for God]  
  • Psalm 34:6 This poor man cried out, [During tough times he had a proper view of himself; he was poor in spirit as Christ would later say.]
  • Psalm 34:8 Oh, taste and see that the LORD [is] good; [he had a personal experience of God] Blessed [is] the man [who] trusts in Him!
  • Psalm 34:9 Oh, fear the LORD, [During tough times he practiced the presence of God, acknowledging Him is to fear him. it changed his behavior. If we believe right we will behave right!]  
  • Psalm 34:15 The eyes of the LORD [are] on the righteous, [During tough times he knew he was in touch with God]  
  • Psalm 34:22 The LORD redeems the soul of His servants, And none of those who trust in Him shall be condemned. [During tough times the cross is the ultimate refuge] (NKJV)

David left Gath and was so alone that he despairs. And now David feels abandoned as moves to a new location that is very foreign to him. David wrote Psalm 13—how to overcome the feelings of despair, abandonment and loneliness when we are in a very dark situation that seems hopeless.

1.    My life feels like an endless struggle. Psalm 13:1a How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever? By repeating himself four times he shows how deep this feeling runs. What David says is, “I just can’t go on.”

2.    My life seems to have lost God’s blessing. Psalm 13:1b How long will You hide Your face from me? David saw a lack of the apparent blessing on God. My family doesn’t seem blessed anymore. My work doesn’t seem blessed anymore. My ministry doesn’t seem blessed anymore. My spiritual life doesn’t seem blessed anymore. What David says is, “I don’t SEE YOU anymore in my home, my work, or my life.” 

3.    My mind seems so troubled. Psalm 13:2a How long shall I take counsel in my soul, Having sorrow in my heart daily?  David said that he had dark thoughts and uncontrolled emotions. What David says is, “I can’t stop these feelings of dejection and abandonment.”

4.    My life seems to have lost God’s victory. Psalm 13:2b How long will my enemy be exalted over me? What David says is, “I am constantly defeated.” 

  • David feels intensely alone as moves to a new location that is very foreign to him. In First Samuel 21:11 as he fled from Saul to the Philistine city of Gath, David wrote Psalms 40  and 70—how to overcome the feelings of loneliness when we are in a new situation that is very foreign situation. And in these Psalms he gives the pathway out of the pit that end with praising from the pits and praying from the pits. The Pathway out of the Pits







  • David suffers intense loneliness as he lives and works with a tough crowd. David wrote more Psalms in this period than at any other time in his life. These cave Psalms are 4, 57, 141-142—how to overcome the feelings of loneliness when we are far from home and feel exiled. In First Samuel 22:1-2 as he moved into a cave at Adullam with an incredibly diffucult group of men, David wrote more Psalms than at any other time in his life. These cave Psalms are 4, 57, 141-142.

1.    In Psalm 142 We see David calling on God because of his unfailing hope God was listening and hearing.

2.    We find in 1 Sam. 24:16-22 the context for Psalm 57. Here we see David rising above discouragement by applying his great discoveries about God he learned in Psalm 142. 

  • David suffers the intense loneliness of unemployment and unsettled home life. David takes time to write Psalms 17 and 63—how to overcome the feelings of loneliness when we are insecure. This was a time of no sure place to live, no reliable source of income and provision. In First Samuel 22:5 and  23:14-16 as he was hiding from Saul in the Wilderness of Hareth, David takes time to write Psalms 17 and 63.  1 Sam. 23:13-14 > Ps. 63 We see David seeking God.  Why? ABUNDANT SATISFACTION GOD REFRESHED HIM. Psalm 63 may have been in his time of fleeing Absolom as also are Psalms 3, 4, 5, and 63. Some truths from Psalm 63: v.4 worked for God; v. 5 witnessed God; v. 6-7 waited for God; and v. 8 walked with God. 
  • David suffers the intense loneliness when betrayed by friends. David writes Psalms 7, 31, 35-36, and 54 as he records his heart on how to overcome the feelings of loneliness when we are betrayed by those we trusted as friends. In First Samuel 23:10-13 as he escapes from Saul at Keilah and goes into hiding in the mountains of Ziph, David writes Psalms 31 and 54. 1 Sam. 23:19-25  > Ps. 54 We see David finding refuge in God.  Why? CONSTANTLY SETTING GOD BEFORE HIMSELF v. 30. In First Samuel 23:29 as he hides in the cave at En-gedi, David writes Psalms 35-36. In First Samuel 24:1-16  after he spares the life of his mortal enemy King Saul, David records his heart in Psalm 7. Psalm 7 may also refer to other Benjamite adversaries such as Shimei and Sheba both who hated and attacked David. 
  • David suffers the intense loneliness when wronged in a business deal. David writes Psalm 53—how to overcome the feelings of loneliness when we are in danger of bitterness over being hurt in a business deal. In First Samuel 25 in the Wilderness of Paran as he faces the danger of his anger toward Nabal “the fool” and as God delivers him, David writes Psalm 53. The key to this Psalm is the word fool which in Hebrew is Nabal (15 times in this Psalm and 15 times in the account of 1st Samuel 25). 
  • David suffers the intense loneliness of the complete loss of his family, friends, and finances—and finds hope in the Lord in this dark hour. David writes Psalms 16 —how to overcome the feelings of loneliness when we suffer the loss of family, or friends, or finances—or even all three at once. Finally in First Samuel 27 as he is grieved and endangered over the raid on his family and city of Ziklag, David writes Psalms 16 and mirrors the wording of his plea to Saul in 1st Samuel 26.19-20. So it seems that Psalm 16 is written after this event with Saul and the key is seen in 1st Samuel 30.6b when David ‘strengthened himself in the Lord his God’. That was the One he had entrusted with his life. Psalm 16:11 You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16 is a Michtam or an engraved Psalm. Michtam speaks of something so special it can’t merely be written on the surface like a pen on paper, it must be engraved like a chisel into stone to preserve it. So these truths were engraved into David’s heart and life—he knew that God would show him, lead him, and give him the promises of His Word. There are actually six Michtams (Psalms 16, 56-60) all of which come from the furnace of affliction surrounding Saul’s hunting down David to destroy him.


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