Waiting with Patience
As David concludes his song about the grinding pain of unjust treatment and his chosen responses, he then commits to patience.
Resolved: I will patiently stand and wait for relief.
Do not take my soul away along with sinners,
Nor my life with men of bloodshed,
In whose hands is a wicked scheme,
And whose right hand is full of bribes.
But as for me, I shall walk in my integrity;
Redeem me, and be gracious to me.
My foot stands on a level place;
In the congregations I shall bless the LORD.
There is something about human nature that prompts us to jump in with both feet and quickly work things out. In this section of his song, David implies that such was the activity of those around him. The majority said that they "wouldn't stand for such a thing." All sorts of "wicked schemes" and hands "full of bribes" were implemented by others. Not David! He set himself apart with the phrase "but as for me." In Hebrew, the pronoun is extremely emphatic: "But me . . . as for me!"
He wanted it known that, unlike the majority, he wasn't going to panic and get all involved in those carnal anxieties and ulcer-producing activities of self-vindication. No way! What does he say? "I shall walk in my integrity." And he calls upon God to act on his behalf.
There's a calmness, a quiet confidence in those words.
- As for my present course: "I . . . walk in integrity."
- As for my defense: "Redeem me . . . be gracious to me."
- As for my inner feelings: "My foot stands."
What stability! What admirable patience! What assurance and faith! No sleepless nights, no struggling doubts—just patient waiting.
Look back at that term "redeem." The Hebrew is padah, meaning "to ransom, deliver." It is a term of relief—as if in exile. It is the idea of delivering someone from terrible stress and even death. And don't miss that intriguing phrase in verse 12: "My foot stands on a level place." The phrase "level place" comes from a single Hebrew term, mishore, which can be traced back to the verb yashar, meaning "to be smooth, straight." The first term mishore means "level country, a plain." It conveys the idea of a place that has a high, commanding view, a broad range of vision in contrast to a place that is down in a deep gorge all shut in.
Do you get the picture? David is pleased to wait quietly on the Lord and remain objective. When he waits for God to deliver him, he maintains a panoramic perspective; he is able to look upon the entire process from God's viewpoint, not from his own limited human perspective. In brief, he is able to maintain wisdom.
You can anticipate the application. When we patiently wait on the Lord's deliverance, we are able to stay calm, objective, and wise in the midst of mistreatment. We can count on our Lord to be gracious and to deliver us at the right time. All the while, waiting enables us to maintain His perspective.
Look back over David's six resolutions that will help make mistreatment bearable:
- I will be open before the Lord.
- I will remember His love . . . continue to obey His Word.
- I will refuse the temptation to get even.
- I will maintain a positive attitude.
- I will be faithful in public worship.
- I will patiently stand, stay objective, and wait for relief.
While waiting for God to deliver you, ask for His panoramic perspective instead of your limited one.
— Charles R. Swindoll Tweet This
Adapted from Charles R. Swindoll, Living the Psalms: Encouragement for the Daily Grind (Brentwood, Tenn.: Worthy Publishing, a division of Worthy Media, Inc., 2012). Copyright © 2012 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc.
Used with permission. All rights reserved.