I believe there is already a consensus as to David’s bravery. In fact his bravery is indisputable from what we read in the pages of the Bible. When the whole of Israel’s army trembled at the sight of Goliath, David, at the time little more than a boy had the strength of character to stand his ground and face the giant.
What some readily gloss over however is David’s wisdom. In my free time, whenever I’m not traveling, writing, or doing an interview, I love sitting down with the Word of God and reading the psalms of David. There is so much wisdom within the Psalms, that to dismiss them or otherwise ignore them is utter folly.
The season of his early childhood was becoming a faded memory. David was now king over Israel, the most powerful man in the entire nation, but throughout his life he never forgot his beginning as a shepherd boy, tending to his father’s flocks.
David was not a perfect man by any stretch of the imagination, but his heart was always sincere before God, and his brokenness and repentance whenever he sinned were evident to all. As I was reading the first verse of Psalm 16, I began to meditate on it, and there are some tasty morsels that revealed themselves as I pondered these few words.
Psalm 16:1, “Preserve me, O God, for in You I put my trust.”
To understand the deep profundity of this supplication, we must understand that it did not proceed from the lips of a defenseless pauper, or someone who had no earthly means of defending himself, but from the lips of a king. David had bodyguards, David commanded an army, yet he cried out to God to preserve him, for he did not put his trust in his chariots or his archers, his warriors or his riders. As a nation we can learn much from David’s prayer, and also see where we have gone astray, where we have missed the mark, and why it is that for some time now nothing seems to be going right.
When a nation refuses to acknowledge that it is God who not only made it great, but who preserves it, God will remove His hedge of protection to show the nation the true measure of its impotence. It matters not what nation it is, it matters not how far and wide an empire spans, it matters not how rich they are both in resources and finances, when God’s hand of blessing is no longer upon a nation, and when He no longer preserves it, decline and downfall are imminent.
This is why in his great humility and wisdom David prays this prayer and says; ‘only You can preserve me, and this is why I put my trust in You. Only You can bless me, and this is why I put my trust in You. Only You can protect me, shelter me, give me victory, and so I will put my trust in no other, nor will I put my trust in myself, but only in You O God.’
When times get hard it is inevitable that some turn to God, it is inevitable that they cry out hoping to get some relief from their struggles. Wisdom however dictates that we are to place our full trust in God, even when everything is going well, when we don’t have a care in the world, when the work of our hands is blessed, and when everything is going our way. This attitude is what separates the wise from the foolhardy, this constant and perpetual leaning on God rather than our own wisdom, understanding, or abilities.
Too often, nations as well as individuals begin to take more of the credit for their success, as they grow more successful or powerful. The more things go our way, the more the enemy whispers in our ear, fueling our pride and our self reliance, deceiving us into believing that we are strong in and of ourselves, that we are powerful in and of ourselves, and that God had very little to do with our successes.
The tragic result of giving in to the enemy’s whispers, is that nations as well as individuals cease to be thankful to God, they cease to seek His face, they cease to rely on Him, and begin beating their chests, highlighting their own greatness and ingenuity.
David knew that without God, though he had an army at his disposal, he was still vulnerable, though he had great treasures at his fingertips he was one event away from becoming a beggar, roaming the streets, hoping for a crust of bread.
David is aware that apart from God even the most assured success can become an abject failure and that even the most meticulous of plans can crumble under the weight of their own perceived wisdom.
One other aspect of David’s wisdom that I gleaned from his words is that he was a teachable student of history. He looked back at the history of his people, and saw where they had strayed, he saw what their mistakes were, and he purposed in his heart not to follow in their footsteps.
Psalm 16:4, “Their sorrows shall be multiplied who hasten after other gods; their drink offerings of blood I will not offer, nor take up their names on my lips.”
David was aware that every failure, every defeat, every judgment that fell upon the people of Israel was due to disobedience and hastening after other gods. He realized the danger of flirting with idols, of allowing one’s heart to be overcome by something other than the one true God, and so committed to keeping himself from offering blood offerings to these gods, or taking their name upon his lips.
David was satisfied with God, and in God. He had discovered the beauty of having a true and lasting bond, a true and lasting relationship with God, and assigned it the requisite value. David did not take his relationship with God for granted, he did not minimize its worth, but made it the centerpiece, the focal point, the priority in his life. For countless souls today, God is just one thing. Whether it’s their provider, their protector, or their keeper, God is not their all in all. For David, God was everything. God was his provider, his keeper, his counselor, his protector, his joy, his rest, his peace, his inheritance, and the object of his affection.
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.”
Wisdom dictates that we put the entirety of our trust in God, that every area of our life is subject to, and under God’s authority. We may, for a season be able to thrive on our own self reliance, we may for a season be able to succeed by our tenacity or force of will, but without God there to preserve us, without His outstretched arm keeping us, that which we labored for an entire lifetime, will vanish in an instant. Only God can keep us, only God can preserve us, only God can protect us, and only He can lead us to green pastures and pure streams of living waters. Be wise and trust in God, and by so doing you will know that He stands with you even in the midst of the storm.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.