“When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches. Because You have been my help, therefore, in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice. My soul follows close behind You; Your right hand upholds me.” Psalm 64:7-8
I came across this beautiful piece of scripture while flipping through my Bible this morning. It made me picture myself, all warm and cozy in my bed dozing off peacefully in the middle of my nighttime prayer with God. I wondered where David was when he wrote this Psalm. I imagined him curled up in his bed with the finest linens draped across the great king; in a peaceful state with no worries to plague his thoughts as he drifted off to slumber.
This piece of scripture was written by David when he was in the wilderness of Judah, or the forest of Herreth. (1 Samuel 22:5) It was right after his tearful goodbye with his best friend Jonathan as he was fleeing from the wrath of King Saul. Before going into the wilderness, David came to Nob and met the priest Ahimelech. Ahimelech helped David by giving him some holy bread to eat, and the sword David took from Goliath when he slain him. From there, he flees to Gath, then, by the words of a prophet, he was told to go into the wilderness because Saul was hot on his trail. While in the wilderness, Saul came to the priests and slain every one of them because of the help that they gave David. David was soon to hear about this grueling fate of his allies, and though troubled greatly for the death of holy men on his account, David is seen comforting Ahitub, the son of Ahimelech who had escaped and fled to David to tell him the news. In 1 Samuel 22:23 he states, “Stay with me; do not fear. For he who seeks my life seeks your life, but with me you shall be saved.”
Not what I had imagined at all. David was fighting for his life, trapped in a forest awaiting news as to what to do next as he could almost sense the very breath of Saul creeping down his neck with every turn. He had just given up a deep bond with a very close friend, and was feeling the weight of the priests slain on his account every time he looked into the eyes of Ahitub who was now looking to him. Through all of this, we see David so confident in the Lord’s provision that he tells Ahitub to stick with him to be saved. I don’t know about you, but after seeing your father and others slain because of their alliance with David, it would be pretty hard for me to believe that with him, I would be safe. Ahitub did. But why? I believe it is because he saw in David a “peace with God, which surpasses all understanding”. He saw confidence in the Lord, and I am sure that Ahitub had this same confidence as well. It was this confidence, this peace that allowed David to remember the Lord on his bed, made by the resources he found in the wilderness, and to meditate on Him in the night watches. Terror was trying to creep into his heart in the black of night while surrounded by the forest of Hereth, but David felt the shadow of the Lord’s wing, he felt His right hand guiding him steady.
David felt the need to rejoice while entombed in the forest, because his hope rested in the Father. Do we feel this as well? Are we resting peacefully at night amidst the enemy trying to destroy us? Are we rejoicing in the fact that we too rest in the shadow of our Father’s wing? Are we so confident in the Lord during our trials that we offer a safe haven to other’s experiencing the same thing?
Let us all learn from this example of peace in David’s life as we hit the pillow at night. Most nights, it is easy to utter the words of David as we remember the Lord upon our beds and meditate on Him. Other times, it may not be as easy. We have bills to pay, children to raise, work to find, a budget to adhere to, and a lost family member or friend. We are stricken with illnesses, debt, guilt, sin, death, greed, lust, and pain. It is during these times, we must meditate on the Lord and see His provisions through the burdens. During these times, our souls should be thirsting for God, seeking Him, longing for Him (Psalm 63:1). Our souls should follow close behind Him, and in doing this, we will rejoice, knowing we are tucked away under our Father’s wing, safe and unbound from the burdens of life, and our souls satisfied.