Deeper Christian Life Ministry – Search The Scripture 28th Sunday, February 2021 (Lesson 989)
Topic: Comfort And Confidence In God’s Presence
MEMORY VERSE: “Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defence; I shall not be greatly moved” (Psalm 62:1,2).
TEXTS: Psalms 61 to 63
The three Psalms for this study were written by David, the second king and sweet psalmist of Israel. Though God-fearing, he went through different vicissitudes of life. He knew the highest level of victory when he killed Goliath with a sling and a stone through faith in God. But he experienced the depth of despair when Saul pursued and drove him into the wilderness. Moreover, Absalom, his own son, caused him to flee the palace and security of the city to endure the scourge and hardship of the wilderness. It was under some of these circumstances that David wrote these psalms.
However, David manifested absolute confidence in God as he declared, “In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God” (Psalm 62:7). He also expressed profound passion and desire to be in God’s presence always. Thus, he wrote, “O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is” (Psalm 63:1). In the presence of God, David knew and declared, “My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips” (Psalms 63:5). It is only in God’s presence we can find comfort and satisfaction for our souls.
These psalms of David contain expressions of trust and confidence in God, prayers for help and divine intervention, revelations and declarations about God’s ability and power, and principles for godly living which will be of enormous benefit to us as we go through our spiritual pilgrimage on earth. We learn from David that trust and confidence in God expressed through prayers and constantly abiding in His presence is the key to victory, comfort and peace in whatever adversity life may bring our way.
Question 1: What can we learn from David’s confidence in God despite his trying circumstances?
PROFOUND PRAYER AND CONFIDENCE IN GOD’S PROTECTION (Psalms 61:1-8; 102:1- 5; 50:15; Jeremiah 33:3; Philippians 4:6; James 5:13; 1 Timothy 2:8)
In a lamentable voice, the psalmist pleaded with God to hear his cry and attend to his prayer. His request was urgent and desperate because he was in a critical and an overwhelming situation. “From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I” (Psalm 61:2). He found himself at “the end of the earth”, which could mean an expression of an extreme situation of seeming hopelessness. David had many depressing situations in life that could fit into this circumstance. At a time, Saul was after his life and he had to run into the wilderness of Judah for his life. On another occasion, he had to flee the palace as a result of the treason of his son, Absalom. David also fought many deadly battles with the Philistines and other enemy nations of Israel. During these situations, he was physically in a place distant from the tabernacle of God in Jerusalem and faced these circumstances that could have overwhelmed his heart.
Nevertheless, David realised that God is the source of hope and comfort in a seemingly hopeless situation. From his previous experiences, he noted that God “hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy”. Therefore, in this overwhelming situation, he looked beyond his military prowess and strategy and resorted to prayer, crying to God to lead him to the rock that is higher than him. He reposed his confidence in God.
The “rock that is higher” describes a place of safety in God beyond the turmoil of life and threats of enemies. It is a shelter for the righteous, sure and secure. There, believers are beyond the reach of overwhelming circumstances of life. We have peace, victory and comfort in that secret place of the Most High. Today, Jesus Christ is the eternally secure and safe Rock for believers. He is unmovable; we are safe when we are in Him. We can always pray to God to lead us into the sure refuge of the Rock of Ages and to keep us abiding in Him. The greatest comfort and peace we have is the assurance that God hears our prayers (1 John 5:14).
Question 2: Explain why David asked God to lead him to “the rock that is higher”.
We can learn from David that distance is no barrier and the depth of our adversity should compel us to cry to God. The deeper the depth of despair, the more earnest and desperate our cry should be to God. We can pray to Him in whatever situations we find ourselves. Prayer is a great privilege that God has given to His children. “And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me” (Psalm 50:15). He will answer and deliver us from all our enemies. Prayer brings rest and peace to our souls and He will intervene to deliver us from situations too hard for us to handle. The scriptural admonition is, “Is any afflicted? Let him pray…” (James 5:13).
Question 3: What is the importance of prayer in the believer’s life?
THE PSALMIST’S PERSUASION AND CONVICTION ABOUT GOD’S POWER (Psalms 62:1-12; 27:1-6; 46:1-11; 91:1-16; 1 Samuel 17:34-37; Psalm 121:1-8)
“Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defence; I shall not be greatly moved” (Psalm 62:1,2). Here, the psalmist declared his absolute confidence in the sufficiency of God’s power for his salvation, defence and protection. Repeatedly, he affirmed his conviction that God only is his rock and salvation, his defence, his glory, strength and refuge. He was persuaded that no matter the plot and mischief of the enemies against him, they would not succeed. Thus, he would not be afraid but put his trust only in God.
David was persuaded that no one other than God could save or deliver him nor could any harm him as long as God was with him; therefore, he committed the keeping of his soul unto Him only. He concentrated on waiting on Him; he would not turn to anyone else. In difficulties and adversities, his soul was fixed on God. This is a state of total surrender to the will of God and dependence on His providence. No enemy or group of enemies, no matter how powerful would move him to turn to any other god or men for help. Therefore, David exhorted all believers to “Trust in him at all times, ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us”. This is the secret of peace and victory in all circumstances of life.
Certainly, David’s confidence is based on his conviction that there is no power greater than God. He affirms: “God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God” (Psalm 62:11). Our Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ also said, “…All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth” (Matthew 28:18). As a result, He delegated this power to believers. “Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you” (Luke 10:19). Children of God should trust the word of our Lord Jesus Christ, that no power of the enemies can hurt them in any way.
Question 4: Why should believers not be moved by any enemy or circumstance?
Salvation and deliverance come from God. As we repose our confidence in Him, He will not disappoint us. He cannot lie. If God be for us, no one can be against us. He is our strength and hope, and our present help in times of trouble. Absolute faith in Him will guarantee deliverance from every evil.
PASSIONATE PURSUIT AFTER GOD AND COMFORT OF HIS PRESENCE (Psalms 63:1- 11; 42:1,2; 119:131; 16:8,11; Isaiah 26:3)
David displayed his intimate personal relationship with God and his desire to always want to be in fellowship with Him. “O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is” (Psalm 63:1). He knew that he belonged to God. From his previous psalms, we see how he committed himself to Him as well as put his confidence in Him only. He knew that God had accepted him and committed Himself to him. Therefore, he was bold to declare, “…thou art my God”. We must be so sure of our personal relationship with the Lord too.
God calls everyone into a relationship with Him (2 Corinthians 6:17,18). When a person repents of sin and turns to Him through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, he becomes a child of God. God has declared that He is our God (Isaiah 41:10). He is glorified when we belong to and totally depend on Him. To belong to Him and know Him as our personal God is an abiding treasure that endures when everything else fails. It is a sufficient resource that brings comfort in whatever crisis.
Question 5: Describe the comfort that comes from knowing that the Lord is your God.
In the wilderness of Judah, in a thirsty land, where no water is and all comfort of the palace was lacking, David resorted to the all-surpassing possession of his relationship with God. That was enough for him. It was the source of his strength and encouragement. It was the rock of his hope in this barren land. The threat of the pursing enemies was of no consequence as long as he was connected with the God of his salvation. How comforting to have the almighty God as your very own personal God.
Besides his relationship with God, David was also passionate about Him. In this unlikely place in the wilderness, he sought God with all the power of his being. His soul thirsted and his flesh longed for Him. He was determined to seek Him early (Psalm 63:1). It could be rising a great while before daybreak or seeking Him early in life. David desired fellowship with God more than anything else. He had known Him from his childhood and had experienced mighty deliverances on several occasions while keeping the sheep of his father. He ascribed his exploits to the help of the Lord (1 Samuel 17:34- 37). He knew God as his shepherd and decided to dwell in His house all the days of his life (Psalm 23:1-6). While in prosperity and power in the palace, he sustained his deep longing for God. Now far away from the temple, the physical house of God in Jerusalem, his passion for Him did not diminish. Even in the wilderness, he longed to experience the power and the glory of God as he had seen it in the sanctuary.
By the choice David had made and his consecration of covenant with God, He occupied the first place in his desires. No difficulties, challenges and vagaries of life could turn away his thirst for God. When we know God as our personal God, we will never be satisfied with anything else than to be in fellowship with Him. The vicissitudes of life, rather than turn us away will draw us closer to our God. Those who are going through a wilderness experience of spiritual dryness should turn their desire to Him, seek Him with their whole heart and they will be satisfied with His refreshing presence. The promise of God is that when we seek Him with the whole of our heart, He will be found by us (Jeremiah 29:13).
Question 6: How important is the passion of our soul for God in overcoming the challenges of life?
Soon the longing and thirst of David turned into a jubilant song of praise. “Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee. Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name” (Psalm 63:3,4). This is the secret of revival. When we seek God with all our heart, no matter the circumstances, our wilderness will turn into oasis of comfort and gladness because God will always respond to show us His power and glory. In his confidence in God, David affirmed, “My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips”. He looked with hope to the future. He would rejoice in the comfort and assurance of the shadow of the wings of the Lord because He has been his help. He would ever keep close to God because it was His right hand that upheld him. He knew the Lord would give him victory over the enemies that sought to destroy his soul and would cause him to rejoice in the Lord his God.
Flatimes’ Notice Board: Until you are born again, God ever abiding presence will never be with you. You must be born again to enjoy continuous victory. Please say the displayed prayer below in faith:
Lord Jesus, come into my life. I accept You as my Lord and Personal Saviour. I believe in my heart You died and rose from the dead to save me. Thank You Lord for saving me, in Jesus name Amen.
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