One of the unusual and wonderful parts about studying David’s life is that we not only get to read the stories told about him, but we also get to hear what he was thinking through the Psalms that he wrote during his life.
The Psalms are hymns that were used in worship by the people of Israel at the Temple and in their own private times with God. We no longer have the music that once accompanied these hymns, but we can still read them.
While we don’t know exactly where David was in life when he wrote this Psalm, it is clear that he was inspired by his days as a shepherd boy. In the Psalm, he uses the analogy of God as a loving shepherd protecting David (who is compared to a sheep). This shepherd provides for his needs, guards him and cares for him. David, in return, trusts and relies upon God, his shepherd, so much that even “in the valley of the shadow of death,” David is not afraid because he knows that God watches over him. While he is with the shepherd, there is nothing to fear.
As we will see, David’s life is chaotic. He will face giants, lose friends, and hide in caves from his enemies - and flee from his own mistakes. He will also stand victorious, be hailed as a King, and begin a dynasty that God promises will never end. Through these highs and lows, the constant is David’s continued faith in God. Even in his worst moments, he continued to call out to God and to trust that the Lord would deliver him.
That faith is why David was successful, and why we still remember him centuries after his death. It is the trait that made him a great king - and one that covered for a number of his failings. If there is anything that we can learn from David’s life, it is the need to trust and rely upon God, and to continue talking to Him in good times and in bad.
What do you put your trust in? Are you relying upon yourself - trusting your own talents, abilities and cleverness to see you through? Do you put your trust in other people - counting on them to handle your problems and rescue you when things go wrong? Or are you putting your faith in the Good Shepherd, who will always be there and who is always watching over you in love?
Talk to Him today. If you don’t know what else to say, read this Psalm to Him and make the words your own. Pray that He would help you trust and rely upon Him the way that David did.