This is one of the few Psalms that we know is about a particular episode in David’s life. The subtitle of the Psalm clearly indicates that it is about the incident where he fled from Saul into the cave, and its joyful tone clearly communicates David’s relief at the outcome.
The text conveys David’s confidence in God’s deliverance by describing a pair of dire situations - being surrounded by hungry lions and walking toward a trap set by his enemies - and explaining how David, even in such terrifying circumstances, is so unafraid that he is actually singing with joy. David’s assurance of God’s protection is absolute. He has been in danger before and he knows that, when he calls out to God that He will be there.
David’s song of relief and gratitude should remind us of something often missing from our prayer life - thankfulness. We are quick to reach out in prayer to God when we are in trouble. When that difficult exam is coming, we have lost our job or a global pandemic rages, we are quick to fall on our knees and beg for deliverance. But once the danger has passed, we seldom remember to thank Him for saving us.
I suspect that our failure to thank God for His protection and blessing is one of the reasons that we lack David’s unshakable confidence during times of trial. Because David made a point to thank God when God delivered him, David remembered that it was because of God that he survived. When the next danger loomed ahead, David didn’t sweat - after all, he could look back on dozens of occasions when God had shielded him from disaster and knew that God was big enough to handle whatever lay ahead.
Do you have confidence that God will be there when things get tough? Can you look back and see those places where He has been beside you, protecting you? Are you quick to ask Him for help but forget to thank Him after?
Ask God today to help you see His work in your life. And thank Him. Thank Him for the innumerable blessings we take for granted every day, and for those times He has been there and we paid little attention.