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Crying for Help


My children often come to me with requests that might seem strange if someone else asked them: “Can you read me a book? Can you make a sandwich for me? Can you play cars with me?” Yet, because I am their father, they know that they have the right to ask those kinds of things. That is often how David approached God. In the Psalms, David makes bold and specific requests of God because he has a relationship with Him.

David penned this lament after being betrayed by the Ziphites (1 Sam. 23:19–20). These were men from his own tribe. David addresses God urgently asking for salvation from these “arrogant foes” (v. 3). These were “people without regard for God” (v. 3), or more literally, men who “have not set God before them.”

David is honest about his sense of betrayal. He expresses his desire for vengeance (v. 5). God invites us to be honest about our anger so we can hand over our desire for revenge to Him (Rom. 12:19). In spite of his imminent danger, David expresses confidence in God. He declares, “Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me” (v. 4). His attitude stands in stark contrast to his enemies. His eyes look first to God for help. As one commentator put it, “Placing our gaze fully on God changes the way we see the rest of the world.” David ends this short lament with a vow. When God delivers him, he will not be silent about it (v. 6).

>> Today’s reading encourages us to fix our eyes on Jesus even in the midst of difficult and trying circumstances. Soak in the words of this classic hymn today: “Turn your eyes upon Jesus / Look full in His wonderful face / And the things of earth will grow strangely dim / In the light of His glory and grace.”

BY Ryan Cook

Dr. Ryan Cook has taught at Moody Bible Institute since 2012. He earned his bachelor of arts in Bible and Theology from Moody and his master of arts in Old Testament from Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. He has worked in Christian education and served as a pastor in Michigan for seven years. During his time as a professor at Moody, he earned his doctorate from Asbury Theological Seminary. He now lives with his wife, Ashley, and their three children in the Chicagoland area.

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