The main reason for David's peace is a fresh vision of God in the midst of his trials. We previously learned of how David saw God as His shield, glory, and head-lifter - all aspects of God's grace and protection. In addition to this David also cried out to God and God answered from the place of His habitation. This allowed David to lay down and sleep. We would be wise to follow this same path if we want peace in the midst of trouble and trial.
David understood God's sustaining hand as well. David most likely had sentries and guards standing around him in this situation. But before we put too much stock in this we must remember that David's entire army at this point was somewhere around 600-1000 men. They were facing an army of well over 1.5 million soldiers - led by a son who hated his father vehemently. A guard or even a 1000 guards are no guarantee of safety. David know God was going to sustain him. The word for sustain means to hold up or to bear up.
Is God currently holding you up in life? Is it a trust and reliance upon God that is undergirding your life in the midst of trials and suffering? David chose to know God in the midst of his great difficulty - to know His grace and mercy - to know His sustaining. That is what allowed him to sleep. But for David there was far more than just sleep involved in knowing God in the midst of his trial.
David also had a confidence that God would protect him against his enemies. Some might speak of being afraid of thousands and ten thousands and it is nothing more than hyperbole. But for David this statement was literally. He was surrounded by thousands and even ten thousands. Yet he says here that he was not afraid of them. What was it that gave David such strong confidence?
This was not David's first rodeo on the matter of having a godless man chase him through the wilderness trying to kill him. This situation had to have an altogether strange feel to it. David had been here before - with Saul - and with God. So many times his life had been bound up with God even as his enemy was all around him. What I believe sustained David was God's Word - His promise that He would build an enduring legacy through David. Little did David know that this legacy would be fulfilled through a suffering Savior Who would come on the scene hundreds of years later. God was committed to David - even when David had blown it and blown it badly. God was up to something in history - and nothing or no one was going to derail it.
David knew, after he had been in God's presence that he was once again in the stream of God's will. That stream cannot be stopped. The truly wise man makes sure that he is in the current of that stream - no matter what it takes. That was the difference between verse 1 of this Psalm and verse 6. David turned to the Lord and in a wonderful return to the heart and purposes of God, David was once again caught up in that glorious, comforting, sustaining flow of the will of God. Oh the confidence gained in that stream!
David again calls upon the name of the Lord. This time he calls for God's protection in battle, for he knows that a battle looms in his future. Absalom IS coming, and he is coming with all tens and hundreds of thousands of Israel. But note how David speaks here. It is amazing that he prays, not in the future tense - as in one who is asking for God to do something out in the future. He prays as if things are already done.
First David prays for God to arise and save him. There is a total reliance on God for the victory in this situation. One study of Scripture that will blow your mind is a study of what happens when God does arise and fight for His people and His purposes. It is at both a terrifying thing for His enemies as well as a wonderful comfort to those defended by His actions. We see things like a single angel slaying 185,000 of the enemy in one night. We watch as God fights for His people by having large rocks from heaven crush them as they flee. We hear His marching in the tree tops and find when we emerge from t he forest that He has already gone before us to win the day.
Here the picture given to us is that of God swinging with a mighty blow and landing a right hook to the check of His enemy. The force of the blow is so strong that it crushes and shatters the teeth of the opposition. David prays not that this will happen - but knows that is has already happened.
One of the pictures given to us in the Scriptures of the attacks of the devil is that of a lion crouching and awaiting the kill. We read in 1 Peter that Satan is prowling about like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour. But we are not to fear - for the Lord has already gone before us and struck our enemy to where all his teeth have been shattered and crushed in his mouth. We face a toothless lion because of God's victory - and it is one that is already won.
The teeth of that conflict is the Law and our sin. Because of our sin we are doomed to be consumed by the justice of God Himself as the Law points out our rebellion and wickedness. But take great hope saints - even as the wicked one accuses us (for he is the accuser of the brethren) and calls for us to be consumed - God has already won the victory. He won it through Jesus Christ - Who through all eternity has been the lamb slain from the foundation of the world. He was slain for our sin - and raised for our justification. He now stands as our victory in all things.
This is why there IS HOPE for you in God. There is hope because of the gospel of Jesus Christ. You see, your enemy has already been rendered toothless because of God's powerful and eternal deliverance. David ends this particular Psalm stating this as he says, "Salvation belongs to the Lord; Your blessing be upon Your people! Selah." It is because of Christ that we are saved from all our failures and all the sins that we envision taking away our hope in God. It is because of Him that we can have confidence and peace - even as we fully understand what messed up people we are. It is grace and God's salvation that will allow us to stand.
David says, Salvation belongs to the Lord! What an interesting way to put it. What he is saying is that there is no salvation apart from Him. It belongs to Him - and He grants it to whomever He chooses. AND - as if we can handle much else - His salvation also comes with His blessing. David also writes, "Your blessing be upon your people," as well. It is astounding to imagine it, but not only is our salvation provided by God, but it comes with His blessing as well.
David closes with one last "Selah." Stop and think about that. Meditate on this blessing - this salvation, this Defender, this Hearer of prayer, this One Who saves to the uttermost. Stop and meditate on the victory of this Dread Champion who shatters the teeth of those stupid enough to oppose Him and His purposes in the gospel. Stop and think about His salvation. The enemy may whisper or even shout that there is no hope for you in God. Remember this thought when he does. He is a liar and the father of lies. The only place where there is ever a sure hope is in God, His gospel, His sure defense, and His blood-bought blessing.