Many of the David’s psalms were born out of his pleadings to God for relief from oppression. I can imagine that when David was first anointed by Samuel to be the king of Israel there must have been at least a small swelling of pride that he was God’s choice. This meant in due time he would enjoy the privileges of royalty. However, it wasn’t long before he discovered God’s favor would cause him to be the scorn of his enemies. Certainly, Saul was none too pleased to learn his family would never become a dynasty, which made David the target of Saul’s wrath. Thus we have this psalm as David plead with God to deliver him from Saul’s intense anger.
David, God’s choice for king, did not write these words from a gilded room in a palace. Rather, he was in a dark, dirty cave where he was hiding while fleeing for his life. David had climbed the rocky cliffs of En Gedi many times in fear for his safety, but though the situation seemed bleak, he knew God had chosen him and he knew his heart was right. Because of this, he fully expected protection from his Lord until he should be brought to his time to occupy the throne.
As I read this psalm, I am reminded of two very special objects of God’s divine choice and protection. The first is the Lord Jesus Christ who was ordained by the Father to bear the reproach of the cross in order to make atonement for our sins. He too was specifically chosen, and yet His path to glory took the same turn as David’s. The exaltation of the throne was to come later until He was made perfect through suffering (Heb. 2:10). In the meantime, the enemy was everywhere trying to take His life before the time. The difficulty of the cross was never a deterrent to Him. He knew what the Father promised. As He prayed in John 17, He knew the Father would restore Him to the glory He had before stepping down to come in human flesh (John 17:5). For this reason, Hebrews says He went to the cross for the joy that was set before Him (Heb. 12:2). With His death, He would bring millions to worship the Father before the throne.
The second object of God’s divine choice is me. If you are a believer, you can substitute your name for what I am about to say next. Before I was born, God chose me to a crown of glory (1 Pet. 5:4), and to sit in heavenly places in Christ (Eph. 1:3-4; 2:6). However, there is a meantime just as there was with David and Christ. The meantime is this life in which God’s people often find themselves at odds with a God rejecting world. Because the world hated Christ, it also hates us which often leaves us the objects of ridicule (John 15:18).
As neither David nor Jesus were greatly discouraged, so we should not be discouraged. We have the same promise given to them. We shall not be left to the destruction of Satan, but as David wrote in verse 3, “He shall send from heaven, and save me from the reproach of him that would swallow me up. Selah. God shall send forth his mercy and his truth.”
God’s choice is the same as God’s salvation. The first infallibly leads to the second. I hope you can relate this great truth to the message today as I speak on the eternal election of God. Those whom God chooses He does not fail to bring to glory (Rom. 8:29-30). So, take heart in times of trouble. You were always in the eternal purpose of God. He is able to see you through. “Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: let thy glory be above all the earth.”
Pastor V. Mark Smith