What does it say?
In Psalm 26 David gives the answer of a clean conscience before God. He is not claiming to be flawless, but simply to say that he has given himself to serve God and has been faithful to do so. In Psalm 40 David reflects on God’s deliverance and praises him for his many blessings. He knows that his trials are not over and also confesses that there are still areas of need in his life where he needs to grow. Most believe that Psalm 58 is connected to Psalms 56 and 57. If this is true then this psalm is also connected to the events surrounding Absalom’s rebellion.
Though the title does not specify the occasion of Psalm 61, it is clear from the content that David speaks as a king in exile. Therefore, we assume that this psalm also comes from the time of Absalom’s rebellion as David cries out from an overwhelmed heart. In the same way, we assume that Psalms 62 and 64 are also tied to the same time period as Psalm 61. David wrote all these psalms under strong attack.
What does it mean?
David seems to have written a lot about the time of Absalom’s rebellion. Certainly it was one his most difficult experiences. We’ve already seen that David’s lack of parental responsibility undoubtedly is responsible for many of these problems. He lays out his conscience before God (Psa 26) and there is no question that he is sincere. However, these issues are so deeply rooted that he appears to be both personally and culturally blind to the ways in which his lack of marital and parental skills have contributed to his woes.
As you read through these psalms born out of his troubled heart while under attack from his own son, imagine the scene and circumstances and then imagine your own life in times of attack and heartache. Notice also the clear missional statement in Psalm 26:7. David begs God for deliverance that he may tell of all God’s wonderful works. This is the mission that we share.
How will I respond?
From these psalms I will list at least one practical lesson that I learn for application to my life when under attack or heartbroken. How do my trials and problems, even self-inflicted ones, contribute to my understanding of God’s mission and the practical steps I can take to be more effective as a servant of God?