Complete Trust in Jehovah Inspires Confidence
“Jehovah himself will hear when I call to him.”—PS. 4:3.
1, 2. (a) What perilous situation did David face? (b) We will discuss which psalms?
KING DAVID has ruled Israel for some time, but he now faces a perilous situation. His scheming son Absalom has had himself declared king, and David has been forced to leave Jerusalem. He has also been betrayed by a confidant, and now, accompanied by a few loyal ones, he walks weeping and barefoot over the Mount of Olives. Moreover, Shimei, who belongs to a family in King Saul’s house, is throwing stones and dust at David while cursing him.—2 Sam. 15:30, 31; 16:5-14.
2 Will this ordeal bring David down to Sheol in grief and disgrace? No, for he trusts in Jehovah. This is evident in the 3rd Psalm, composed by David regarding his flight. He also wrote the 4th Psalm. Both of these compositions express the conviction that God hears and answers prayers. (Ps. 3:4; 4:3) These psalms assure us that Jehovah is with his faithful servants day and night, blessing them with his support as well as peace and a sense of security. (Ps. 3:5; 4:8) Let us, therefore, consider these psalms and see how they inspire confidence and promote trust in God.
When ‘Many Rise Up Against Us’
3. As shown at Psalm 3:1, 2, what was David’s situation?
3 “The heart of the men of Israel has come to be behind Absalom,” says a messenger. (2 Sam. 15:13) Wondering how Absalom has been able to marshal such support, David asks: “O Jehovah, why have my adversaries become many? Why are many rising up against me? Many are saying of my soul: ‘There is no salvation for him by God.’” (Ps. 3:1, 2) Many Israelites think that Jehovah will not deliver David from calamity at the hands of Absalom and his cohorts.
4, 5. (a) David was sure of what? (b) What is the significance of the words “the One lifting up my head”?
4 But David is confident because he has implicit trust in God. He sings: “Yet you, O Jehovah, are a shield about me, my glory and the One lifting up my head.” (Ps. 3:3) David is sure that Jehovah will protect him just as a shield protects a soldier. Yes, the aging king is fleeing, his head covered and bent down in humiliation. But the Most High will change David’s condition to one of glory. Jehovah will enable him to stand erect, to raise his head and hold it high once again. David calls out with confidence that God will answer him. Do you display such trust in Jehovah?
5 By the words “the One lifting up my head,” David ascribes to Jehovah the help he expects to receive. Today’s English Version reads: “But you, O LORD, are always my shield from danger; you give me victory and restore my courage.” With regard to the expression “the One lifting up my head,” one reference work says: “When God lifts up . . . one’s ‘head,’ He fills one with hope and confidence.” Forced from Israel’s throne, David has reason to be despondent. However, ‘the lifting up of his head’ will result in renewed courage, confidence, and complete trust in God.
‘Jehovah Will Answer!’
6. Why did David refer to having his prayer answered from Jehovah’s holy mountain?
6 Trusting in Jehovah and filled with confidence, David continues: “With my voice I shall call to Jehovah himself, and he will answer me from his holy mountain.” (Ps. 3:4) In keeping with David’s orders, the ark of the covenant, symbolizing God’s presence, has been taken to Mount Zion. (Read 2 Samuel 15:23-25.) Fittingly, then, David refers to having his prayer answered from Jehovah’s holy mountain.
7. Why did David experience no dread?
7 Certain that prayer to God will not be in vain, David experiences no dread. Instead, he sings: “As for me, I will lie down that I may sleep; I shall certainly awake, for Jehovah himself keeps supporting me.” (Ps. 3:5) Even at night, when the danger of surprise attack is the greatest, David is not afraid to go to sleep. He is sure that he will awake, for his past experiences have made him absolutely confident that he can trust in God’s unfailing support. So can we if we adhere to “the ways of Jehovah” and never depart from him.—Read 2 Samuel 22:21, 22.
8. How does Psalm 27:1-4 show that David trusted in God?
8 David’s confidence and complete trust in God are evident in another of his psalms, one containing these inspired words: “Jehovah is my light and my salvation. Of whom shall I be in fear? Jehovah is the stronghold of my life. Of whom shall I be in dread? . . . Though against me an encampment should pitch tent, my heart will not fear. . . . One thing I have asked from Jehovah—it is what I shall look for, that I may dwell in the house of Jehovah all the days of my life, to behold the pleasantness of Jehovah and to look with appreciation upon his temple.” (Ps. 27:1-4) If you share those sentiments and your circumstances permit, you will regularly meet with fellow worshippers of Jehovah.—Heb. 10:23-25.
9, 10. Despite the words of Psalm 3:6, 7, why would you say that David did not have a vindictive spirit?
9 Although David is faced with Absalom’s treachery and the disloyalty of so many others, he sings: “I shall not be afraid of ten thousands of people who have set themselves in array against me round about. Do arise, O Jehovah! Save me, O my God! For you will have to strike all my enemies on the jaw. The teeth of wicked ones you will have to break.”—Ps. 3:6, 7.
10 David does not have a vindictive spirit. If his enemies were to be ‘struck on the jaw,’ God would do it. King David has written a personal copy of the Law and knows that in it Jehovah declares: “Vengeance is mine, and retribution.” (Deut. 17:14, 15, 18; 32:35) It is also up to God to ‘break the teeth of the wicked ones.’ Breaking their teeth means rendering them powerless to do harm. Jehovah knows who the wicked are because “he sees what the heart is.” (1 Sam. 16:7) How grateful we are that God gives us faith and strength to stand firm against the chief wicked one, Satan, who will soon be abyssed like a roaring but toothless lion fit only for destruction!—1 Pet. 5:8, 9; Rev. 20:1, 2, 7-10.
“Salvation Belongs to Jehovah”
11. Why should we pray for fellow believers?
11 David realizes that Jehovah alone can bring about the deliverance that he so desperately needs. But the psalmist is not thinking only of himself. What about Jehovah’s favored people as a whole? Appropriately, David concludes his inspired composition with the words: “Salvation belongs to Jehovah. Your blessing is upon your people.” (Ps. 3:8) True, David has monumental problems, but he bears in mind Jehovah’s people in general and is confident that God will bless them. Should we not also keep our fellow believers in mind? Let us remember them in our prayers, asking Jehovah to give them his holy spirit so that they can muster up courage and can act with confidence in declaring the good news.—Eph. 6:17-20.
12, 13. What happened to Absalom, and how did David react?
12 Absalom’s life ends ingloriously—a warning to all who would abuse others, especially God’s anointed ones, such as David. (Read Proverbs 3:31-35.) A battle takes place, and Absalom’s forces are defeated. Absalom himself is riding away on a mule when his luxuriant hair becomes enmeshed in the fork of a low branch of a large tree. There he hangs—alive but helpless—until Joab kills him by driving three shafts into his heart.—2 Sam. 18:6-17.
13 Does David rejoice when he learns what has befallen his son? No. Instead, he paces the floor, weeps, and cries out: “My son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! O that I might have died, I myself, instead of you, Absalom my son, my son!” (2 Sam. 18:24-33) Only Joab’s words bring David out of his nearly overwhelming grief. What a tragic end for Absalom, whose blind ambition prompted him to fight against his own father—Jehovah’s anointed—and bring disaster upon himself!—2 Sam. 19:1-8; Prov. 12:21; 24:21, 22.
David Again Expresses Trust in God
14. What can be said about the composition of Psalm 4?
14 Like the 3rd Psalm, the 4th is an earnest prayer of David that gives evidence of his complete trust in Jehovah. (Ps. 3:4; 4:3) Perhaps David composed this song to express relief and gratitude to God after the failure of Absalom’s coup. Or it may have been written with Levite singers in mind. In either case, meditating on it can strengthen our trust in Jehovah.
15. Why can we confidently pray to Jehovah through his Son?
15 David again manifests complete trust in God and displays confidence in the effectiveness of prayer. He sings: “When I call, answer me, O my righteous God. In the distress you must make broad space for me. Show me favor and hear my prayer.” (Ps. 4:1) We can have similar confidence if we practice righteousness. Aware that Jehovah, the “righteous God,” blesses his upright people, we can confidently pray to him through his Son with faith in Jesus’ ransom sacrifice. (John 3:16, 36) What peace this gives us!
16. Why may David have become discouraged?
16 At times, we may face a discouraging situation that robs us of confidence. Temporarily, this may have been true of David, for he sings: “You sons of men, how long must my glory be for insult, while you keep loving empty things, while you keep seeking to find a lie?” (Ps. 4:2) The expression “sons of men” evidently refers to mankind in an unfavorable sense. David’s enemies ‘loved empty things.’ The New International Version offers this rendering: “How long will you love delusions and seek false gods?” Even if we become discouraged because of what others do, let us continue to pray earnestly and manifest complete trust in the only true God.
17. Explain how we might act in harmony with Psalm 4:3.
17 David’s trust in God is clear from the words: “So take knowledge that Jehovah will certainly distinguish his loyal one; Jehovah himself will hear when I call to him.” (Ps. 4:3) Courage and complete trust in Jehovah are required in order to remain loyal to him. For instance, these qualities are needed by a Christian family when an unrepentant relative is disfellowshipped. God honors those loyal to him and his ways. In turn, loyalty and complete trust in Jehovah promote joy among his people.—Ps. 84:11, 12.
18. In harmony with Psalm 4:4, what should we do if we have been the object of unkind words or actions?
18 What if someone says or does things that upset us? We can remain joyful if we do what David says: “Be agitated, but do not sin. Have your say in your heart, upon your bed, and keep silent.” (Ps. 4:4) If we have been the object of unkind words or actions, let us not sin by retaliating. (Rom. 12:17-19) We can have our say in our heart while in bed. If we pray about the matter, we may see it in a different light and be moved to forgive out of love. (1 Pet. 4:8) Noteworthy in this regard is the apostle Paul’s counsel, apparently based on Psalm 4:4: “Be wrathful, and yet do not sin; let the sun not set with you in a provoked state, neither allow place for the Devil.”—Eph. 4:26, 27.
19. How can Psalm 4:5 help us with regard to our spiritual sacrifices?
19 Stressing the need for trusting in God, David sings: “Sacrifice the sacrifices of righteousness, and trust in Jehovah.” (Ps. 4:5) Sacrifices offered by the Israelites had value only if the people had proper motives. (Isa. 1:11-17) For our spiritual sacrifices to be acceptable to God, we too must have proper motives and must trust in him completely.—Read Proverbs 3:5, 6; Hebrews 13:15, 16.
20. What is signified by ‘the light of Jehovah’s face’?
20 David continues: “There are many saying: ‘Who will show us good?’ Lift up the light of your face upon us, O Jehovah.” (Ps. 4:6) ‘The light of Jehovah’s face’ signifies divine favor. (Ps. 89:15) So when David prays: “Lift up the light of your face upon us,” he means ‘show us favor.’ Because we trust in Jehovah, we have his favor and great joy as we confidently do his will.
21. Of what are we assured if we have a full share in today’s spiritual harvest work?
21 Looking forward to God-given joys that surpass those of harvesttime, David sings to Jehovah: “You will certainly give a rejoicing in my heart greater than in the time when their grain and their new wine have abounded.” (Ps. 4:7) We can be certain of experiencing heartfelt joy if we have a full share in today’s spiritual harvest work. (Luke 10:2) With the ‘populous nation’ of anointed ones taking the lead, we now rejoice as the number of ‘harvest workers’ keeps growing. (Isa. 9:3) Are you having a truly satisfying part in this joyful harvest?
Confidently Press On With Complete Trust in God
22. In keeping with Psalm 4:8, how did the Israelites fare when they kept God’s Law?
22 David concludes this psalm with the words: “In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for you yourself alone, O Jehovah, make me dwell in security.” (Ps. 4:8) When the Israelites kept Jehovah’s Law, they were at peace with him and felt secure. For instance, ‘Judah and Israel dwelt in security’ during Solomon’s reign. (1 Ki. 4:25) Those trusting in God enjoyed peace even when neighboring nations were hostile. Like David, we sleep peacefully because God makes us feel secure.
23. What will we experience if we have complete trust in God?
23 Let us confidently press on in Jehovah’s service. May we also pray in faith and thus experience “the peace of God that excels all thought.” (Phil. 4:6, 7) What joy that brings us! And we can surely face the future with confidence if we maintain complete trust in Jehovah.
How Would You Respond?
• What problems did David face because of Absalom?
• How does Psalm 3 inspire confidence?
• In what ways can Psalm 4 strengthen our trust in Jehovah?
• How can we benefit from complete trust in God?
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Even when he fled because of Absalom, David had confidence in Jehovah
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Do you place complete trust in Jehovah?