Well David's life was wonderfully blessed, but also chaotic. He was God's anointed king, but he was far from perfect. Following the scandal he was in with Bathsheba, (something the newspapers today would have loved!) his own family life became a mess as different ones of his children were fighting one another.
In 2 Samuel chapters 11-18 we read of all of this. The short version is this:
- David and Bathsheba have an affair, and her husband is killed off in battle
- David is confronted and confesses
- One of David's sons, Amnon attacks and rapes Tamar, one of his half-sisters. The daughter's other (full) brother, Absalom, then takes revenge and kills Amnon.
- Absalom goes on the run.
- Absalom and David are reconciled but Absalom starts scheming and building up a power base, eventually declaring himself king.
- David runs for his life.
David was a musician and a poet, and as he was hidden away, in his distress he turned to music. What we have here is a prayer in song, as he processes all that is happening and prays to the Lord. He moves from a sense of being overwhelmed by all that is going on, through to a confidence that God will defeat his enemies - rendering them as toothless wild animals who can have no effect, and blessing his people.
There for 4 stanzas to it, and each one shows a step on in his thinking. This is a good model for us in facing trials and troubles. And is it something that even the ultimate king, Jesus Christ, went through as he faced the challenge of the cross and prayed in the garden of Gethsemane?
Stanza 1 - v1,2
Stanza 2 - v3,4
Stanza 3 - v5,6
Stanza 4 - v7,8
Have a read of Psalm 3:
A psalm of David. When he fled from his son Absalom.
1 Lord, how many are my foes!
How many rise up against me!
2 Many are saying of me,
“God will not deliver him.”
3 But you, Lord, are a shield around me,
my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
4 I call out to the Lord,
and he answers me from his holy mountain.
5 I lie down and sleep;
I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.
6 I will not fear though tens of thousands
assail me on every side.
7 Arise, Lord!
Deliver me, my God!
Strike all my enemies on the jaw;
break the teeth of the wicked.
8 From the Lord comes deliverance.
May your blessing be on your people.