I sought the Lord, and he answered me. Psalm 34:4
When the hut of a settler in a mountainous region of Alaska caught fire, the settler was left without adequate shelter and with few provisions in the coldest state in the US—in the middle of a frigid winter. Three weeks later, the man was finally rescued when an aircraft flew over and spied the large SOS he had stamped out in the snow and darkened with soot.
The psalmist David was certainly in dire straits. He was being pursued by jealous King Saul who sought to kill him. And so he fled to the city of Gath, where he pretended to be insane in order to preserve his life (see 1 Samuel 21). Out of those events emerged Psalm 34, where David cried out in prayer to God and found peace (vv. 4, 6). God heard his pleas and delivered him.
Are you in a desperate situation and crying out for help? Be assured that God still hears and responds to our desperate prayers today. As with David, He’s attentive to our distress calls and takes away our fears (v. 4)—and sometimes even saves us “out of [our] troubles” (v. 6).
Scripture invites us to “cast [our] cares on the Lord and he will sustain [us]” (Psalm 55:22). When we turn our difficult circumstances over to God, we can trust that He’ll provide the help we need. We’re secure in His capable hands.
When have you felt peace after crying out to God? When has He rescued you from a desperate situation?
Loving Father, thank You for hearing my prayers and bringing comfort, peace—whatever I need most. And thank You especially for rescuing me from my sin.
Psalms 34, 37, and 73 deal with what was known in Old Testament times as the law or principle of retribution. At that time, the Scriptures were incomplete and the people of God had limited understanding of the afterlife. As a result, they wrestled with issues of justice and equity and how they would ultimately be realized. Not understanding life after death, they sought to reconcile the seeming inequities of life with the principle of retribution, which taught that in this life the righteous are blessed according to their righteousness and the wicked are cursed according to their wickedness. However, Psalm 73 makes it clear that Asaph felt that the principle wasn’t working, for the wicked seemed to flourish while the righteous suffered. Only in Jesus would this problem ultimately be reconciled. He bore the sins of the world on Himself, making possible an eternal home of true justice and equity.