David's family was torn apart by rape, murder, rebellion, and revolution. He'd failed as a father, in part because of his polygamous marriages and in part because he was too busy with matters of government and war. He was powerful, he was successful, he was the king—but he was eventually on the run, fleeing a son who sought to take his life.
Exiled from his family and his people, hiding from his son Absalom, a grief-stricken King David penned a heartfelt prayer, a plea for mercy and justice.
No matter how people may fail you or mistreat you, God is your fortress.
David's world was falling apart—but God was his Rock.
David's family was collapsing—but God was his Rock.
David's government was crumbling—but God was his Rock.
David's throne had been stolen from him—but God was his Rock.
David's subjects had turned against him—but God was his Rock.
The prayer of Psalm 28 expresses the heart's cry of everyone who has found themselves in a desperate situation. It is a comforting passage to meditate on when you have been slandered, mistreated, and misunderstood by others. It's a plea for God to be your protector, vindicator, and righteous judge.
When your world is falling apart all around you, how do you respond? Do you run to God, or do you blame Him? When you find yourself facing the consequences of your own wrong choices, do you cry out to the Rock of ages, or do you blame God for not protecting you from the results of your actions?
David understood God. He prayed, "Hear my cry for mercy as I call to you for help." A cry for mercy is the farthest thing imaginable from the demand, "You owe me."
David prayed with his arms raised, putting his mind, spirit, and body into his prayer. He was not just saying a prayer; he was struggling in prayer. Hard work, struggle, suffering, wrestling with God—these difficult experiences are often the prerequisites to victory.
No matter how people may fail you or mistreat you, God is your fortress. His power never diminishes. His love for you never changes. His support for you never wavers. His mercy toward you never fades. He is your Rock.
Prayer: Lord, You are my Rock. I will trust in You when circumstances threaten to overwhelm me, remembering Your promises are sure and everlasting. I will rest in Your mercy toward me and hope in Your coming Kingdom. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him" (Psalm 28:7).
*This devotional adapted from Life-Changing Prayers by Michael Youssef © 2018. Published by Baker Books, Grand Rapids, MI. Used by permission.