Choosing our focus
There are many things to be afraid of in this life.
Every day, the morning newspaper is full of stories about dangerous situations, unsafe people, riots, and natural disasters. Stories about people from all walks of life with hidden agendas, corruption, and greed shaping the decisions they make. Some days, it just feels like the whole world is closing in with evil people and bad situations.
By his choice of words, we can see that David felt that way often…especially when he was on the run from King Saul. Saul wanted David dead, so that he could continue being king. Since David’s advisory was the most powerful man in the country, it seemed that everywhere David turned, he was in danger.
Here’s how David describes his situation:
I am in the midst of lions;
I lie down with those who devour me.
Their teeth are spears and arrows;
their tongues are sharp swords.
Don’t just glaze over this description. Let’s try and picture what David’s describing here.
You’re out in the open. Not just in proximity to wild animals, rather there are lions who freely roam around the area where you’re standing. You look for shelter, for cover…anything that will help you avoid an attack. Even where you sleep at night is not entirely safe. And you don’t have to guess as to how the lions will treat you if they find you. There will be blood, and certainly no mercy.
How do you feel? Where’s your focus?
In moments like these, our real priorities come into a much sharper focus. We clearly recognize what’s important and what is not. Survival normally becomes the driving influence in all our decisions. We may even select a few people we trust, and then we would make our next move.
However, David’s next move is to look up
God, be exalted above the heavens;
let Your glory be above the whole earth.
Previously in this psalm, David has approached God for refuge and protection. However, when the danger arrives…when Saul comes close to where David is hiding…David’s request turns away from himself and focuses solely on God’s reputation.
That is the true challenge for us. When we find ourselves in the crucible of life, when the corruption of the world is pressing in…are we looking to merely survive the evil around us, or are we looking to advance God’s reputation in this world? Which do we desire more?
If we choose the focus that David did, then the scary things in life won’t be so overwhelming.