Read Psalm 60
Featured Verse: Psalm 60:3-5
“You have shown your people desperate times; you have given us wine that makes us stagger. But for those who fear you, you have raised a banner to be unfurled against the bow. Selah Save us and help us with your right hand, that those you love may be delivered.”
David’s reign as king over God’s people came to be known as the Golden Age of Israel. Yet during his reign, as you can discern from this psalm, the times were not always as good as gold. There were situations and seasons where it seemed as if the people had abandoned their God, and God had abandoned his people.
In the particular occasion memorialized by this psalm, David sensed that God had not been with Israel in battle as he had expected. We are not told why—if there were some national sin that caused God to withhold his favor, or if David’s leadership was to blame, or if God was just simply testing and deepening Israel. This seems to be a time when there was no clear answer for Israel’s undesirable circumstances.
That can be true of our lives as well. Sometimes we just don’t know. Sometimes difficult things happen and after some serious soul searching, we simply cannot produce an adequate explanation. I am sure many Christians who are caught in the vise-grip of our present downturned economy may be feeling this way today. I know of several God-honoring spiritual leaders of churches that are scratching their heads over severe financial challenges. I’m sure a lot of believers right now would join David and say, “You have shown your people desperate times.”
So what are we to do in those desperate times? Unfurl our banner, that’s what! In other words, let’s declare our loyalty to God! Let’s shout our trust in his goodness from the rooftops! Let’s make clear to the world whose side we are on! Let’s affirm our submission to his will and align ourselves once again to his sovereign purposes. Let’s refuse to surrender to fear, self-pity and defeat. Let’s intensify our intentions and redouble our efforts to be God’s people no matter what the times are like—good or bad.
And then let’s simply and patiently entrust ourselves to God to save and help us with his strong right hand. After all, the One who loves us goes by the name “Deliverer” for good reason.