Tempted on All Points and Fronts

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Tempted on All Points and Fronts

Post  fennywest on Sat 20 Aug 2011, 11:48 am


2 Samuel 23:1
The sweet psalmist of Israel.


Among all the saints whose lives are recorded in Holy Writ, David possesses an experience of the most striking, varied, and instructive character. In his history we meet with trials and temptations not to be discovered, as a whole, in other saints of ancient times, and hence he is all the more suggestive a type of our Lord. David knew the trials of all ranks and conditions of men. Kings have their troubles, and David wore a crown: the peasant has his cares, and David handled a shepherd's crook: the wanderer has many hardships, and David abode in the caves of Engedi: the captain has his difficulties, and David found the sons of Zeruiah too hard for him. The psalmist was also tried in his friends, his counsellor Ahithophel forsook him, "He that eateth bread with me, hath lifted up his heel against me." His worst foes were they of his own household: his children were his greatest affliction. The temptations of poverty and wealth, of honour and reproach, of health and weakness, all tried their power upon him. He had temptations from without to disturb his peace, and from within to mar his joy. David no sooner escaped from one trial than he fell into another; no sooner emerged from one season of despondency and alarm, than he was again brought into the lowest depths, and all God's waves and billows rolled over him. It is probably from this cause that David's psalms are so universally the delight of experienced Christians. Whatever our frame of mind, whether ecstasy or depression, David has exactly described our emotions. He was an able master of the human heart, because he had been tutored in the best of all schools-the school of heart-felt, personal experience. As we are instructed in the same school, as we grow matured in grace and in years, we increasingly appreciate David's psalms, and find them to be "green pastures." My soul, let David's experience cheer and counsel thee this day.

C.H.Spurgeon



If you want to dig deeper

The sweet psalmist of Israel
Has a great story to tell
many great lessons to reach
myriads of sermons to preach.

Those who have ears will hear
And their faith will be stirred
To take courage in times of trial
Knowing that it does not mean denial.

He was the one ignored
On the day of his ordination
Samuel looked on the outward appearance until God intervened.1

Despite being defamed by his elder brothers, he kept his cool and brought down Goliath, when everyone was fearful.


Yet soon he was on the run
from a jealous and impetuous King Saul, who had lost his anointing and moral authority. Note2

Imagine David taking cover
In the land of the Philistines
Imagine him acting like a mad man to avoid being turned into the hand of Saul or treated roughly like a spy. Ps34 was born in this circumstance.
Note3

Then he became the captain of the disgruntled, vagabonds, scum of the earth, rejects of society in Ziklag, turning them into a formidable army.

And when misfortune struck
Oh, how they wanted to flay him!
They wanted to stone him.
He had to encourage himself in the Lord.
Note4 (1Sam30:5-7)

What will you say when your beloved son overthrows you after you have pardoned him for his crime and your trusted counsellor defects to take sides with him? This was the Lot of David. Psalm 3 was birthed in this circumstance. Note5

Notes
1. But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
1 Samuel 16:6-8 (


2.
28 When Eliab, David’s oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with anger at him and asked, “Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the wilderness? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.”
29 “Now what have I done?” said David. “Can’t I even speak?” 30 He then turned away to someone else and brought up the same matter, and the men answered him as before. 31 What David said was overheard and reported to Saul, and Saul sent for him.
1Sam17:28-31

3. Ps34

This psalm was penned upon a particular occasion, as appears by the title, and yet there is little in it peculiar to that occasion, but that which is general, both by way of thanksgiving to God an instruction to us. I. He praises God for the experience which he and others had had of his goodness (v. 1-6). II. He encourages all good people to trust in God and to seek to him (v. 7-10). III. He gives good counsel to us all, as unto children, to take heed of sin, and to make conscience of our duty both to God and man (v. 11-14). IV. To enforce this good counsel he shows God’s favour to the righteous and his displeasure against the wicked, in which he sets before us good and evil, the blessing and the curse (v. 15-22). So that, in singing this psalm, we are both to give glory to God and to teach and admonish ourselves and one another.A psalm of David when he changed his behaviour before Abimelech, who drove him away, and he departed.
Verses 1-10 The title of this psalm tells us both who penned it and upon what occasion it was penned. David, being forced to flee from his country, which was made too hot for him by the rage of Saul, sought shelter as near it as he could, in the land of the Philistines. There it was soon discovered who he was, and he was brought before the king, who, in the narrative, is called Achish (his proper name), here Abimelech (his title); and lest he should be treated as a spy, or one that came thither upon design, he feigned himself to be a madman (such there have been in every age, that even by idiots men might be taught to give God thanks for the use of their reason), that Achish might dismiss him as a contemptible man, rather than take cognizance of him as a dangerous man. And it had the effect he desired; by this stratagem he escaped the hand that otherwise would have handled him roughly. Now, 1. We cannot justify David in this dissimulation. It ill became an honest man to feign himself to be what he was not, and a man of honour to feign himself to be a fool and a mad-man. If, in sport, we mimic those who have not so good an understanding as we think we have, we forget that God might have made their case ours. 2. Yet we cannot but wonder at the composure of his spirit, and how far he was from any change of that, when he changed his behaviour. Even when he was in that fright, or rather in that danger only, his heart was so fixed, trusting in God, that even then he penned this excellent psalm, which has as much in it of the marks of a calm sedate spirit as any psalm in all the book; and there is something curious too in the composition, for it is what is called an alphabetical psalm, that is, a psalm in which every verse begins with each letter in its order as it stands in the Hebrew alphabet. Happy are those who can thus keep their temper, and keep their graces in exercise, even when they are tempted to change their behaviour. In this former part of the psalm,I. David engages and excites himself to praise God. Though it was his fault that he changed his behaviour, yet it was God’s mercy that he escaped, and the mercy was so much the greater in that God did not deal with him according to the desert of his dissimulation, and we must in every thing give thanks. He resolves, 1. That he will praise God constantly: I will bless the Lord at all times, upon all occasions. He resolves to keep up stated times for this duty, to lay hold of all opportunities for it, and to renew his praises upon every fresh occurrence that furnished him with matter. If we hope to spend our eternity in praising God, it is fit that we should spend as much as may be of our time in this work. 2. That he will praise him openly: His praise shall continually be in my mouth. Thus he would show how forward he was to own his obligations to the mercy of God and how desirous to make others also sensible of theirs. 3. That he will praise him heartily: "My soul shall make her boast in the Lord, in my relation to him, my interest in him, and expectations from him.’’ It is not vainglory to glory in the Lord.II. He calls upon others to join with him herein. He expects they will (v. 2): "The humble shall hear thereof, both of my deliverance and of my thankfulness, and be glad that a good man has so much favour shown him and a good God so much honour done him.’’ Those have most comfort in God’s mercies, both to others and to themselves, that are humble, and have the least confidence in their own merit and sufficiency. It pleased David to think that God’s favours to him would rejoice the heart of every Israelite. Three things he would have us all to concur with him in:—1. In great and high thoughts of God, which we should express in magnifying him and exalting his name, v. 3
Matthew Henry commentaries
http://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/psalms/34.html

Note4
1 Samuel 30:5-7
King James Version (KJV)
5And David's two wives were taken captives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite.
6And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.
7And David said to Abiathar the priest, Ahimelech's son, I pray thee, bring me hither the ephod. And Abiathar brought thither the ephod to David.

Note5

Ps3
O LORD, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me! 2 Many are saying of me, "God will not deliver him." "Selah" 3 But you are a shield around me, O LORD; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head. 4 To the LORD I cry aloud, and he answers me from his holy hill. "Selah" 5 I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the LORD sustains me. 6 I will not fear the tens of thousands drawn up against me on every side. 7 Arise, O LORD! Deliver me, O 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. "Selah


As the foregoing psalm, in the type of David in preferment, showed us the royal dignity of the Redeemer, so this, by the example of David in distress, shows us the peace and holy security of the redeemed, how safe they really are, and think themselves to be, under the divine protection. David, being now driven out from his palace, from the royal city, from the holy city, by his rebellious son Absalom, I. Complains to God of his enemies (v. 1, v. 2). II. Confides in God, and encourages himself in him as his God, notwithstanding (v. 3). III. Recollects the satisfaction he had in the gracious answers God gave to his prayers, and his experience of his goodness to him (v. 4, v. 5). IV. Triumphs over his fears (v. 6) and over his enemies, whom he prays against, (v. 7). V. Gives God the glory and takes to himself the comfort of the divine blessing and salvation which are sure to all the people of God (v. Cool. Those speak best of the truths of God who speak experimentally; so David here speaks of the power and goodness of God, and of the safety and tranquility of the godly.A psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom his son.
Verses 1-3 The title of this psalm and many others is as a key hung ready at the door, to open it, and let us into the entertainments of it; when we know upon what occasion a psalm was penned we know the better how to expound it. This was composed, or at least the substance of it was meditated and digested in David’s thought, and offered up to God, when he fled from Absalom his son, who formed a conspiracy against him, to take away, not his crown only, but his life; we have the story, 2 Sa. 15, etc. 1. David was now in great grief; when, in his flight, he went up the Mount of Olives, he wept greatly, with his head covered, and marching bare-foot; yet then he composed this comfortable psalm. He wept and prayed, wept and sung, wept and believed; this was sowing in tears. Is any afflicted? Let him pray; nay, let him sing psalms, let him sing this psalm. Is any afflicted with undutiful disobedient children? David was; and yet that did not hinder his joy in God, nor put him out of tune for holy songs. 2, . He was now in great danger; the plot against him was laid deep, the party that sought his ruin was very formidable, and his own son at the head of them, so that his affairs seemed to be at the last extremity; yet then he kept hold of his interest in God and improved that. Perils and frights should drive us to God, not drive us from him. 3. He had now a great deal of provocation given him by those from whom he had reason to expect better things, from his son, whom he had been indulgent of, from his subjects, whom he had been so great a blessing to; this he could not but resent, and it was enough to break in upon any man’s temper; yet he was so far from any indecent expressions of passion and indignation that he had calmness enough for those acts of devotion which require the greatest fixedness and freedom of thought. The sedateness of his mind was evinced by the Spirit’s coming upon him; for the Spirit chooses to move upon the still waters. Let no unkindness, no, not of a child or a friend, ever be laid so much to heart as to disfit us for communion with God. 4. He was now suffering for his sin in the matter of Uriah; this was the evil which, for that sin, God threatened to raise up against him out of his own house (2 Sa. 12:11 ), which, no doubt, he observed, and took occasion thence to renew his repentance for it. Yet he did not therefore cast away his confidence in the divine power and goodness, nor despair of succour. Even our sorrow for sin must not hinder either our joy in God or our hope in God. 5. He seemed cowardly in fleeing from Absalom, and quitting his royal city, before he had had one struggle for it; and yet, by this psalm, it appears he was full of true courage arising from his faith in God. True Christian fortitude consists more in a gracious security and serenity of mind, in patiently bearing and patiently waiting, than in daring enterprises with sword in hand.In these three verses he applies to God. Whither else should we go but to him when any thing grieves us or frightens us? David was now at a distance from his own closet, and from the courts of God’s house, where he used to pray; and yet he could find a way open heaven-ward. Wherever we are we may have access to God, and may draw nigh to him whithersoever we are driven. David, in his flight, attends his God,I. With a representation of his distress, v. 1, v. 2. He looks round, and as it were takes a view of his enemies’ camp, or receives information of their designs against him, which he brings to God, not to his own council-board. Two things he complains of, concerning his enemies:-1. That they were very many: Lord, how are they increased!

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