A Psalm of David when he fled from Absalom his son.
1 LORD, how they have increased who trouble me! Many are they who rise up against me.
2 Many are they who say of me, “There is no help for him in God.” Selah
3 But You, O LORD, are a shield for me, my glory and the One who lifts up my head.
4 I cried to the LORD with my voice, and He heard me from His holy hill. Selah
5 I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the LORD sustained me.
6 I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around.
7 Arise, O LORD; Save me, O my God! for You have struck all my enemies on the cheekbone; You have broken the teeth of the ungodly.
8 Salvation belongs to the LORD. Your blessing is upon Your people. Selah
The context of this Psalm gives an interesting picture to my mind. This time of calamity that David is in (fleeing from Absalom) is the direct result of his adultery with Bathsheba and murder of her husband Uriah. He went from a protected life of leisure to having even more troubles than when he had to flee from Saul. This is very much a riches to rags kind of story.
It brings to mind a person who is close friends with the king being found guilty of a serious crime. He has his day in court and the kings issues the sentence prescribed by the law which is banishment for five years. The king’s friend says, “how could you do this to me, I thought we were friends?” The king responds, “We are friends, but I am still the king and have a duty to uphold the law.” The friends rich garments are replaced with tattered and faded traveling clothes and he is escorted to the edge of the kingdom where he is given provisions for a week and some simple foraging equipment for when the supplies run out as is provided by the law thus to begin his exile with no more than he can carry. About a mile down the road he sees another man waiting, similarly clothed and equipped. As he gets closer he realizes that this other man is in fact the king himself. Seeing his friends puzzlement he answers the unasked question, “I am the king, but I am still your friend. Don’t worry, my kingdom is not so frail that it will collapse in my absence, nor am I so feeble a ruler that I cannot govern from a distance. Your actions put you here, but my love for you means I am right here with you.” Selah.