King of Self-Denial
Verse 1 Lord, remember David and all his self-denial.
Today we begin one of the songs of ascents that has no author assigned to it. It also holds a special place in this group of traveling hymns because of its reflection on David and its reference of the promised Messiah.
A Jewish person saying they had never heard of King David would get the same look of astonishment that an American would get if they claimed to have never heard of George Washington or Abraham Lincoln. He was one of the most famous people in Israeli history. Even many non-Biblical scholars know of David’s battle with Goliath, even if only in the sense of the underdog beating the big guy.
This traveling song was a way of reminding the people of why they were to go to Jerusalem to worship God for the festivals. We talked a few days ago about David’s humble beginnings. David started his life in a little town called Bethlehem. Yes, that Bethlehem. A small town with smelly shepherds. In fact David was one of those shepherds when he was anointed to be the future king.
This psalmist is reminding the singers of who David was and his humility. We learned in the previous chapter how David wasn’t haughty and knew his place in the scheme of things. David understood that God was in control and that he only held the position he did in the nation because of God placing him there. It was important that the travelers remembered that while they were traveling to the city where God had built David’s empire, they weren’t going to worship King David’s legacy.
David had not built his kingdom for his own glory. It was built to reveal God’s kingship over His people. David had lived as the man after God’s own heart. Although he failed to live a life free of foibles, he did his best to live in a way that spoke to God’s faithfulness and mercy. David had been given great promises from the Lord and he took God at His word. The psalmist was setting the stage for the rest of the song that would lead the people in praise of the true King of Israel, the God of heaven.
Making It Personal
Why is it important to remember that God is the true King no matter who is in charge of the nation? Have you found it as important in your life to deny being the master of your own life? How do you need to show God that He is Lord of your life?
Making It Personal Kids
Do you have someone that you look up to that seems to have done some great things? Do they say that God is the one that made all those great things happen? Do you give God credit for what He does in your life?
Father, You are the King. There is no one that is as holy as You. Help us come to know You in a deeper way and guide us as we seek to make You the only King in our lives. In Jesus’ name, amen.