Have you ever felt completely and utterly alone, with no one to turn to? It seems to me that this psalm begins with such a sense of abandonment. If the superscription is correct: “A Psalm of David, when he fled from his son Absalom,” it would certainly seem so. What king anticipates being usurped by his own son and betrayed by trusted colleagues in a palace coup? David was not only struggling with the threat posed against his life and dynasty, but also with the indescribable anguish of having his son not simply turn from him, but turn against him.
“You might as well give up,” he was told. “Not even God can help you now!” Such a time of utter isolation is hard to imagine, even harder to understand, unless you have been there. Darkness descends, but sleep eludes you, and the future seems darkest of all. David, though, is undeterred: “You, O Lord, are a shield around me, you are my glory, the one who holds my head high…”
When there is no one else, when friends are few and at a distance, and foes are numerous and close at hand, the psalmist reminds us that the Lord is near. “I lie down and sleep; I wake again, for the Lord sustains me,” David testifies, for he knows that ultimately “deliverance belongs to the Lord.” When you have done all that you can do; when the times look bleakest of all, when you are up against the proverbial wall, remember that you never stand alone, for wherever you may be, whatever you may face, whatever may assail you, the Lord stands with you and, in one way or another, will deliver you, for you are his.
So in those difficult times don’t give up, when you can no longer out-run the problem, “…cry out to the Lord and He will answer you from His Holy Mountain”.