"O Lord, how many are my foes!
Many are rising against me;
2 many are saying of my soul,
“There is no salvation for him in God.” Selah
3 But you, O Lord, are a shield about me,
my glory, and the lifter of my head.
4 I cried aloud to the Lord,
and he answered me from his holy hill. Selah
5 I lay down and slept;
I woke again, for the Lord sustained me.
6 I will not be afraid of many thousands of people
who have set themselves against me all around.
7 Arise, O Lord!
Save me, O my God!
For you strike all my enemies on the cheek;
you break the teeth of the wicked.
8 Salvation belongs to the Lord;
your blessing be on your people!" Selah
Quiet contemplation of God as He has revealed Himself to us and as we have known Him in our experience - this is ever the way forward, and the way out of dark despair. We should note the significance of the imperfect tenses in 4, which denote repeat- ed action or habit: 'As often as I called He heard me'. There is something important here. David is expressing the habit of his life, he has a relationship with God and in that communion he has proved God; and therefore in the present crisis he has something to fall back on. As someone has put it, 'feet accustomed to the road to God can find it in the dark'. The third stanza (5, 6) expresses a very wonderful experience. Here was David, beset all around by enemies, in great danger and peril of his life, yet he is able to lie down and sleep like a little child, conscious of the presence and sustaining power of the Lord. This is the grace of detachment: God does not promise us freedom from trouble and trial, or deliverance always from affliction but deliverance in trial, freedom in affliction, peace in war. This is the heritage of the people of God. And so, from detachment he passes to boldness and fearless courage (6) - what a contrast to the desperate spirit expressed in 1, 2! This, in turn, leads to a confident faith expressing itself in prayer (7, 8) 'Arise, O Lord', is the war cry of the people of God (cf Numbers 10:35) for his enemies to be scattered. The passage from fear to faith is wonderfully outlined in this little Psalm. O that we might learn to walk it in our own experience!