God allowed David to undergo many trials and hardships. One might suppose that if David had remained a shepherd, his life would have been much easier. But Jehovah anointed him, at least in a token way. His anointing occurred when Israel’s judge, Samuel, poured fragrant oil upon the shepherd boy’s head, signifying he had been chosen by God. God’s spirit began to work upon David, and in short order, he was impelled onto the battlefield with a sling and a stone facing down the hulking giant, Goliath.

The source of David’s power was no secret. He told the Philistine moments before he slung a stone into Goliath’s massive skull that he was coming to him with the name of Jehovah. And that was that.

David became an overnight national hero. Women sang songs in his honor. Having God’s favor was the beginning of his life of many difficulties. King Saul became murderously envious of David and forced him to flee into the wilderness and live as a hunted fugitive. Many of David’s songs were composed while he was running for his life.

Because of his many near-death experiences, he learned to trust Jehovah more and more. Looking back on his difficulties after finally securing his throne, David composed the 30th Psalm. In the opening verses, the poet/king sang: “I will exalt you, O Jehovah, for you have lifted me up; you did not let my enemies rejoice over me. O Jehovah my God, I cried to you for help, and you healed me. O Jehovah, you have lifted me up from the Grave. You kept me alive; you spared me from sinking into the pit. Sing praises to Jehovah, you his loyal ones, give thanks to his holy name; because being under his anger is only for a moment, but being in his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may come in the evening, but in the morning, there is a joyful cry.” — Psalms 30:1-5

Ironically, David did not provoke Jehovah to anger until after he became king. As king, on more than one occasion, he abused his power and authority. Although God forgave David for his grievous sin, he did not give the king an exemption from punishment. Jehovah could have had David put to death for his sin with Bathsheba and for having her husband killed in battle. Instead of death, Jehovah spared him and kept him alive, just as he had many times before when David was a fugitive. And so, David could sincerely sing praises to his God for his great mercy.

David experienced both Jehovah’s anger and his mercy, and so the Psalmist wrote from his own personal experience: “Sing praises  to Jehovah, you his loyal ones, give thanks to his holy name; because being under his anger is only for a moment, but being in his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may come in the evening, but in the morning, there is a joyful cry.”

As for David’s punishment, God allowed for the palace intrigue that marred the later part of David’s reign. His own son, Absalom, usurped the throne and tried to have David put to death. Once again, David’s enemies were persons in his own household, and he was forced to vacate the comforts of his palace and become a fugitive. As king, David wielded immense power, yet he could not prevent his own son from driving him off the throne that Jehovah had given him.

David may well have had that experience in mind when he composed these lyrics: “When I was untroubled, I said: “I will never be shaken.” O Jehovah, while I was in your favor, you made me as strong as a mountain. But when you hid your face, I became terrified.”

Writing to the Romans centuries later, the apostle Paul reminded them and us: “All the things that were written beforehand were written for our instruction, so that through our endurance and through the comfort from the Scriptures we might have hope.”

Jesus forewarned Christians not to be terrified when they experience the beginning pangs of distress that will mark the beginning of the end of Satan’s world. Ultimately, the antitypical city of Jerusalem will become desolate. It will be an expression of God’s judgment. But the heavenly city cannot be shaken by the tumult on earth. Even so, terrifying events will prevail. Everyone’s faith will be shaken. God will hide his face, meaning he will not intervene for a time. Those who have been looked to as Heaven’s spokesmen will have no answers. Then David’s prayerful psalm will have meaning for us: “To you, O Jehovah, I kept calling; and to Jehovah, I kept pleading for favor. What profit is there in my death, in my going down to the pit? Will the dust praise you? Will it tell of your faithfulness? Hear, O Jehovah, and show me favor. O Jehovah, become my helper.”

David also penned the messianic psalm that foretold God would not leave the soul of his anointed in the Grave. In fact, Psalms 16:10 says: “You will not allow your loyal one to see the pit.”

Of course, Jesus did “see the pit.” He expired and was wrapped in burial cloth and laid in a tomb. However, Jehovah did not allow Jesus to remain entombed. On the third day, he arose to life eternal. But the remaining ones who are in union with Christ when he comes will fulfill the prophetic psalm. Even though they will be killed by their enemies, they will not see the pit. No! Not even for a nanosecond. Because, in the blink of an eye, they will be changed from flesh to spirit. Thereafter, they will praise Jehovah in his very presence forever.

You make known to me the path of life. In your presence is abundant joy; there is happiness at your right hand forever.” — Psalms 30:11

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