David like his greater son, Jesus, faced great humiliation and a climax came right before they were exalted as kings. David and his men were living in Ziklag because Saul was still trying to kill them all. But as they are returning home, they see plumes of grey smoke arising from the rubble pile that had been their homes at Ziklag. Their livestock has all be stolen, their houses burned and their wives and children are gone. David is overwhelmed by fear at what happened to their families. He is filled with guilt because he has let men down and because he feels God must be punishing him for his sins. David’s own followers are ready to spill his blood for the vultures.
What a contrast 1 Sam. 30:6 emphasizes: “But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God.” What was involved in this strengthening? You and I may never face a situation as bad as David but we feel doubts, fears and guilt. How should we strengthen ourselves? Unfortunately 1 Sam 30 does not tell us any more about how David strengthened himself. Yet the Holy Spirit caused David to write for us a primer on strengthening ourselves in the Lord in Psalm 25. It appears David wrote this just at this time. Read Psalm 25.
Notice how this strengthening is based on God’s Love and Grace. There alone can he call him His God who will lift up his soul, forgive the sins of his youth and keep His covenant daily washing him clean in the blood of Jesus. David strengthens himself also in the LORD’s Word as the absolute truth to lead him in truth, guide his judgments so all his paths are truth.
Based on this grace and truth of the LORD, David appeals for God’s own strength to strengthen him. Because of Your grace and truth, for Your name’s sake, pluck me out of the net and put to shame those deliberately transgressing your commandments. By Your own strength O Lord strengthen me to trust in You. The closing verse show David’s situation externally has not changed. His troubles and distress are enlarged overwhelming him but by God’s grace and truth he is strengthened to trust: You Lord keep my soul and redeem all Your believing children from their troubles.
God’s grace has forgiven your sins, established His covenant with you, and given you His truth. Use His own strength to strengthen yourself in the LORD your God.