"When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches,
For You have been my help, And in the shadow of Your wings I sing for joy," (Psalm 63:6,7).
There is just something about the nighttime... those hours from dusk to dawn when our thoughts go places we little imagined nor planned to travel. It is the time when much spiritual warfare transpires, when our enemy seeks to assail our senses and accuse our conscience. His minions of fear stalk the mind, trying to convince us that our God no longer loves, cares, or is near us. Too, darkness seems to increase the future's bleakness, lending itself to fretting and anxious speculation.
David was susceptible to these nocturnal tendencies every bit as much as we are... yet he maintained a joy-filled heart, resting rather than fretful. How so?
First, he developed the habit of musing upon God's Person, regardless. Daylight or dark, he had early on set his heart to look heavenward. This is made the more significant in the light of all that could have easily distracted him: the responsibilities related to ruling an entire nation; constant and continual threats of enemies wanting to attack from without, as well as those trying from within to de-throne him; his own family, particularly his children, in a near-constant state of conflict and discord. Yet, amid it all, his eye of adoration was fixed upon the greatest Love of his life.
Now he turns from the Person of God to the Provision He faithfully supplies. "You have been my help." In so very many ways, David had received God's help. Samuel's anointing was his first inkling that the God of Israel would be his life-long help, showing such grace in selecting him above his brothers. And, of course, the encounter with Goliath that catapulted David to national attention was an unmistakable evidence of God's help, as He used David's conviction and skill to show Himself strong on Israel's behalf. Each step along David's road of remembrance, he knew the enabling presence and provision of the living God.
Finally, he breaks out in joyful song as he thinks upon the Protection God has been to him. During his shepherding days he had had life-threatening encounters with
vicious animals (I Samuel 17:37), experiencing the LORD's deliverance.
Then there were the close calls of King Saul's vengeful attacks (I Samuel
18:11; 19:10) as he sought David's death. Then, perhaps the unkindest
cut of all, there was the traitorous plot of his own son, Absalom, to take his
throne (II Samuel 15:1--6). These reflections (and many more, no doubt)
served to deepen his gratitude and strengthen his resolve to love and
serve his praiseworthy LORD.
Are we making such meditation a serious priority? Are we "taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (as II Corinthians 10:5 exhorts)? Are we maturing in discernment as to Satan's tactics and strategies, in order to recognize and combat them, especially in the night (I Corinthians 2:11)? May God grant empowering grace to remember Him, reflect upon Him, and rejoice in Him, whether by day or by night.