“But David found strength in the Lord his God.”
It’s a simple sentence near the end of 1 Samuel. It’s easy to skip over because of what comes before it.
“David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters.”
This was one of the worst days of David’s life so far. Right now, on the day where the men are talking about stoning him, David and his small band of refugee soldiers have come home to find their city burned and all their families and possessions hauled away. They were hauled away by Amalekite raiders, in the same way that David had been raiding their cities for the past year. David was getting what he had given.
The city that was burned wasn’t in Israel. Though David had already been chosen as the successor to the current king, Saul, he had no authority yet. In fact, David was living among the Philistines, among people that he had spent his life fighting. He had formed a tenuous alliance with one of the Philistine tribal leaders, a treaty of convenience for both of them. But when the rest of the Philistine leaders were forming a plan to attack Israel, they understandably refused to allow David to be part of it.
So David, on this day, was standing outside of his homeland because he was hated, with alliances that were dissolving because of people who hated him, in a city that had just been burned by other people who hated him, and now his own soldiers are ready to stone him. And his family was in the hands of people who hated him.
It was a bad day.
Which makes Psalm 27, written by David, have some credibility for this Monday.
The whole story is in 1 Samuel 27-30. It reads, I confess, pretty rough for our Western tastes. I reads, I suggest, like parts of the rest of the world.