A psalm of David. A song for the dedication of the Temple.
1 I will exalt you, LORD, for you rescued me.
You refused to let my enemies triumph over me.
2 O LORD my God, I cried to you for help,
and you restored my health.
3 You brought me up from the grave, O LORD.
You kept me from falling into the pit of death.
4 Sing to the LORD, all you godly ones!
Praise his holy name.
5 For his anger lasts only a moment,
but his favor lasts a lifetime!
Weeping may last through the night,
but joy comes with the morning.
6 When I was prosperous, I said,
“Nothing can stop me now!”
7 Your favor, O LORD, made me as secure as a mountain.
Then you turned away from me, and I was shattered.
8 I cried out to you, O LORD.
I begged the Lord for mercy, saying,
9 “What will you gain if I die,
if I sink into the grave?
Can my dust praise you?
Can it tell of your faithfulness?
10 Hear me, LORD, and have mercy on me.
Help me, O LORD.”
11 You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing.
You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy,
12 that I might sing praises to you and not be silent.
O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever!
It’s good to look back to see where we’ve been. That’s what David does here. He has had many troubles, faced many enemies, and prayed many prayers of distress. In this psalm, the one for the temple dedication, he looks back and sees God’s mighty presence. The times he felt alone, he was not. The times he was powerless, he was not. The times when he thought God had left him, God had not. Life is easier to figure out in the rear view mirror.
There’s an story from the Old Testament ( I Samuel 7:12) when Israel fought a battle they knew they could not win. God stepped into the situation in an amazing way and they routed the enemy that day. When it was all over Samuel setup a stone and called it Ebenezer (Stone of Help) because God had helped them “thus far.”
Many years later a hymn writer penned the words:
Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Hither by Thy help I’m come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.
If you look closely at this verse (which seems cumbersome until you break it down), you realize the writer was raising his Ebenezer signifying that so far he has made it by God’s help and he hopes, by God’s “good pleasure,” to arrive at his destination safely. He looked back and saw God’s faithfulness and help, so he looked forward knowing that God would get him to his destination.
This psalm recounts David looking back and seeing God’s help the whole way. Could this be why David never stopped trusting God?
My you look back and see God’s help, find your Ebenezer and know that God will get you home.