Covering David

During their 1987 Joshua Tree tour, the band U2 closed their shows with "40," their take on David's 40th psalm. You might say U2 did a "cover" of King David's song.


Psalm 40 is a peek inside David's prayer life. We tend to think of spiritual warfare as primarily mystical—happening in the spiritual world. And it is! But spiritual warfare also takes place in the arena of life's practicalities as seen in David's song.


After praising God, the psalmist alludes to a time when God "made [him] listen" (Psalm 40:6)—apparently gaining his attention through a crisis when he'd cried from "the pit of despair" (Psalm 40:1-2). This crisis was likely due to David's sin, because he reflects on the inadequacy of "sacrifices or offerings" (Psalm 40:6). But though David had been unfaithful, God remained faithful (Psalm 40:10).


Then David asked for God's continued help. Why? Because David was still David—he was human. "Troubles surround me—too many to count! My sins pile up so high I can't see my way out" (Psalm 40:12). David had only One to turn to in his spiritual struggles—God.


The letter to the Hebrews in the New Testament encourages believers to "come boldly to the throne of our gracious God" (Hebrews 4:16). Keep in mind, the context here is our temptation—our sin! We need real, practical help in our spiritual warfare. Mercifully, we have a great "High Priest" (Jesus), who "understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin" (Psalm 40:15).


Just as God's intervention covered David, the mediation of our High Priest Jesus covers us. We can pray boldly, as David did, "O my God, do not delay" (Psalm 40:17). His "unfailing love and faithfulness" are present with us (Psalm 40:10).




Our Daily Bread - By Tim Gustafson

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