First it is shown that the main theme of this prayer – paths and ways – is about the course of life and its major decisions and crises. Then we see several prerequisites or conditions for discerning the Lord’s guidance, all equally prayed for by the king.
Fleeing Saul in the wilderness of Ziph David’s quest for communion is rewarded, this psalm revealing his steps under four discernible headings: 1. his longing for it (the means), 2. his commitment to praise (including the feast analogy), 3. his dependence, 4. the element of anticipation.
Composed when David was at the height of his power, this looks back at Saul’s disastrous reign and its cause to help people value their present blessings. To us, it says inversely – reviving past evangelical blessings means abandoning new methodology and trusting the Word alone.
David takes his terrifying predicament to the Lord, but not before affirming his trust in God’s promises and power – a vital antidote to making self-pitying complaints rather than offering believing prayers. Here are the lessons of his great example in the conquest of fear or discontent.
This hymn with a refrain that recurs 11 times addresses a series of exhortations to believers, accompanied by strong divine promises, especially to see all of life in the light of eternity. Containing the famous four words – Trust, Delight, Commit, Rest, it constitutes a rich devotional feast.