Story in a story – David and Psalms

I once heard an author say that the best novels have a story within the story.  In Harry Potter, there is the struggle with V…., but then the friendships at the school.  In the Hobbit, the quest and the fellowship of the ring.  Of course in Seinfeld, nothing happened, but there were the characters that kept people watching.

I was looking up the concept of Goodness and ran into the verse from Psalm 34 – “Taste and see that the Lord is Good.”  It is an acrostic psalm attributed to David and linked to an event in his life recorded in I Samuel 21.  Some see no value in these comments introducing the psalms.  However, Bruce Waltke, suggests that they are ancient and represent something significant. (An OT Theology, p. 871ff).

So what I found in a quick study was how much trouble David was in, and how he called to God for help, or testified afterward to God’s faithfulness.  This might be grist for an interesting study or sermon series sometime.  If I don’t get attacked, zombie apocalypse like, from all the OT scholars here in Madison.

Here is the list and OT Text

  • Psalm 3, 2 Sam 15:14-17 – when David fled from Absalom
  • Psalm 7, “the words of Cush”, not in scripture
  • Psalm 18, 2 Sam 22, Rescued from Saul
  • Psalm 30, I Chron 22, Dedication of the Temple
  • Psalm 34, I Sam 21, Escape from Abimelech
  • Ps 51, 2 Samuel 12, Nathan confronts David about Bathsheba
  • Ps 52, I Sam 22:9, David and Abimelech
  • Ps 56, I Sam 21, 22, Philistines seize David
  • Ps 57, I Sam 22, Hid from Saul in a Cave
  • Psalm 59, I Sam 19:11, Saul sends men to kill David
  • Psalm 60,  2 Sam 8, 10; I Chron 18, Battle of Valley of Salt
  • Ps 63, 2 Sam 16:14, 17:2,29; In Wilderness
  • Ps 142, I Sam 22 (Ps 57); In Cave
At first glance it looks like David learned the art of prayer in the school of hard knocks.
Does that sound familiar?