A Psalm of Trudy… and King David

Is it plagiarism to take a Psalm, written by King David, make it personal and then share the credit with him? That’s what I’m doing today.

King David is one of my favourite Bible characters. I love his passion, his desire for truth, his bold honesty with God. If there is one person who has influenced how I speak to God, how I feel in His presence, it is King David.

It used to end with inspiration, rather than moving to influence. I saw David as a Bible story character. In stories you can do anything you want, right? So for David to talk to God boldly… why not? He’s a bold warrior, not to mention a man after God’s own heart. And men like that, they have special rights.

When I got thinking about it, some years back, I came up with a lot more questions than answers. Why was David a man after God’s own heart? A man of blood. A man of murder. A man of lust. The makings of a pretty corrupt leader, if you stay above the surface. What made the little shepherd-boy-turned-king so special to God?

In my questioning, I turned to God. Who better to ask than the One who declared David to be all that and more? I didn’t get any fast answers and instant deep revelations. Instead, God took me back to the story.

I’ve known the stories of David since childhood, and especially loved the story of beautiful Bathsheba, but felt so bad for Urias. I wanted her to be David’s wife. He was the king, after all. I thought maybe if David had waited, Urias would have died and he could have had her the right way.

As I read the stories again, something stood out. David loved justice. But he was a warrior–a man of blood. He loved women.  A lot of them. And that was pretty messed up in my opinion. I saw my hero differently. Human. And messed up. In these things I didn’t see how he earned the noble title God gave him.

Try telling your friends that you did what David did, choosing any one of his list of sins–or all of them, which could take a while–and see if they pat you on the back and say, “You are such a noble man of God. I think you must be a man after God’s own heart.” It won’t happen. And I’m not saying it should. So what made David a man after God’s own heart?

In Psalms I saw the heart behind the story. A man crying desperately to God, from places too deep for most of us, especially Christians. Because we’ve learned to hide the struggle, and pretend it doesn’t exist. At least too deep to tell honestly, like he did, in a book for people to read for ages to come.

That is why I love Psalms, and why King David is my hero. He was real. Honest. And I think it is one of the reasons he was a man after God’s own heart. But there was more.

David rose early to meditate. He loved to spend time with God and seemed to constantly turn his thoughts and heart towards Him. It’s like he was crazy about Him, and knew how desperately he needed Him. You read nothing of him worrying if he’s good enough, if he’s dressed right–even when he casts his outer clothing aside to praise God in a dance. David knew that he was acceptable to God because of something deeper than personal effort and attaining.

And David repented quickly when he realized he had sinned. He didn’t always see his sin for what it was right away, but as soon as he did, he repented. In one case, when he was caught in sin, he says, “I have sinned against the God of heaven.” He understood that he was accountable to God and ultimately that is whom he sinned against.

He spoke with God from places of joy, and deep depression. And in that place of depression he still declared God to be his salvation, his hope, and the source of joy. He understood that truth is deeper than life experience. When all feels wrong, God is still right, and present.I think he viewed everything as worship and opportunity to praise God. The Psalm I chose to put into my own words, is Psalm 42.

Psalm 42

Yearning for God in the Midst of Distresses

Rewritten in my own Words: A Psalm of Trudy and King David

42 Like the deer, panting with thirst, craves for fresh water from a brook,
That is how my soul desires You, O God.
My soul aches to have a relationship with You, my living God, as if with unquenchable thirst.
When will I be with you?
My tears consume me, day and night, so that I can not even eat,
While people continually mock me and say,
“Where is your God?”

When I think about that,
I feel as if my very soul is a puddle on the floor.
I used to go with the crowds;
I went with them to Your house, God,
We were filled with joy and praise,
And celebrated with feasting

Why are you downcast, O my soul?
And why are you unsettled within me?

Hope in God! It’s not over! I will praise Him in spite of all things,
And thank Him for looking on me with kindness, to help me.

O my God, my soul is depressed and hopeless;
That is why I must remember …
Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls;
Your love washes over me in waves and billows
The Lord will extend His lovingkindness in the daytime,
And in the night His song shall be with me—
And I will offer it as a prayer to the God of my life.

I say to God my Rock,
“Why have You forgotten me?
Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?”
10 As if they can snap me like a twig,
My enemies make a mockery of me,
While they say to me all day long,
“Where is your God?”

11 Why are you so downcast, O my soul?
And why are you so unsettled within me?
Hope in God;
I will again praise Him,
My God, the one who lifts my countenance, filling me with joy.

© Trudy Metzger

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3 thoughts on “A Psalm of Trudy… and King David

  1. Katie Troyer October 4, 2012 / 8:07 am

    I think King David is an open book for all of God’s children. His life is just the way it is in reality on this earth.

  2. whispersfrommyheart October 4, 2012 / 4:36 pm

    I often compare my life with that of David’s. I like to think of myself as the “Woman after God’s own heart.”

    I’ve often wondered some of the same things, Trudy. Why would God bestow that honorable name on David, when he had done so many devious, sinful things.

    I think you hit the nail right on the head when you said David repented as soon as he understood he had sinned. I’d like to take that a step further.

    Not only did David repent when he knew his sin had been exposed, but he also understood God forgave him. I know that is so simple, but it is so profound! At least it was for me.

    Nowhere in the Psalms do we find David repeatedly begging God to forgive him for the same sin (That I am aware of). When God forgave David, even when the consequences of his sin still happened — the death of his and Bathshebas firstborn child–David walked in the forgiveness God extended to him.

    Somewhere along the line, I had come to the conclusion that I had to “SHOW” God just how sorry I was for sinning; especially if I considered it willful sinning. For days I would mentally kick myself, berate myself, hate myself,, because I had let God down again. I would ask God, “Why do you put up with me when I can’t be good for you”? Can you imagine the joy I felt when I discovered I CAN’T be good enough anyway? The secret is….NO ONE CAN!!! That’s why Jesus suffered the cross, death & resurrection and took our punishment! He was the only one who could be “Good enough.”

    God had given King David a revelation of forgiveness and David understood, when you repented, God forgave and the he separated David as “far as the east is from the west” from his sin.


    • Trudy Metzger October 4, 2012 / 4:46 pm

      Great, great truth! If there is one thing I find people struggle with, more than any other, it is the unconditional love and unconditional forgiveness. All we have to do to ‘activate it’ is receive it. Whether we do or not, it is there. When people understand that, everything changes. When I understood that, everything changed. And it took making some pretty bad mistakes–or ‘sinning big’–for me to get it.

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