**Hear me when I call O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer.**Psalm 4:1
Before the shepherd David became king, he was persecuted and pursued by King Saul, his predecessor. David often fled into the wilderness to escape the King’s wrath. He would hide in caves, in the mountains and in the forest, anywhere that made it difficult for the jealous king to find him. (see 2 Samuel ) During this time of hiding out, David cried out to God for mercy. He begged mercy because he did not presume that he was not worthy of such treatment from the King. David does not seem to be overly filled with his own importance. David was not self-deceived by his calling. Here we see him once again in prayer to God, completely dependent on His protection against King Saul´s pursuit, and in his prayer he tells us that God has enlarged him in the middle of his trial.
What is David talking about when he tells us that God enlarged him? Did God make him larger, bigger, fatter, taller, smarter, or richer? The word enlarge is translated from the Hebrew word that means broadened. Broadened, for me, is different than simply getting bigger. It seems to describe someone that has a greater reach. One who has more impact. He stands taller, maybe, but out of inner confidence and not an arrogant posture. Only because of God can we be made more confident as a result of a difficult trial.
David left the king’s city with a handful of faithful friends and his family, but, as people heard of David’s situation, several hundred more men joined David, ready to fight for him and defend him from the King. David understood that he was not worthy of this following, being only a shepherd and a simple musician. Although he had fought great battles for the army of Israel, he gave the victory for them to God, not to himself. It was others who praised him for his victories on the battlefield. As he continuously avoids the wrath of King Saul, and does not attempt to harm the king in any way, even though he is unjustly pursued, God increases David´s fame and favor amongst the nation of Israel while at the same time, the hearts of Israel are falling out of love with their present King. Saul finally ends his pursuit of David and is later killed in battle.
We have this same privilege of enlargement available to us. We, like David, trust in the righteousness of God and not in our own. That opens the door to His transforming power to enlarge us, make us wiser, more sensitive, more compassionate, and more patient in the midst of experiencing a difficult trial. We can walk closer to Him, with greater understanding of who He is, what His priorities are, and what our responsibility is to Him. This transformation is what enlarges us, in the best of ways, and helps us to have a greater impact in the life of others because we become more approachable, more understanding, and we exhibit more grace and mercy to the world and that draws hungry souls to the Spirit of Christ in us. It is not about being more famous, or more important or being the boss. It’s about being less us and more Him. As John the Baptist said …
** He must increase and I must decrease.**
Psalm 4 is an amazing depiction of the transforming hand of God, of how He can turn something evil into something good. If you read the rest of Psalm 4, you will see the characteristics that describe how David was enlarged by God because of the trials that he faced living on the run because of the persecution of King Saul.
Words like trust, light, gladness, peace, sleep and safety stand out most to me.
David is not talking about his improved physical strength when he talks about God broadening his life. He is talking about his inner self. His faith. His trust in God in every trial. The peace he has knowing that God does not make mistakes and cannot lie. David was anointed King of Israel by the will of God. He was fully present on the day of his anointing and believed that God would bring it to pass in His time and not in his own. In the midst of difficulties and impediments, he matured in his faith and trusted in God to put him on the throne. His trials prepared him to be king.
Is this our response to difficulties that arise in our lives? Do we rejoice in the troubles that cross our paths? Do we see them as preparation for something bigger? Whatever trial you are walking through today, ask God to help you trust Him to strengthen your faith through the trial and prepare you for something better that is yet to come. He will be as faithful to you as he was to David, King of Israel.