“Give ear to my prayer, O God; and hide not thyself from my supplication. Attend unto me, and hear me: I mourn in my complaint, and make a noise: Because of the voice of the enemy, because of the oppression of the wicked: for they cast iniquity upon me, and in wrath they hate me. My heart is sore pained within me: and the terrors of death are fallen upon me. Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me, and horror hath overwhelmed me. And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would fly away, and be at rest. Lo, then would I wander far off, and remain in the wilderness. Selah. I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest.” (Psalm 55:1-8).
May I give a conjecture or a supposition? The hardest part of living the heartaches of life is the anticipation of the heartaches! The hard part in life is anticipating the battle, the surgery, the heartaches, and the time when they are on the way.
David was that way. David in the 55th Psalm was facing the hardest time he had ever faced in his entire life. He was facing a rebellion in the nation of whom he was their king. He was facing a civil war in his kingdom. Here is David, he looks and sees it coming.
A civil war just doesn’t all of a sudden happen! A pastor can see it in the eyes of the church member. A parent can see it in the eyes of a child. The teacher can see in the eyes of a student. A judge can see it in the eyes of a witness. David knew that his son Absalom was one of the rebels and in fact the leader of the rebellion was Absalom. He was going to the people and telling them that his dad was getting old and he needs to retire and I am willing to sacrifice to become your king. David knew all of this.
David saw it coming. David saw the rebellion on the way. David saw the fact that his own son had become his own enemy. David saw the battle coming on the horizon. David saw himself having to vacate the throne. David saw himself having to lay down the crown and the scepter and the royal robe of Israel. He saw his best friend Ahithophel was going to join the forces of Absalom. David saw it all coming together. David said in verse six, “…Oh, that I had the wings like a dove…” for then I would fly away and avoid the battle that has become inevitable. Have you not at one time or another felt that way? Something is coming and you know it is going to come. Midterms, final exam, cancer screening, divorce papers, rebellious children, or lay off notices are coming and you the battle on the horizon.
Oh, that I had the wings of a dove is your verse! David saw it and said, “I wish I could just fly away from having to fight my own son. I wish I did not have to battle my own son. I wish I could just fly away from having to see my old friend Ahithophel turning on me. I can’t stand the thought and it so painful waiting for it to come my way.”
Jeremiah faced the same thing! He was the prophet that prophesied the coming of Nebuchadnezzar and the armies of Babylon.
Jeremiah looked down through the eyes of the telescope of prophecy and he saw the city of Jerusalem being destroyed. He saw the Temple destroyed, the walls leveled, his own people taken into captivity, and he said, “I want to leave, go away, and not face what is coming.” He said, “I wish I could just go away into the mountains and buy a little cottage and not worry about it. I want to forget it and get my mind off of what is going to happen. I wish I could just fly away.”
Jesus in Gethsemane said, “…Father if it be possible, let this cup pass from me…” (Matthew 26:39). What was He doing? He was looking down and seeing Calvary. In Hebrews it says, “…despising the shame…” (Hebrews 12:2). In other words the waiting for it and the looking forward to it!
The surgery is not near as bad as the waiting for the surgery. As you see the battle approaching you along with David wish you could just fly away like a dove.
You have loved ones that have cancer and it is terminal. It looks like the divorce is inevitable. It looks like your child is going to turn his back on God. You are facing four years of college and you wonder how in the world are going to pay for it. You are preparing to graduate and now you will have to produce for real and you are wondering if you can really do it. You are going to go on deputation as a missionary and wondering if you can make it. You have a child who is not normal and you wonder about the future and like David you find yourself saying, “I wish I had the wings of a dove and I could just fly away and escape that which I know is coming.”
The hardest thing I have ever faced in my life is not the battle, but the anticipating of the battle. It is coming! I know it is coming! The battle is and of itself never as hard as anticipating the battle.
Getting through the battle is not as hard as getting to the battle. I have never wanted to quit the battle, but I have often wanted to quit before I began the battle! I never have thought one time in the battle of quitting the battle, but I have often thought of how to avoid the battle. Jeremiah said, “Let me go around the battle. Let me just fly over the battle. Let this cup pass from me. Let me just get to other side of the battle without going through the battle.” It was the dreading of the battle, the looking at the battle, facing the battle, and the anticipating of the battle that was the hardest part. The hardest part was watching the battle coming. David said, “I see the battle coming, the clouds are forming, the lightning is flashing, the thunder is rolling, my son is rebelling, and my old friend is turning against me. I see the awful battle coming over the hill and Oh, that I had the wings of a dove to fly over the battle.”
Jeremiah said, “Please let me go around or over the battle and come out on the other side.” Why because the anticipating of the battle is so hard!
It is harder before the battle because I and I alone must decide whether to go on into the battle. Have you ever had to make a decision and you cannot find your dad, mother, or your preacher. When I see the battle coming I and I alone must decide whether I will keep on going. That we do by ourselves. It is like salvation. I make that decision myself. You decide to trust Christ as payment for your sins by yourself. God says, “I gave you my only begotten Son. He died for you. Your sin debt can be paid if you will trust Him as the payment. You can go to Heaven if you choose to or you can go to Hell if you choose not to trust my Son.”
You have to decide for yourself. I choose alone, but I battle not alone! God doesn’t force you to trust Christ. God doesn’t force you to serve Him. God doesn’t force you to battle for Him.
The three Hebrew children went into the fiery furnace alone. Then Jesus appeared in the fiery furnace to be with them. Brother Roloff used to say, “If you want to have some private fellowship with Jesus then get into a fiery furnace. He always shows up in a fiery furnace.”
When you decide to go into the battle you decide alone but when you get into the middle of the battle God decides to join you in the battle. AMEN!
I see the heartache, tragedy, death, and heartbreak coming down the road of life. Oh, if I had the wings of a dove to fly over the coming storm? Oh, if I could just go into the mountains and avoid the valley?
I face three choices. First, to say to my self, “Ok, I will face it!” Second, I choose to not go into the battle. Third, I may choose to turn back!
May I remind you that Stephen did not die alone, Joshua did not fight alone, Paul at Lystra was stoned being caught up into the third Heaven but not alone, and John exiled to the Isle of Patmos was not alone. Each decided to face it and go on ahead into the battle.