He led me to a place of safety;
he rescued me because he delights in me.
The Lord rewarded me for doing right;
he restored me because of my innocence.
Psalm 18:19-20, NLT*
My Bible has a note that this psalm is what David sang to God in celebration, when God rescued him from King Saul. Saul had been hunting David a long time, and would have killed him to keep the throne.
God had anointed David as the new king, to replace Saul. David believed it, but he wouldn’t fight Saul and refused to kill him when the chance presented itself. As verses 21-22 say, David did it God’s way, trusted God to fulfil His promise, and would not harm “the Lord’s anointed one”. God put Saul on the throne, and David waited for God to take him off.
I think this is the “doing right” and innocence David speaks of here. Everyone sins and misses the mark of what God has for us, and I don’t think David was claiming perfection. But in the long hiding from Saul, he resisted the temptation to do it his way and waited for God.
That’s what God rewards. How we conduct ourselves on the journey is perhaps more important than reaching the end. There’s more at stake than we see with human eyes.
Sovereign God who builds up and takes down, we praise You for the plans You have for each of us, plans for a future and a hope, plans of promise. In our times of stress, help us remember to choose Your way over any short-cuts or schemes that our human nature may suggest. Help us live worthy of the Kingdom.
*New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.