I Will Praise You As Long As I live (Psalm 64:4a)
The title above is an assertion from King David when he was in the desert of Judah. For him it was not simply a nice religious thing to say. It did not spring forth from the exuberance of youth for he had already lived long and seen much of the good and bad in life. He had known both great victory as well as terrible failure. It was not spoken in the comfort of his palace with everything his heart could desire in this life at his beck and call. He did not speak it to impress anyone. The occasion of these words of David was neither the well-being of his family nor some new, delightful blessing God had brought into his life.
In fact, when David spoke these words his life was in shambles. He had been forced to flee the royal city because his own son, Absalom, had seized the throne and intended to take his father’s life. Into the Judean desert he goes, for he had always sought, by faith, to protect the life of the Lord’s anointed king, whether that king was Saul or himself. While there did he reflect on the days of his youth when he served as a shepherd of his father’s sheep? In the midst of all the turmoil did he feel his heart drawn to the great God Who had protected him as he protected those sheep? Did the night sky inspire him again as it had in his youth so that he must compose and sing songs of praise to the Almighty?
One thing is for sure, David’s determination to praise God as long as he had breath, was no glib remark arising from naiveté. It is a heroic stance taken in the midst of broken-heartedness, confusion, fear and trouble. David who once ran to meet and slay Goliath, was now, in his older age, just as quick to turn his heart towards God and offer Him praises no matter what were the circumstances of his life. It is only faith in God that enables David to say, mean and live by these words…I will praise You as long as I live.
Sisters and brothers, it is only faith that will help us live the same truth, in season and out, in our youth and in our old age, with or without life’s comforts or companionship. Let’s just praise the Lord!