A “Less Than Best” Day

Psalm 34:1-7  

Of David. When he pretended to be insane before Abimelek, who drove him away, and he left.

I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. I will glory in the LORD; let the afflicted hear and rejoice. Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt his name together. I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. This poor man called, and the LORD heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.

It was not David’s best day. Fleeing from Saul, David escaped into Philistine territory. There he was recognized as the one who had killed the Philistine hero, Goliath. He was “very much afraid” so he pretended to be insane. Like a madman he made marks on the doors and let saliva run down his beard. Abimelek’s response is classic. Seeing David’s behavior, he replied,  “Am I short of madmen?” and had David taken from his presence (see 1 Samuel 21:10-15).

Though David feigned insanity as a means of protection, this did not keep him from praising God for deliverance. Perhaps he was reflecting on when he contorted his face and let saliva run down his beard as he wrote, “Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.” He acknowledged that it was God who delivered him from all his fears.

Like David, we will not always be able to declare, “This was my best day ever!” But our failure and fear is not an excuse to wallow in self-pity. Even when we have our days we’d rather forget, we can still say, “This poor man called, and the Lord heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles.” God never forsakes us, even on our “less than best” days.

Lord, thank You for Your faithfulness to me even when fear drives me to failure. Thank You for hearing my prayer and providing deliverance. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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