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Wednesday, January 14 2015
Psalm 54: The Civil War Psalm
"The beauty of Israel is slain upon thy high places: how are the mighty fallen!"
The Psalms of David were a collection of prayers (see David's Prayer and The Morning Blessing) and prophecies (see David's View From The Cross and David's Resurrection Prophecy) set to music. They were written over many years and under widely-varied circumstances. Some were written after David had become King of the united kingdom (see How Many Kings Reigned In The United Kingdom?; also When Will The United Kingdom Be Restored?), while others were written before and during the Civil War that was fought to remove King Saul (see Saul's Impeachment). Ironically, Saul may have heard some of the earlier Psalms of David when David, then an armor-bearer for King Saul, also played the harp for him.
"16:21 And David came to Saul, and stood before him: and he loved him greatly; and he became his armourbearer.
David's difficulty during the Civil War was that, although David was then the LORD's anointed (see The Anointing Of David), Saul's own anointing remained in effect (see Why Didn't David Kill Saul?). David was faced with an enemy that he personally could not harm: "Destroy him not: for who can stretch forth his hand against the LORD'S anointed, and be guiltless?"
"22:1 David therefore departed thence, and escaped to the cave Adullam: and when his brethren and all his father's house heard it, they went down thither to him. 22:2 And every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented, gathered themselves unto him; and he became a captain over them: and there were with him about four hundred men." (1 Samuel 22:1-2 KJV)
David nevertheless knew the solution to his predicament was simply a matter of time, whereby "David said furthermore, As the LORD liveth, the LORD shall smite him; or his day shall come to die; or he shall descend into battle, and perish" (verse 11, above). That prophecy was fulfilled when Saul was killed in battle against the Philistines ("Philistines" and "Palestinians" are actually the same word; see Where Is Palestine?).
"31:1 Now the Philistines fought against Israel: and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell down slain in mount Gilboa.
David's famous "How the mighty are fallen" musical lament was itself actually a Psalm written with "the use of the bow."
"1:17 And David lamented with this lamentation over Saul and over Jonathan his son: 1:18 (Also he bade them teach the children of Judah the use of the bow: behold, it is written in the book of Jasher.)
The Fifty-fourth Psalm is also a Civil War Psalm - written before the end of Saul that David knew was sure to happen.
"54:1 To the chief Musician on Neginoth, Maschil, A Psalm of David, when the Ziphims came and said to Saul, Doth not David hide himself with us?
Fact Finder: When did the Civil War happen during the history of Israel?
This Day In History, January 14
1236: Henry III married Eleanor of Provence.
1301: Andrew III of Hungary died, thereby ending the Arpad dynasty.
1526: Francis I surrendered claims to Burgundy, Italy, and Flanders.
1529: Spanish reformer Juan de Valdes, 29, published his Dialogue on Christian Doctrine which paved the way in Spain for Protestant ideas. His treatise was condemned by the Spanish Inquisition, and Valdes was forced to flee Spain, never to return.
1539: Spain annexed Cuba.
1601: Roman Catholic authorities in Rome burned Hebrew books (see also Translation Of Translations).
1604: The Hampton Court Conference began under King James I (the King James Bible is named after him) to address Puritan demands for doctrinal changes in the Church of England.
1742: English astronomer Edmond Halley died at age 86. He was the first to accurately predict the return of a comet. It is now named after him - Halley's Comet.
1797: In the Battle of Rivoli in Italy, the French under Napoleon defeated an Austrian attempt to relieve Mantua. 3,500 Austrian troops were killed.
1814: The Treaty of Kiel transferred Norway from the king of Denmark to the king of Sweden.
1837: Francois, the Marquis de Barbe-Marbois, died at age 92. The French statesman negotiated the Louisiana Purchase with the U.S. in 1803.
1858: Italian revolutionary Felice Orsini threw bombs at Napoleon III in Paris in an assassination attempt; several people were killed but Emperor Napoleon and Empress Eugenie were unharmed.
1878: The first private connection by telephone in Great Britain was made on the Isle of Wight when Queen Victoria spoke to Thomas Biddulph.
1893: Pope Leo XIII appointed Archbishop Francesco Satolli as the Vatican's first ambassador to the U.S.
1911: Roald Amundsen's South Pole expedition arrived on the eastern edge of the Ross Ice Shelf.
1898: Charles Dodgson died at age 65. Although the British scholar was a lecturer in mathematics at Oxford University, and was a pioneer photographer, he is remembered, under the pen name Lewis Carroll, as the author of Alice in Wonderland.
1943: British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt and French President Charles De Gaulle met in Casablanca to agree on a strategy for concluding the Second World War and to demand the unconditional surrender from the Germany.
1950: The first flight of the Russian MiG-17 fighter aircraft.
1953: Marshal Tito was elected the first president of the Republic of Yugoslavia.
1969: The Soviet spacecraft Soyuz 4 was launched, followed the next day by Soyuz 5. They achieved the first docking of 2 manned spacecraft in Earth orbit.
1991: Three Palestinian terrorist chiefs, including Abu Iyad, were assassinated in Tunis (see Where Is Palestine?).