“To the chief musician, Altaschith, MIchtam of David when he fled from Saul in the cave, Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me:”
The songs of David are not only the proclamation of the labours of Messiah, for He is the Beloved of God, but they are also the testimony of the experiences of the children of the King as they walk through this barren wilderness. The trials and tribulations, which were assigned to David during the time of his habitation, bare witness to the condition and earnest expectations of the incorruptible seed dwelling in the earthen vessel as they walk through this world.
David begins, by the inspiration of the Spirit of God, in praise to the Most High. He addresses this song unto the chief musician, or more appropriately, the ‘bright and shinning’ ‘preeminent’ ‘overseer’ who endures. This title was often ascribed to the one who was assigned to lead the assembly in the songs of praise and deliverance. These were first assigned by the Beloved King and afterwards in the Temple by the King of Peace. These people, though very real and figures in time, stand as the types of the King of Kings who has assigned every thought, word and deed of whatsoever comes to pass in His creation and particularly, the steps of man. It is He who has raised up a people and made them a kingdom of priest unto their God. It is He who has purposed and decreed the time when His seed should become partakers of flesh and blood, the time of that habitation and the limitations thereof. It is He who has, from the same lump of clay, fashioned for each of His children a vessel afore prepared unto glory, and has properly and adequately equipped them with all things necessary to accomplish the labours He has assigned unto them so that they cannot fail as His will comes to pass. It is He who works in them both to will and to do His good pleasure for they are His workmanship, created in the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah, unto the works which Almighty God has decreed as needful and good, which are the fruits of the Spirit. Therefore David, the Beloved, ascribes all praise to the Supreme Sovereign over all things.
The concept of the leader in song is often abused as the theology of Adam attempts to structure his worship before God after his own understanding. Many have been set up in the carnal representation of the true church as choir directors, leaders of singing for the congregation and the leaders of worship by song in attempts to make the worship conform to the examples given and therefore acceptable before the throne of grace. Yet Adam, being of the earth earthly, does not know the ways of the Kingdom of God, which is not of this world. He does not know the songs of Zion and his labours cannot measure up to the standard of the Holiness of God. God has assigned these labours unto him for to discipline him and has put the things of this world into his mind so that he cannot find out the work which God has completed from the beginning, therefore every attempt of the natural man to worship God is polluted, defiled and corrupt before His throne.
But the Husband has not left His Bride to rely upon the children of the dust in order for Her to properly praise His name and worship Him aright. The Spirit within causes each child of the kingdom to sing and make melody in their hearts before the Lord with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs (Col. 1:18), which the natural ear cannot hear. No one of the seed of Adam can control his own tongue, (James 3:8) and none but the redeemed can sing the songs of Zion (Rev. 5:9). Adam is without the pure language of the Israel of our God (Zeph. 3:9) therefore the sounds which emanate from the children of the dust are but the stammering tongue of the language of Ashdod (Neh.13:24f); this is abomination before the beauty of the Holiness of Yehovah God.
The indwelling Spirit of God, from which is the incorruptible seed born from above, sings the pure songs of praise before the throne of God with groanings and utterances which cannot be heard (Rms. 8:26). These are the prayers of the redeemed and the supplications of those who are experiencing the contradiction of sin against themselves. Without the life within, the natural man does not understand the perfection of Holiness and therefore has no comprehension of sin, guilt or the need for mercy. Like Adam in the garden, he is convinced that the works of his hands are acceptable before God and that his covering of fig leaves is sufficient in his attempt to ‘hit the mark’ of truth. But in the fullness of time, when it pleases the Father, He reveals Himself dwelling in His children. This revelation of the life within gives a reference point for the comparison and the recognition of the sin that dwells in the natural man. Then the child of grace is given to see the uncleanness of his ways in Adam because of the sin that dwells within; then they cry out, “O wretched man that I am; who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” (Rms. 7:24).
Though the spiritual man has been within the earthen vessel from the beginning (howbeit that which was first revealed was natural), yet when God reveals Himself to His people, then do they begin to know the consternation of the contradiction of sin. This is when they see that when they desire to do good, they find evil was present with them and that good which they desire, they could not find the way to perform (7:15f). This is when the Spirit teaches them the total inability of Adam and the extent of the vileness of their corruption (Ezek. 36:31). Herein does the Spirit groan within because the children have been made subject to the vanity of this habitation and this world, not willingly, but by reason of the same which has subjected the same in hope (Rms. 8:20). The Spirit which causes the children to keep the commandments and walk in His statutes, perfectly keeping His Law (Ezek. 11:19f), reveals the bondage of this corruption so that they know that in Adam they are carnal, sold under sin. David therefore cries out in the Spirit of Holiness;
“do not put away, pervert, or destroy (Al-tas-chith) the defilement or stain (Mich-tam) of the beloved (David) when he was chased from Saul into the cave”
This was a confession of weakness and inability of David the man by the Spirit of God within. It is a reference to events which occurred in the life of David as a demonstration of the daily experience of the Beloved of the Lord as they travel through this present evil generation.
David was chosen from before the foundation of the world to be King over the nation of Israel, Herein he stands in representation of the King of Kings who from the beginning has reigned supreme over all His creation. Nothing exists but by the power of His will and all things come to pass by the good pleasure of that same immutable will for none can stay His hand or say unto Him, “What are you doing?” (Dan. 4:35). Yet in the fullness of time both the man David and the King of glory were revealed as testimony to the truth of the Word of God which stands fixed and sure from before the foundation of the world.
David was given many testimonies that he was afore ordained unto this kingship over the house of Israel. As a young boy, the prophet Samuel came to his father’s house and anointed him king over Israel in the presence of his family. The sons of Jesse could all attest to the fact that this event took place when much to their amazement, the prophet came to the house. Then, as each was presented before him, they were told, every man in his order, that they were not accounted as worthy to the station until Jesse summoned the youngest. There is no account of the wonderment that must have filled the room when the Spirit of Yehovah commanded Samuel to up and anoint this child as King but as the Spirit of Yehovah God came upon David from that day forward an evil spirit from Yehovah was sent to trouble Saul.
There is also no account given as to how David learned to play the harp, save by the inspiration of Yehovah, or who it was that had initially not only heard him but had been impressed to such an extent that when King Saul (‘the ruling desire’) commanded; “Provide me now a man that can play well and bring him to me” (I Sam. 16:17) immediately David was brought to Jerusalem. The shepherd who was anointed with oil and proclaimed King was now the player of harp music for to soothe a troubled King.
It is not recorded how long this arrangement lasted but David is again employed in tending to his father’s sheep when the Philistines rise up and send forth their champion before the army of Israel. Yehovah God had ordained a path that included all of David’s brothers being engaged in this war, David’s father, Jesse, being concerned about their welfare and David being available for his father to send, sent him to the battle front to bring them provisions and inquire about their estate. Thus the steps of the champion of Israel were led from the sheepfold to the battlefield for the purpose of asking; “Is there not a cause” (17:29). His brothers, who were eye witnesses to his anointing, chided him for being so brash and arrogant and admonished the future warier King to go back home and tend to the sheep. But God had decreed that this young and unencumbered man should slay ‘the naked splendour of the immigrants of the winepress’ (Goliath the Philistine of Gath), not by might nor by strength but by the power of God.
As a result of this wonderful testimony of the power of God through the hands of His anointed, David was elevated in the eyes of the King, made a covenant with Jonathan because “he loved him as his own souls”, was clothed in regal garments and praised by the people of Jerusalem. Manifold testimonies given to this man of the presence of Yehovah God and the performance of His will in and through the creatures of His creation but when the evil spirit returned and “desire was very wroth and the saying displeased him”, Saul eyed David from that day forward (18:9).
“And Saul desiring to smite David, even to the wall with the javelin, but he slipped away out of Saul’s presence and he smote the javelin to the wall and David fled and escaped that night” (I Sam. 19:10).
David did not ‘name and claim’ his right to the throne of Israel and he was not ‘standing on the promises’ of the prophet Samuel. He had no assurance to the validity of these things after the natural man as he fled to protect his own life. He spent the next few years running away from Saul in fear, convinced that, “I shall now perish one day at the hand of Saul” (27:1). He fled away many times and was pursued relentlessly by Saul yet each time he grew more and more convinced, in his natural mind, that the word of God was of no effect, the testimony of the prophet of God was false and all his understanding of the events in his life were a mere illusion. He had no assurance of the truth, no confidence of being delivered from Saul and certainly no aspirations of ever being the King that he was told he would be. He had no assurance of salvation after Adam.
The theology of Adam proclaims that every child of grace must know he is ‘saved’. Doubting the work of the Holy Spirit is equated with denying God and many will demand that the time and place must be recalled exactly as it transpired or their testimony is false. The self-proclaimed evangelist will instruct the hearer to do the deed of ‘accepting Jesus’, here and now, so as to set up an enduring land-mark. Then, when doubts and fears invade the mind of the individual, they may return to the place where they ‘surrendered all’ and be reminded of their salvation. David returned to his father’s fields and tended his sheep but grew no more confident in the words and actions of Samuel. He championed the cause of the God of Israel and His people and could not suppress or retard the inner fears and anxieties of the natural man. The actions or intentions of man are of no assurance of spiritual life.
David was so unconvinced of the promise of God in his life that at one point he left the confines of the land of Israel and returned to the king of the land where he slew the giant. David first went to the sanctuary and lied to the priest Ahimelech in order to obtain food for his men and the sword of Goliath. He then went to Gath (winepress) unto Achish the king to seek asylum as a political refugee. He was not given to inquire of the Lord or one of His servants as he fled for fear of Saul and he came to ‘I am only a man’ (Achish). Then when the men of the land identified him and became suspicious of his presence, David lied to Achish, “and changed his behaviour before them and feigned himself mad in their hands and scrabbled on the doors of the gate and let his spittle fall down upon his beard” (21:13). God had decreed this antic disposition before Achish and the king dismissed him and David departed being protected by God through the deceit of Adam.
David gives a splendid example of the experience of the children of the Kingdom of God as they dwell in the body of this death. They are the sons of God and they cannot commit sin because the incorruptible seed remains within (I John 3:9), yet the natural man does not understand these things and wars against the inner man (Rms. 7:21). Saul is the desire of the people or the lust of the flesh. He has been raised up and extolled by the people of the land (Adam) to rule over them (Judg. 21:25) as God has put it in our nature being drawn away after the lusts and desires of the flesh. This flesh is enmity against the Spirit for Adam does not care to entertain the idea that God has anointed another to rule over him and infringe on what he calls ‘free will’.
Adam is the first, being natural, and he was first manifested, yet as a vessel afore prepared (one unto glory and another outfitted for destruction), he is the servant of the seed within. Adam is Edom and Edom is Esau therefore the elder shall either do the works of his father the Devil or serve the younger, Jacob the child of promise; either case Adam is in servitude to the seed within.
The elder cannot receive the things of the Spirit neither can he know them therefore the promises and blessing of God upon His children are not identified or recognized by carnal means. The desire of man is for the welfare, comfort and continuance of the flesh and thus he wars against the Spirit. He desires the life that the Spirit has and the peace which belongs only to those justified by the faith of the Son of God. He strives to make himself presentable before God in his apron of fig leaves and by doing so he exposes his weakness, defilement and the stain that is indelibly upon him. The more the children of the Kingdom of God grow in the grace and knowledge of His will the more the corruption and perversion of the body of this death is revealed. The more God manifests His light in their lives as the inward man is renewed day by day, the more the outward man is shown to be exceedingly sinful and being consumed by the Refiner’s fire. Thus when David fled to the cave (‘to be made naked and exposed’) he was being chased by the desire of the people of the land (the natural law in his members) and he was fearful for his life. Thus he cried out ‘do not destroy for the defilement or stain of the beloved when he fled away from desire and exposed his weakness and corruption’.
“Be merciful unto me O God be merciful unto me for my soul trust in you”
David was pleading for pity from his God because he knew the vileness of his corruption and the wickedness of his ways. He was taught of the Spirit of God and, knowing the truth, he also knew he needed the pity of the Most High God. Many will say they are in need of mercy and with many long and swelling words plead for God to show mercy but few are taught the corruption and total depravity of the flesh; this lesson can only come from the grace of a loving Father for His children.
David had first hand experience of his fears, doubts and the impotence in Adam therefore he knew he needed mercy from on high, for without Him David the man could do nothing. He also had a personal existence in the Godhead to know that this was the only place here mercy could be obtained. Many will extol their deliverance by means of someone’s preaching or a prayer that they uttered but the only place where mercy may be obtained is in the mercy seat of God. This is not a public place for only those for whom the Lamb of God shed His precious blood before the foundation of the world, being the propitiation for their inability in Adam, have any right or portion or memorial. Here the horns or crowns of the altar have been anointed with the blood of the sacrifice which was commensurate to the imputed sins of His people and thus His blood washed away all the sin of His people in Adam; “and you shall call His name Jesus for He shall save His people from their sin” (Matt. 1:21). Mercy is afforded because the Righteous Judge has seen the blood of the sacrifice for sin which was finished before the foundation of the world but manifested in the end of the world (Heb. 9:26). The Law is fulfilled in all righteousness and His wrath has been appeased therefore He is well pleased. And so when the schoolmaster brings a child under the tutelage of the Law of God to a point where the filthiness of this corruption is manifested He also reveals that in their Father’s house is forgiveness and love. Therefore they are brought to return to their Father’s house, humbled as a servant, with the petition of mercy.
Adam has no faith therefore he cannot believe, trust or seek refuge in God. Adam did not seek forgiveness in the garden nor did he feel the need for mercy. He followed after the natural instincts that God had given him and acted according to the plan and purpose of God. The desire of the inward man is after the Law of God and in that Law he delights day and night. He knows that he is not of this world as he longs to return unto Jerusalem and to sing the songs of deliverance. He dwells in the shadow of the wings of God which overshadow him, protecting him from the wrath of God and the evil of this world.
When Jesus spoke of the nation of Israel He said; “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, that kills the prophets and stones them which are sent unto you, how often would I have gathered you together even as an hen does her chicks under wing and ye would not! Behold your house is left unto you desolate, for I say unto you, “You shall not see Me henceforth, till you shall say, Blessed He that comes in the name of the Lord” (Matt. 23:37). Though God had chosen this natural group of people as a type and foreshadow of the true Israel of God, it did not matter what was done or what was taught or what was revealed, the natural man was never converted or convinced of the mercy and love of God. It was not that Jerusalem simply did not accept Jesus when He came unto them, for the nation of Israel had every testimony of Yehovah God. They were given an abundance of witnesses and evidences of the love of God for His people. They had the covenant in the flesh of circumcision and unto them was committed the oracles of God. They had the wonders in Egypt and the protecting hand of God as they heard the screams. They saw the pillar of fire and the cloud of smoke for forty years as the sea was parted and they crossed dry-shod. They saw the bodies of their enemies destroyed in the sea and sang the songs of deliverance. They ate the bread from heaven and drank the water from the Rock (and that Rock was Anointed) and at the mountain God spoke with them as they saw the enfolding fire, felt the quakes and heard the thunders of many voices. But no matter what the evidences given, and that by the long-suffering grace of God, without the faith of the Spirit of God, none of these things could persuade any man to believe. Let the theologians of the doctrine of Adam rant and rave for “without faith it is impossible to please Him; for he that comes to God must believe that He is and He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him” (Heb. 11:6). The nation of Israel and the man David, stand in testimony of this truth as does the experience of every child of grace. Doubts and fears are the children of Heth (fear, terror) and the children of the house of Benjamin and Joseph both live in the land of the Hittites (Judges 1:22), for the natural man could not drive them out, but the children of the Kingdom dwell in the house of Yehovah forever.
“...in the shadow of your wing will I make my refuge until desire be overpast.”
David could not control his desires any more than any child of the dust can control the needs and impulses of the body. He was subject to the vanities of the flesh and the continual warfare but at no time was he admonished or exhorted to ‘take dominion over his condition in order to find victory in Jesus’. The vanities of this life are part and parcel to the experience of the children of the kingdom. The emptiness of this world and the inability of the flesh to change anything that Sovereign God has created and brought to pass cause the child to long for his return to Jerusalem my happy home. The incorruptible seed understands the bondage of this corruption and the limitations of this strange land; the seed of Adam is commanded and controlled by the lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the yes and the pride of life. Together during the time of this habitation, though the redeemed of Yehovah are seated together with Him in heavenly places, the chosen vessel must ‘pass through’ the ‘desires’ that cause them to manifest their weakness and corruption. This is the path which is set and the race which must be run. Herein does the Spirit groan within awaiting the manifestation of the sons of God and the salvation from the body of this death. The natural man has no assurance for, although he beholds the wonders and glory of God, yet as soon as he looks away he forgets what he sees. The Spirit assures the soul of the child born from above of the eternal love of the Father, the vileness of sin, the bondage of this corruption and the vanity of this world and the foundations of God which stand for Yehovah knows them that are His.
“I cry unto God, to the Most High God whose work is for me” (57:2)
The comfort and solace to the congregation of the living is that they are His workmanship and it is He which works in them both to will and to do His good pleasure. The purpose of God is pure and Holy and His will is irresistible. All His works are righteous and true and His desire is upon His Beloved, therefore He will never leave nor forsake Her.
“I am my Beloved’s and His desire is toward me” (Song 7:10).
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
June 7, 2015