(6) And in my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved.
(7) LORD, by thy favour thou hast made my mountain to stand strong: thou didst hide thy face, and I was troubled.
I once heard a story of a woman who had won her state’s lottery. In an instant, she went from being poor to being wealthy. She had won 12 million dollars. In four years, she’d spent it all and went from being wealthy to being poor again. The dangerous thing about lotteries is that often the people who spend the most money on them are the ones who can least afford to do so. For those rare individuals who do win, their lack of experience with wealth of that magnitude is their undoing. They buy all the stuff they think rich people have and spend like the money will never stop flowing. Only it does.
We can be like that when it comes to the blessings we receive. We can live like they will always be there, that they have always been there, and that somehow, we are entitled to them. God enjoys blessing His children. He led the Israelites to a “land flowing with milk and honey.” In the Promised Land He gave them homes they didn’t have to build and vineyards they did not have to plant. He gave them everything and they soon forgot Him because the blessings became a distraction.
David suffered from the same problem, at least for a time. He says as much in this psalm:
“And in my prosperity I said, ‘I shall never be moved’” (v.6).
He assumed that a life of prosperity had become the norm, that it would always be there. He’d gone from tending sheep and being the low man on the family totem pole to being God’s anointed and the king of Israel. He may not have said it in so many words, but the attitude of his heart was like that of Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon:
“The king spake, and said, ‘Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty’” (Daniel 4:30)?
David understood that his rise to power came at the pleasure of God, but being human like the rest of us, he became enamored of his blessings and lost sight of his Lord. So, the Lord gave him a reminder. He hid his face from David. For a moment, God stepped back from his life and let the king see what it was like to be on his own. Like Nebuchadnezzar, he was troubled, and like that king he remembered Who really had control of his affairs:
“LORD, by thy favour thou hast made my mountain to stand strong” (v. 7a).
The apostle Paul tells us, “…Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12a).
All of our blessings, whether they are position or possession or spiritual progress, come from the hand of God and we need to remind ourselves of this every day. Even if God fills our barns with ample wheat, so to speak, we must remember to thank and to depend on Him for our daily bread. Because as wonderful as blessings are, since they can become distractions from God, blessings can also be dangerous.