Yesterday we observed that in verse 12 the psalmist begins to focus on God. But that is not all we can observe at this important turning point in the psalm. For it is not just a case of the writer turning his reflections from himself to God, anchoring himself in God's eternity. Having done that, and thus having broken the damaging preoccupation with self that so often strangles our spiritual lives, the psalmist now finds himself thinking about other situations and other people and praying confidently for them. In them he knows that the work of God will go on.

Verse 12 is the important turning point of the psalm, so much so that Martin Luther said, "Everything that has gone before looks to this verse."1 Yes, and everything that follows builds on it also. In the previous verses the psalmist has described his frail and wasting condition. He is like smoke that vanishes. Ah, but he has a God who is not at all like that! His is the eternal, immutable God, and it is God whom he is trusting: “But you, O LORD, sit enthroned forever, your renown endures through all generations.”

At the beginning of this study I pointed out that the immediate problem facing the psalmist is that he was sick. That is not all that was bothering him; he was concerned for Jerusalem too, as I said, and he was being taunted by his enemies. These conditions enter into his lament. Nevertheless, it is chiefly his sickness, frailty and the brevity of life that trouble him and give force to his complaint. He describes his condition like this:

One of the splendid delusions of the young is that they think they are immortal. No matter how recklessly they drive, no matter how many drugs they take or physical dangers they expose themselves to, they do not believe that anything bad can happen to them. But that changes as we grow older. There come times in our lives when it dawns on us that our existence is filled with dangers and life is not at all unending. 

David wanted to surround himself with good people, people he could trust and whose walk was blameless. Sometimes, when people are in positions of power or responsibility, they turn to those who can "get the job done" and do not ask questions about how they do it. It is worldly wisdom to say, “No one can rule effectively who cannot close his eyes and ears to some of the things that are going on around him.” But a good government is one in which the high places are filled with upright and not unscrupulous people. Luther said, "If God wants to be good to a prince or a country, he gives him a fine Joseph or a Naaman to be near him, through whom all things fare well and prosper.”1