“And the time that David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah was seven years and six months” (2 Samuel 2:11). The seven and a half years that David reigned in Hebron were filled with conflict. A power struggle between David and Saul’s son Ish-bosheth was fueled by Abner’s refusal to give up his position as captain of Saul’s army. Over time, the conflict took a toll on David and at the low point of his effort to take control of the entire nation, David wrote Psalm 77.
David said, “In the day of my trouble I sought the LORD; my sore ran in the night and ceased not: My soul refused to be comforted. I remembered God, and was troubled. I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah” (Psalm 77:2-3). David was no doubt describing a sleepless night in which he tossed and turned and could not rest. His descriptive words make it clear that he was at a breaking point, unable to reconcile his situation with his vision of becoming king.
Psalm 77 captures a turning point in David’s struggle. After asking the questions, Hath God forgotten to be gracious? and Hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies?, David forces himself to focus on God’s previous track record of delivering his people. David said, “I will remember the works of the LORD: Surely I will remember the wonders of old. I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings” (Psalm 77:11-12).
The things David likely remembered were the plagues God brought on Egypt in order to deliver his people and his parting of the Red Sea when the Israelites were being chased by Pharaoh and his army. God used miracles to draw attention to his deliverance of his people so that his name would become famous throughout the world. David asked the rhetorical question, “Who is so great a God as our God?” as a reminder that nothing was impossible with God.
David’s breaking point became a turning point because he did not forget God’s promise. God’s promises are not like the promises we make. God’s word cannot be broken. Whenever God speaks, it is as if a promise is being made and divine power is released in order accomplish what has been spoken. The creation of the world is the best example of the power in God’s words. “And God said, Let there be light: and there was light” (Genesis 1:3).