"Lord, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me" (Psalm 3:1).
Popularity is a fickle thing, particularly when it comes to political leadership. This was certainly true in the days of King David. Initially he had not been widely accepted as a king (II Samuel 2:5-9). Even after reigning for many years, he was forced to flee as opinion turned towards his handsome, young, politically astute son Absalom (II Samuel 15). Our text records his cry of despair to God at that time.
John 6:15 recounts how Jesus would not be flattered by the fickle multitude. "When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take Him by force, to make Him a king, He departed again into a mountain Himself alone." The Lord received popular acclaim upon entering Jerusalem. "And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the son of David" (Matthew 21:9). But the tide of public opinion would turn against Him as "the chief priests moved the people, . . . And they cried out again, Crucify Him" (Mark 15:11,13). Pilate asked the Jewish leaders: "Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar" (John 19:15).
Today King David is remembered as Israel's most loved king. Similarly, there is coming a day when all Israel will joyfully accept the reign of King Jesus. The Revelation prophesies of Christ's return to Jerusalem. "And He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS" (19:16). Zechariah tells how God "will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him, as one mourneth for his only son" (12:10). Then will begin the wondrous Millennial reign: "And the Lord shall be king over all the earth" (14:9). DW