“Blessed be the LORD, for He has made marvelous His lovingkindness to me in a besieged city.” (Psalm 31:21)
Here David praises God for ministering to him, even in an extremely difficult time in his life. He said he was “in a besieged city” — in other words, enemies had come up and surrounded him, and were trying to “starve him out.” Can you imagine what that would be like? It would naturally be a time of great fear, and anxiety, and uncertainty … But David says that in that time of besiegement, God “made marvelous His lovingkindness to me.”
This Bible word “lovingkindness” is the Hebrew word “CHESED”; an almost untranslatably rich word that means God’s goodness, love, mercy, faithfulness, GRACE. David was saying that God came to him, and ministered to him in that difficult time, despite his outward circumstances, and lifted up his soul to God, so that he was comforted and blessed in His presence.
Samuel Rutherford knew what that was like. Rutherford served as a pastor in Anwoth, Scotland in the 1600’s. But the government ordered all the pastors to make some unscriptural changes in their churches, and Rutherford and a number of other pastors refused. So they exiled him from his pastorate, and sent him to Aberdeen, Scotland under a kind of “house arrest.” But Rutherford, who had a great personal walk with the Lord, wrote to one of his friends:
“Christ hath (met) with me in Aberdeen, and my adversaries have sent me here to be feasted with love banquets with my royal, high, high, and princely Lord Jesus.” (The Letters of Samuel Rutherford)
Rutherford said that what the authorities meant as a prison, became for him a feast of worship and praise and fellowship with the Lord. Just like David, God “made marvelous His lovingkindness” to him in that besieged city of Aberdeen!
Many of us know what that is like; to be sick, or hurting, or in some kind of difficult circumstances, but the Lord meets you and just lifts your soul up to Him in worship. He “makes marvelous His lovingkindness” — in a besieged city, or on a sick bed, or in a prison, like Paul & Silas, or in some other time of difficulty; yet He meets with us, and draws us to Himself in a sweet fellowship of worship.
It’s just like Psalm 4 says; “You have put gladness in my heart, more than when their grain & new wine abound” — in other words, a joy that is greater than our circumstances, comes to us when He “makes marvelous His lovingkindness to us” in whatever our “besieged city” is.