David cries out to the Lord in Psalm 144 for deliverance, and he does so because he is cognizant of God’s greatness and his smallness. He understands our Creator’s character and attributes, and so he also understands his own unworthiness (vv. 1–4). In light of this, he cannot help but call upon the Lord for rescue from his foes (vv. 5–8). Knowing himself, David has cast off all self-reliance, depending on God for salvation.
In doing this, David is not expressing a hope in the Lord that consists of wishful thinking or reflects a belief that God may or may not save him. No, this king of Israel is confident that the Lord will come to his aid. We do not know the specific circumstances that prompted David to write this hymn, but we see in verses 9–11 that his prayer for deliverance is accompanied by a sure confidence that God will act to rescue him. David describes the Lord as He “who gives victory to kings, who rescues David his servant from the cruel sword” (v. 10). David affirms that Yahweh, the one true God and covenant Lord of Israel, has the power to save him, and he knows that the Creator is willing save him. His certainty is based upon God’s covenant with Him and His promises to give David a house forever (2 Sam. 7:1–17).
As the prototypical king who represents his people before the Lord, David’s prayer in Psalm 144 is not only for himself. He intercedes for his people in vv. 12–14, asking God to bless the Israelites with all of the covenant blessings that He promised the nation for its faithfulness (Deut. 28:1–14). But note that David does not point to the faithfulness of his people as the reason the Lord should show such favor to Israel. This anticipates the work of David’s greater son, the Lord Jesus Christ, who even now stands before His Father on our behalf to intercede for our needs. And the Father will surely grant what His Son asks, for Jesus has been perfectly faithful in our place and for our benefit (Heb. 7:25).
Blessed indeed are those people upon whom the blessings David requests fall, but the greatest blessing of all is that the only true Lord—Yahweh—is their God. Only this Lord can offer what truly satisfies, namely, Himself. C.H. Spurgeon, in his sermon “Pictures of Happiness,” says: “The most pleasant pleasures of the world are the first to expire as men advance—especially as they grow old—that which once contented them becomes vanity of vanities in their account! But no man outgrows his God!”