I don’t know about anyone else, but I desperately need to be reminded that God can and will bring me into a broad place; a place where everything opens up; a place where I don’t feel confined. This is not to say that I feel trapped by the things people commonly feel trapped by. People often say they feel trapped by their marriage or family or job and God, in His grace, has begun to show me the barest inkling of how liberating being a husband and a member of a family and someone else’s direct report can be. And, in those respects, He has already begun to bring me into broad places.
But the nature of life on this Earth is that there will always be some part of my life that feels confining. My body is often a limiting factor. It does not do everything I would like it to do. Time is a limiting factor. We all get the same amount — twenty-four hours each day — but each task on our agenda requires some portion of that time. And the amount of time left when all the things that need doing are done may feel constricting … it sometimes does for me. The resources my wife and I have for purchasing a home are a limiting factor. This does not mean we are destitute or in danger of starvation (I’m certainly not), but it does mean that trying to find a place is frustrating.
As is apparent from the above, I take the notion of God bringing the psalmist to a broad place to apply to the here and now. The context of the psalm certainly indicates that, so it’s not really stretching interpretation. But David, the psalmist, shifts gears and mentions that God rescued him because God delighted in him. Only this isn’t a shifting of gears so much as it is a double meaning. The rescue mentioned might apply to being set free from our bondage to sin.
David absolutely has in mind being delivered from his physical enemies and from the danger that threatened him for so much of his life. But the subtext that can and often is ascribed to this psalm is one of spiritual warfare and spiritual enemies. This could be a reference to being set free from bondage to sin and the broad place mentioned is the liberation of not being bound by that sin any longer. This is one possible figurative meaning.
Does making this spiritual rather than physical make it better somehow? Not really. I prefer to think that the psalm carries both meanings. God is often a both/and Individual. Does God bring me into broad places in the here and now? Yes. Will He deliver me from all bondage to sin and bring me to Heaven and eternal life — the broadest of broad places? Yes. Yes, He will. I need not exclude the promise of one type of deliverance for the other when God may very well be promising both.
And He does this and has done this because He delighted in me. There is no vanity or pride bound up in that statement, He delights in all of His children. To say that He delighted in me is simply to state a fact. If anyone is a child of God, He delights in them.
If I am feeling confined; constricted; hemmed in by circumstance or some other limiting factor then I need to remember that God will bring me into a broad place … because He delight[s] in me. If I stand in that broad place then I need to remember that I stand there not because of any merit of my own, but because He delighted in me.