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Reading:                                          Psalm 140

(Verses 6-8)

I say to the LORD, “You are my God.”

Hear, LORD, my cry for mercy.

Sovereign LORD, my strong deliverer,

you shield my head in the day of battle.

Do not grant the wicked their desires, LORD;

do not let their plans succeed (NIV).

Reflection

On a beautiful spring evening almost twenty years ago, I went for a bicycle ride with my fourteen-year-old son, Josh. At that time, there were some beautiful mountain bike trails on a forest-covered escarpment above our home. After exploring these trails for a while the time came for us to return home.

Ice bike trail

Early spring cycling in Ottawa, Canada — photo by David Kitz

We crossed to the opposite side of the paved road and began our descent down the hill. Of course our bikes began to pick up speed—no pedaling needed. There was a traffic light at the bottom of the hill where we needed to make a right turn down our street. Soon Josh was well ahead of me. He went sailing around that corner at top speed and launched himself and his bike onto the sidewalk. What Josh could not see due to a tall hedge was the minivan pulling into the intersection directly ahead.

Boom! His bike collided with the back wheel and side of the minivan. Next, I see Josh’s body flying over the roof of the van. I expect to find him dead or disabled on the other side of the vehicle. Not so. Miraculously, not so! He was shaken but conscious. We rushed him to a hospital to have him checked. No signs of concussion were detected. Answered prayer and his bicycle helmet saved him. The minivan owner was not so fortunate. Josh’s head dented the rear roof column. Body shop repairs cost $1,600.

David voices this prayer in today’s reading from Psalm 140: Sovereign LORD, my strong deliverer, you shield my head in the day of battle.

Is your head shielded? It’s your body’s most crucial asset. You can lose a limb—several limbs—and survive. But your head is essential. A lot of Christians are losing the battle for their heads these days. By that I mean we are filling our minds with the philosophical garbage and filth of this world. Many of the most active sites on the World Wide Web are porn sites. Christian men are particularly vulnerable.

Paul, the apostle, admonishes us: Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes (Ephesians 6:11). One of the most important elements of that armor is the helmet of salvation. Are you certain of your salvation? Our salvation is as certain as the blood of Christ. It’s as certain as the empty tomb. But if we do not guard our minds and our eyes, which are the gateway to the mind, we can quickly find ourselves vulnerable. We need self-control and God’s help—His shielding. It doesn’t take long to pick up speed when your mind starts rolling downhill. Is your helmet on?

Response: Sovereign LORD, my strong deliverer, you shield my head in the day of battle. Do not grant the wicked their desires, LORD; do not let their plans succeed. I commit my thoughts and ways to you. Amen.

Your Turn: How vulnerable are you to attacks from the enemy? Are you holding your ground?