Reading: Psalm 108
Save us and help us with your right hand,
that those you love may be delivered.
God has spoken from his sanctuary:
“In triumph I will parcel out Shechem
and measure off the Valley of Sukkoth.
Gilead is mine, Manasseh is mine;
Ephraim is my helmet, Judah is my scepter.
Moab is my washbasin,
on Edom I toss my sandal;
over Philistia I shout in triumph.”
Who will bring me to the fortified city?
Who will lead me to Edom?
Is it not you, God, you who have rejected us
and no longer go out with our armies?
Give us aid against the enemy,
for human help is worthless.
With God we will gain the victory,
and he will trample down our enemies (NIV).
In today’s reading from Psalm 108, we get into the meat of David’s request or petition. He makes his plea before God: Save us and help us with your right hand that those you love may be delivered.
It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly when David penned this Psalm, but it likely came early in his reign as king over Judah or Israel. When David assumed the leadership of Judah, Israel was in dire straits. The nation had been weakened by division under King Saul. The Philistines won a major battle which resulted in the death of King Saul and his heir apparent, Prince Jonathan. The nation was divided, despondent and in disarray. Meanwhile, enemies on every side were seizing the moment to press their advantage.
In many respects Christendom and the church world finds itself in a similar position today—divided, despondent and in disarray. We need a David or a number of Davids to arise and rally God’s people against spiritual foes and machinations too numerous mention. Where are the Davids? Are you one of them? Over a number of years through a series of battles the David of the Bible turned things around.
But we need to always keep this in mind. Though God calls various people to leadership roles, He is the One who brings victory and He is the One who deserves the credit. David clearly expressed this truth in his prayer. Give us aid against the enemy, for human help is worthless. With God we will gain the victory, and he will trample down our enemies.
We look to the LORD for victory and deliverance. David did, and so must we.
Response: Father God, I want to play my part in turning things around in your church. Let your Kingdom come and your will be done through the power of your Holy Spirit. Amen.
Your Turn: Are you a present-day David? What has God called you to do?
Reading: Psalm 108
A song. A psalm of David.
My heart, O God, is steadfast;
I will sing and make music with all my soul.
Awake, harp and lyre!
I will awaken the dawn.
I will praise you, LORD, among the nations;
I will sing of you among the peoples.
For great is your love, higher than the heavens;
your faithfulness reaches to the skies.
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;
let your glory be over all the earth (NIV).
This morning did you awaken the dawn or did the dawn awaken you? For those who are early risers awakening the dawn becomes much easier as the days get shorter and we approach the winter solstice. I confess that this morning and most autumn mornings I am awake before sunrise.
There is something quite magical about watching the sunrise and spread its golden rays across the eastern sky. I was treated to a magnificent sunrise display last Monday. I was driving east across the prairies and as each mile slipped by the glory along the horizon grew more and more intense. I pity the poor atheist who has no one to praise when he beholds such a display.
For believers, praise for our God springs naturally from our lips when we see God paint the sky with splendor. In such moments David’s call to worship becomes our own: Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn. I will praise you, LORD, among the nations; I will sing of you among the peoples.
Can you picture David taking up his harp and breaking into song as he locks his eyes on the rising sun? David was a most remarkable character. What sets David apart from other individuals we meet in the pages of scripture? He was a man of spectacular failings. His adulterous affair with Bathsheba and the treacherous means he used to dispatch her husband stand out. But there’s nothing remarkable about spectacular failings and shortcomings. These are common to man.
What stands out about David’s character is his steadfastness to the LORD. The opening lines of Psalm 109 hold the key to understanding David’s overcoming nature. My heart, O God, is steadfast; I will sing and make music with all my soul.
Despite his failings, David remained steadfast in his love for God. Secondly, he was wholehearted in his praise for God. When things came off the rails, he did not turn away from the LORD or stop praising Him. He repented and God forgave him. Then David gave thanks. David’s example is there for us to follow.
Response: LORD God, I always want to have a thankful heart that is quick to praise you. Help me to be steadfast in love and praise even when the way ahead is difficult. You are my help and my glory. Amen.
Your Turn: What does being steadfast look like for you?