Thursday, September 30, 2010

God Our Defense

I enjoy writing.  I enjoy speaking.  Sometimes I like to be quiet and listen.  But the real "test" is to relax in God's protection when I am attacked--or when I just feel "hurt."  Can I just wait for God--or do I think I need to let people know I'm right?  Will I let God be my "mighty fortress" or do I try to build my own stronghold (not a good idea!). That's a test I have failed many times.  Preserve and forgive me, Father God, when I try to defend myself, and call, lead, carry or push me home to rest in you.

Tonight I was reading Psalm 59.  The superscription connects this Psalm with an incident in First Samuel 19:8 and following where someone (David) was assaulted and almost killed (by Saul).  Rather than defend himself, David ran, prayed and escaped (with his wife Michal's help).

Understanding this in a spiritual sense teaches me that I can rely on God to protect me.  I do not need to be afraid.  When attacked, I can be quiet and pray.  I do not need to defend myself.  I can trust God and, when he saves me (sometimes with the aid of friends and family), I can give Him all the praise.

Here's the Psalm.  Let us pray that we will allow God to be our defense always.  Pray for me, that I will not, from any lack of trust, try to defend myself.  Pray that I and all God's people will relax and let God be God.

Psalm 59

Of David. A Miktam, when Saul ordered his house to be watched in order to kill him.

Deliver me from my enemies, O my God;
   protect me from those who rise up against me.
Deliver me from those who work evil;
   from the bloodthirsty save me.

Even now they lie in wait for my life;
   the mighty stir up strife against me.
For no transgression or sin of mine, O Lord,
   for no fault of mine, they run and make ready.

Rouse yourself, come to my help and see!
   You, Lord God of hosts, are God of Israel.
Awake to punish all the nations;
   spare none of those who treacherously plot evil.

Each evening they come back,
   howling like dogs
   and prowling about the city.
There they are, bellowing with their mouths,
   with sharp words on their lips—
   for ‘Who’, they think, ‘will hear us?’

But you laugh at them, O Lord;
   you hold all the nations in derision.
O my strength, I will watch for you;
   for you, O God, are my fortress.

My God in his steadfast love will meet me;
   my God will let me look in triumph on my enemies.

Do not kill them, or my people may forget;
   make them totter by your power, and bring them down,
   O Lord, our shield.
For the sin of their mouths, the words of their lips,
   let them be trapped in their pride.
For the cursing and lies that they utter,
   consume them in wrath;
   consume them until they are no more.
Then it will be known to the ends of the earth
   that God rules
over Jacob.

Each evening they come back,
   howling like dogs
   and prowling about the city.
They roam about for food,
   and growl if they do not get their fill.

But I will sing of your might;
   I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning.
For you have been a fortress for me
   and a refuge on the day of my distress.
O my strength, I will sing praises to you,
   for you, O God, are my fortress,
   the God who shows me steadfast love.

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