Reading: Psalm 9
For the director of music. To the tune of “The Death of the Son.” A psalm of David.
I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart;
I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.
I will be glad and rejoice in you;
I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High.
My enemies turn back; they stumble and perish before you.
For you have upheld my right and my cause,
sitting enthroned as the righteous judge.
You have rebuked the nations and destroyed the wicked;
you have blotted out their name forever and ever.
Endless ruin has overtaken my enemies, you have uprooted their cities;
even the memory of them has perished.
The LORD reigns forever; he has established his throne for judgment.
He rules the world in righteousness and judges the peoples with equity.
The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.
Those who know your name trust in you,
for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you (NIV).
Fall colours along Green’s Creek, Ottawa, ON — photo by David Kitz
Without question David was a man of war. After all, this was the man who as a strapping young teenager slew Goliath, the gigantic champion of the Philistines. Later he led King Saul’s army as they went out to do battle with the enemies of Israel. Eventually when David became King, he secured Israel’s borders and greatly expanded its territory through conquest. David knew a few things about bloodshed and war, and he had more than a few enemies.
It should not surprise us then that the language of warfare and talk of enemies and destruction should appear in the psalms that he wrote. David wrote, sang and spoke of the things he knew and experienced. He was personally involved in life and death struggles. Consequently, he was a man of violence, who lived and survived through violent times.
But he loved God. Sometimes it’s hard to reconcile the slay-my-enemies David with the LORD-is-my-shepherd David. It’s as though two contradictory Davids are living in one body. But then I look at myself—deep within myself. Am I any different? There are more than a few contradictory elements at work within me. The real warfare is within the human spirit. Will I yield to the Spirit of God, or to the foul spirit of this world, or my own selfish pride?
Like David I simply need God. I need to praise and exalt Him over all else. When I do that I gain perspective—the right perspective. With David I can say, “Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.”
Response: I praise you, LORD and I seek you. Along with David I can say you have upheld me in difficult times. Be the master within me. I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High. Amen.
Your Turn: Have you yielded to the LORD? Is He winning the warfare within?