18–24 January 2015.
In the church’s Bible-reading schedule, we come now to Psalm 18:25–50.
On the one hand, this psalm is a good reminder to us Christians that we are reading texts that came from a different age, a different culture, a different part of the world, and also a different religion. While these psalms are collected in our Bibles, they still represent a Jewish faith, a Jewish hope, and a Jewish view of the world. So for us Christians we might find it surprising that the writer dares to speak of his blamelessness and purity before God; after all, we know that all people are sinners. We find it awful that the king praises God for giving him power to slaughter and brutally destroy his enemies: smashing them into dust, trampling and crushing them (vv. 37–42). Christians know that Jesus teaches us to pray for our enemies and bless those who hurt us. And we find it shocking when the writer talks about God giving him violent military power to become king over the other rulers and nations of the world. We Christians know that all authority in heaven and earth is given to Jesus, and that Jesus is the King of kings.
But even though this psalm is so tightly wrapped up in Israel’s political dreams, there is still something valuable here for us. At the heart of this psalm we still find a glimpse of the truth and light of Jesus. In verses 27 & 28 we see that God saves the humble, and brings down those who are mighty and proud. We see that God is our light in times of darkness, our shield and protector. He is the rock that we can stand on when the rest of life seems so unstable.
Because Jesus is our Rock, our Light, our Shield, and Protector, we know that despite all the storms and troubles around us in life, we can still hold onto him. We know he is faithful, we know he is dependable, we know we can trust him. And because we know we can trust Jesus completely, we are happy to obey him, to follow him, to walk humbly together with him. So this week let’s practice giving ourselves over to God, and trying to really trust and follow him as our light and as our protector.
Pastor Stephen Lakkis