Monday 29 April, 2013

Psalm 3

1 Lord, I have so many enemies! So many people are rising up against me! 2 Many are saying about me, “God will not save him.” Selah 3 Lord, you are like a shield that keeps me safe. You honor me. You help me win the battle. 4 I call out to the Lord. He answers me from his holy hill. Selah 5 I lie down and sleep. I wake up again, because the Lord takes care of me. 6 I won’t be afraid of the tens of thousands who are lined up against me on every side. 7 Lord, rise up! My God, save me! Strike all my enemies in the face. Break the teeth of sinful people. 8 Lord, you are the one who saves. May your blessing be on your people.

We read about Absalom’s rebellion in chapters 15 to 18 of 2 Samuel.

So many enemies: David’s beloved son, Absalom, is determined to kill him; and turns all Israel against him and seizes the throne.

Such a close thing: a warning; fleeing Jerusalem only just ahead of Absalom’s arrival; narrowly avoiding being pursued and caught on the road; a warning to cross the Jordan at night; and then the whole army of Israel coming to kill him.

In this crisis, David sees things with new clarity. That he is alive to wake in the morning, in safety, is a blessing from God (as it is every day). Sometimes it takes a crisis to see things clearly. God didn’t create the crisis, but he brings good things out of it if we have eyes to see them.

And yet with the whole army of Israel against him, David and his supporters rout them and completely defeat the rebellion. If ever there was evidence of God’s love for David, of his decisive intervention to protect him; that David’s success came from God, this is it.

That David wanted his enemies violently slapped is understandable. But Jesus has a better way. “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” (Luke 6:27-8) It’s God’s wonderful grace

that Jesus died for me while I was still his enemy, so I could become his friend. Opposing God or being an enemy to his people is a very dangerous place to be. Our enemies need our prayers and love to be rescued from that place.

Oh God, you are a shield around me! The very life I have is a blessing from you. Rescue me from my enemies. And better yet, rescue them from being your enemies.

Written by David Cornell

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