Saturday, June 22, 2013

Answer Us When We Call - Psalm 20, Part 2

In the previous post, I mentioned that I feel a certain amount of shame over an area where I doubt God. I have full confidence in the almighty power of God.  It's never been an issue of whether God could show his power in my life, but rather an issue of whether God would.  After spending the past several years with the general feeling that God wouldn't use that power in my life (whether I should have been feeling that or not isn't really the issue right now), I am noticing a certain amount of bitterness in my relationship with God that wasn't there before.

All that being said, I am excited to look at the second part of Psalm 20.  I broke this up into two parts not because the psalm is particularly long (it isn't), but because I felt like my thoughts were going in such different directions they just needed to be posted separately.

The last part of Psalm 20 begins with a very confident statement, "Now this I know."  I talked about this some in my last post, but I do want to take a second to remember the reason David, the psalmist, is so assured.  Here's what he knows: "The Lord gives victory to his anointed.  He answers from his heavenly sanctuary."  He doesn't say when or how this victory will come or try to explain why it hasn't come yet, he just has overwhelming faith that it will come.  Somehow.

The next part of the psalm talks about the two choices when it comes to trusting that this victory is coming:

  1. Trust in chariots or in horses.  (Now I'm going to take some interpretive license and apply that thought to some of the worldly things I might be tempted to trust in.  Like myself and my own abilities.  After all, I don't think many of us put trust in chariots anymore!)
  2. Trust in the name of God.  
To help with our decision of what to trust, David lets us know where both choices lead:
  1. Those who trust in "chariots" are brought to their knees and fall.
  2. Those who trust in God will rise and stand firm.
Now, maybe it's the nerd in me, but I actually get excited at the poetry of this.  Trust in worldly things and be brought to your knees; trust in God and rise.  Trust in worldly things and fall; trust in God and stand firm.  Does anyone else see the beauty of this simple juxtaposition?  

Here's another interesting thought that just occurred to me: those who trust in worldly things fall and are brought to their knees.  What a perfect time to pray, to repent and trust in God instead, to be given the opportunity to rise and stand firm!  

When I first opened to this psalm, I quick skim of the verses led me to believe that it was a gloating, victorious passage.  It is not what I assumed it to be.  The words written by David so long ago apply to my life more than I imagined.  It's not at all about basking in the victory God has provided, but instead about trusting that God will answer and protect and provide that victory.  It's about firmly and confidently trusting and having faith in God and that in itself being a source of joy and comfort.  

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