God Delivers His People Through All Of Their Trials
1 Lord, how many are my foes!
How many rise up against me!
2 Many are saying of me,
“God will not deliver him.”
3 But you, Lord, are a shield around me,
my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
4 I call out to the Lord,
and he answers me from his holy mountain.
5 I lie down and sleep;
I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.
6 I will not fear though tens of thousands
assail me on every side.
7 Arise, Lord!
Deliver me, my God!
Strike all my enemies on the jaw;
break the teeth of the wicked.
8 From the Lord comes deliverance.
May your blessing be on your people.
Regardless of the time or era, the children of the devil oppose the children of God. Whether openly in public discourse, privately in sabotage, or in David’s case, outright rebellion from his own flesh and blood. Each of us has or will encounter the specter of opposition (a.k.a. persecution).
David wrote this psalm concerning the outright rebellion of his son, Absalom. He was forced to abandon his kingdom for a time, and was mocked both by his son and by others as he left town. To further discourage God’s children, they will say things like, “Look at you! God won’t help you! You have been rejected by God, and now you are on your own! He can’t even keep you in your position – leave town while you can, you worthless garbage!” That is the type of mocking that David endured, and many will face the same.
But God – the two words that, together, should bring great joy to our hearts – is your shield and your glory. He is the lifter of your head. God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent – nothing can overcome God! God has said that He already knows our prayers and has sent answers before the requests even leave our lips. God seeks to bring about the circumstances that will forge our character and reflect His glory. But we need to do something first, something so difficult, it appears impossible. We have to let go of fear.
Fear can drive the most sane person crazy. It can consume them, destroying their lives, wasting away their energy and sapping them of the very will to live. When we live in fear, we dread waking up in the morning to face it again – it seems
to too difficult. Sleep or death seems favorable in comparison. David comments on this in the psalm, indicating that the only reason he is able to wake from his sleep is because the Lord sustains him. He girds himself with the knowledge that God is his powerful shield, and that although thousands – even tens of thousands – seek to do him harm, God will deliver him through all of his trials.
Pull the Plug
David also gives us an example to follow in prayer. He is brutally honest in his talks with God. He asks that the his enemies’ strength be stripped from them. Their strength lies in the arrogant pride and assurance that they are in the right, and that they are justified in their thoughts and actions. David asks that God remove their strength – their ability to continue to inflict harm upon him and his family. Sometimes that will mean that a person in authority is stripped of their authority.
Sometimes that will mean that we will be elevated to a position of authority that makes our enemies pause. And sometimes that means that our enemies will be destroyed – whether physically, financially, emotionally, psychologically, or otherwise. Regardless, God will be the one to engineer the circumstances that stops the wicked from being able to continue to do harm to us.
We can take heart that sometimes that even means that walls to keep out people will be built to protect us from those who seek to do us harm. Nehemiah successfully rebuilt the wall of Jerusalem despite jeering, mocking, false claims to the authorities of wrongdoing (the ancient equivalent of “swatting“), and outright threats to the workers’ very lives. Imagine trying to rebuild a wall with one hand and with a weapon in your other hand, constantly looking around for the next attack. Israel suffers this from their enemies even today.
David reminds us that deliverance comes from the Lord God Almighty. We can trust in His name – His character – to see us through all of our trials. It is God and Him alone who will provide us with deliverance from our enemies. For God has said,
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
A Qualifying Question
Let’s ask a question: When all seems dark and impossible, am I trusting in the character of God to wait for Him to deliver me through it?
A short prayer of preparation:
Father in Heaven, You have shown Yourself to be faithful in all that You do. No promise that You have ever made will fail. Nothing can prevent Your sovereign will from being accomplished, for You and You alone are in charge of all created things. Deliver me this day, O Lord, from the attacks of all of my enemies. Break their strength, and deliver them to me as you did Goliath to David. May their strength fail in battle. May they suddenly experience the very fear they intentionally try to inflict upon me. Give me victory over my enemies, that You will be shown to be my shield and my protectors. Let not your servant fail in performing Your tasks, and have mercy upon my enemies, for I, like them, was once Your enemy. Destroy my enemies with kindness, mercy, and grace. And if that fails, strip them of their power to inflict harm upon others. May Your justice prevail, and may all see the great power of Your mighty right hand as He sweeps aside those who would oppose You. This I ask in Jesus’ Name, Amen.