To Shield and Protect
January 17th – Les Kovacs Psalm 7
Observe: King David laments that once again that he is surrounded by his enemies. They pursue him and if they catch him, he says, they will destroy him. He turns to God and, in humility, says that if he is guilty of their accusations, he deserves to be defeated and punished. Yet, he rouses God to protect him because He is a just God and David believes himself to be innocent of any wrongdoing, so he asks God to bring an end to the violence directed towards him, to be his shield of protection.
David understands that God knows the hearts and minds of all people, and if His wrath is loosed upon them, who would be able to stand it? The evil-doers would be trapped by their own devices.
David ends by giving thanks to the Lord for His righteousness and declares that he will sing the praises of the Lord Most High.
Interpret: It might seem to us from David's words in Psalm 7, that he is being a bit melodramatic. “save and deliver me from all who pursue me, or they will tear me apart like a lion and rip me to pieces with no one to rescue me.” (Vs1b-2). Yet when we read the stories of David in the Old Testament, we find that he had a lot of enemies. From the time he was a young shepherd boy protecting his flock from bears and lions, to his encounter with Goliath, to his love/hate relationship with King Saul, to his many wars with the surrounding tribes, and even to the intrigue he faced within his own court and family, we see that King David faced many enemies during his life. But, he knew that his one, true ally was the Lord God of Israel.
All through his psalms we see David’s prayers lifted up to God for deliverance from his enemies, from those who hate him, from those who trample the lives of the innocent, from those who give no thought to the sanctity of the human soul.
David had learned that his victory over his enemies, no matter who they were, always came from God Himself. Apart from God, David knew that he was helpless before even the weakest of adversaries. He declares that, “My defense is of God, who saves the upright in heart.” (Vs 7).
Application: David was not the perfect king. Far from it. He was subject to the same desires as any other person. Remember that David’s lust for Bathsheba led to his adultery with her, and then his conspiracy to have her husband killed. What he was however, was a seeker of the Lord. From boyhood he had a close personal relationship with the Lord and he spoke to God as you and I would speak to a close friend. Therefore, when David found himself surrounded by the wicked, it was natural for him to go to God, knowing that God would intercede on his behalf. David knew from direct experience that God is a just God, who would rescue him from his troubles and unleash His wrath on the wicked.
This psalm reminds us to cultivate our relationship with God. When we read of David's close relationship with the Lord, we can understand that God is a very personal God who is concerned about all of the intimate details of our lives. He knows the many burdens and challenges we struggle with daily and wants to help us. Not only that, but David wanted to have a pure heart before God. David confessed his own wrongdoings to God, and took responsibility for his actions. If he had wronged someone, he wanted to make it right. If he had hurt someone, he wanted to know and was willing to accept the consequences.
If we lack confidence in God’s ability to intercede for us, it’s because we have not learned to go to Christ with all of our concerns and problems, and therefore, we miss seeing Him move and work in all of the details of our lives, both large and small.
This psalm also reminds us that if we want to be prepared for a greater work in God's kingdom, we must be willing to face our trials and challenges. David's encounters with the beasts prepared him for his encounter with Goliath, "Moreover David said, "The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine."" (1 Samuel 17:37). And his encounter with Goliath prepared him for the many battles he would face later in life.
Taken all together, we realize that when we overcome the challenges of our lives by relying on the help of God, and when we confess and repent of our sins before Him, we grow more and more in our faith in Him. Therefore, we should never cower in the face of adversity, but instead we must face them head-on, confident in the Lord, because He is on our side. When we are innocent of wrongdoing and don’t deserve the hurt, the hate and the pain, God is our Vindicator. Our Judge. Our Deliverer.
Questions: How many times have you suffered through troubles and burdens without bringing them to the Lord? Do you truly understand that the only hope there is for you is in the Lord?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we pray that you would give us the spiritual strength to put all our circumstances into your hands, and if there is a battle to be fought, we ask you for victory, instead of attempting to take it into our own hands. In the mighty and merciful name of Jesus, Amen.
Song: Rescue – Lauren Daigle
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In 2023, each week's blog is a follow-up reflection written by the preceding Sunday’s preacher to dig deeper into the sermon topic and explore engaging discussion questions.