December 16th – Les Kovacs Psalm 144 of David
Observe: Psalm 144 is a reflection by David on his relationship with the Lord. Being a king and a warrior, David uses familiar, martial imagery throughout the psalm. As is consistent with David, he praises God for His blessings to him, whether as a beneficiary of God’s training or in protection and deliverance from his enemies.
David is amazed that God should pay any attention at all to human beings, whose lives are but a mere breath, or a fleeting shadow compared to the power and might of God. God, whose touch can smoke the mountains, flash with lightning, and deliver us from any calamity natural or otherwise.
In his joyous expression of praise, David will create new songs to the Lord, who, in His faithfulness will bless the people with prosperity and security. They will be His people.
Interpret: David acknowledges his complete dependence on God. He knows who it is that blessed him with protection, victory over enemies, and prosperity, and he gives all the honour and glory to God. David speaks of it here as a matter of his absolute trust in God, wherein he finds his comfort. He recognizes how insignificant humans are compared to God, and affirms His goodness and greatness. He praises God for the experiences he has had of His blessings and the encourages him to expect further mercies from the Lord. In the midst of his complaints concerning the power and treachery of his enemies, there is a holy exultation in his God: “I will sing a new song to you, my God; on the ten-stringed lyre I will make music to you.” Vs 9. But, David doesn’t take the Lord’s blessings for granted. He continues to pray for protection from the sword and from deceitful foreigners, and for added prosperity for his own people. He proclaims that the people who belong to the Lord are indeed blessed.
Application: As much as we can agree with David that God deserves all the praise, honour and glory that we can give Him for uncountable blessings and mercies He pours out on us, the most profound question David asks is found in Verse 3 of this psalm. “Lord, what are human beings that you care for them, mere mortals that you think of them?”
Human “society” has always been self-centered. Its in our nature to invest our energies in activities and relationships that benefit us. We see this clearly demonstrated in the natural world. In the wild, animals, particularly predators, are always weighing whether the energy they expend in the chase for prey is worth the potential return in maintaining their health. They may not consciously think about it, but they are always weighing “What’s in it for me?” That is also true for secular human society. When thinking about entering into a new activity or relationship, people often ask themselves how it will benefit them. Will this investment bring me more wealth? Will this activity bring me better health? Will this person fulfil my needs?
When we consider David’s question about why God should care about us, we find that these very human questions about “what is in it for me?” are meaningless to Him. There is absolutely nothing we can do, offer or say that will benefit God. There is nothing that we can do that can harm or help Him. There is nothing that we can give Him that wasn’t created by Him. There is no wisdom we can share with Him that isn’t already known to Him. Yet He provides for us, blesses us and pours out His mercies on us very single day.
The only explanation for God’s grace poured out on us is His immeasurable love. He created us to be His people out of love. He called us to be in a loving relationship with Him. Throughout history, He cared for, provided for, and disciplined His people in order to bring them back into that loving relationship. He gave His only begotten Son as sacrifice for our continuing rebellion and sin that we might remember His love and return to Him.
Blessed are we who call God our Lord!
Prayer: Thank you, Lord for faithfully pouring out your boundless love on your people. Thank you for being our refuge in times of trouble, for providing for all our needs with abundant grace, and for giving us Jesus Christ as the way to salvation. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.
Song: Psalm 144 – Jason Silver
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.