“I love You, Oh Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call upon the Lord, Who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies…” (18:1-3)
It is said that David composed this Psalm in celebration of the defeat of all his enemies. And he had MANY enemies – at every turn, who were committed to making his life miserable (or to cutting his life short!).
David offers his praise to God, because he recognizes that God was in the midst of all his victories in life. Every enemy defeated, was because God was leading David, protecting David, providing for David, and working on David’s behalf to subdue and defeat every trouble that rose up in his life.
David uses words like “rock” and “fortress” and “stronghold” and “shield” as descriptive of the way in which God takes care of him – in the midst of the tide of turmoil. These descriptions remind us that God is a solid foundation for our lives, that He provides safety and refuge from the “storms” of our lives, and He is committed to standing between us and the impending doom which seeks to unravel and destroy us.
But David also reminds us of one other essential practice. We must call on the Lord to ensure His favor.
David was intentional in his willingness to “call upon the Lord” – and God responded to his “call” to provide what His character and nature naturally do – use His power to save us from people and circumstances that would seek to do us harm.
Sometimes, we all tend to put our relationship with God on “auto-pilot.” We just assume that because God loves us, He is going to take care of us – so we kind of wander through life until we are blindsided by something unexpected. Then, we openly wonder: “Where was God when that happened?” And “why didn’t He keep me out of that situation?”
But what we should do is assume that there will be trouble surrounding us in each and every day, and actively seek God in the midst of “come what may.” After all, Jesus was pretty clear… “Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:34)
Sometimes we forget that this world is not our home. We are “aliens and strangers” here. Foreigners from another place. The enemy of God hates us… and hates what God wants to do through us. The enemy wants nothing better than to destroy our faith and our trust in God – and foil God’s plan for each of our lives.
He will seek to stir up trouble. He will try to surround us about with things that will tend to make us anxious and fearful – in the hope that we will become discouraged and defeated… and forget (or abandon) the Source of our hope and life.
God’s solution is the same solution David prescribed… “Seek FIRST the Kingdom of God” (and the God of the Kingdom)… and all that we need will be graciously given to us. No matter what comes to rob us of our peace and joy – our God is the answer to the the challenges that each day holds.