Dispatch One Hundred Seventy-Eight

Posted: October 29, 2015 in Thirty-Ninth Bundle
Tags: , , , ,

PSALM 9:9-20

The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed,
    a stronghold in times of trouble.
10 And those who know your name put their trust in you,
    for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.

11 Sing praises to the Lord, who dwells in Zion.
    Declare his deeds among the peoples.
12 For he who avenges blood is mindful of them;
    he does not forget the cry of the afflicted.

13 Be gracious to me, O Lord.
    See what I suffer from those who hate me;
    you are the one who lifts me up from the gates of death,
14 so that I may recount all your praises,
    and, in the gates of daughter Zion,
    rejoice in your deliverance.

15 The nations have sunk in the pit that they made;
    in the net that they hid has their own foot been caught.
16 The Lord has made himself known, he has executed judgment;
    the wicked are snared in the work of their own hands.

17 The wicked shall depart to Sheol,
    all the nations that forget God.

18 For the needy shall not always be forgotten,
    nor the hope of the poor perish forever.

19 Rise up, O Lord! Do not let mortals prevail;
    let the nations be judged before you.
20 Put them in fear, O Lord;
    let the nations know that they are only human.

The lesson from the story of David and Goliath can be summed up in the maxim, “Put your trust in God, but still take careful aim.” God doesn’t hand us every success in life, but He has blessed us with a hearty stock of instincts, talents, and brains to make our way through. It’s easy to fall to either extreme, where we put it all in God’s hands and relinquish responsibility, or rely exclusively and often tragically on our own strength and ingenuity. It can take a Goliath-sized crisis in life to teach us that our confidence must rest in something greater than ourselves alone.

David’s request to God, to “let the nations know that they are only human,” reflects his own personal lessons in humility. When very young, he had found strength and courage in knowing that God was near. Later, having made a fantastic moral blunder in cultivating an adulterous affair and then arranging for the murder of his mistress’ husband, David had to face up to the fact of his own condemnable motives for power. And toward the end of his reign, on the run from his own son’s overthrow attempt on the throne, David realized once again that he was not invincible. Through it all, he learned to rely on God more deeply and to seek God earlier in his need rather than waiting until he was desperate.

Being “only human” is not a bad thing, but we need to remember that we are not God.

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