“I will extol You, O Lord, for You have lifted me up, And have not let my foes rejoice over me.”
David was a soldier. His enemies carried swords and spears and sought to bring an end to his life. It is not a stretch to imagine officers gathering in tents a scheming how they might kill Israel’s military leader. I am not a soldier. My enemies look very different than David’s did, but their desire is no less devious. Jesus said the Christian’s enemy wants to kill, steal and destroy him. It is very comforting to know that as God delivered David He wants to deliver me.
Perhaps the most common foe we face as followers of Christ is the struggle that goes on within ourselves. There are things that we know that do not please the Lord, we find ourselves not only desiring them, but often falling into them. When Paul addressed this subject he wrote “I find then a law that evil is present with the one who desires to do good.” Tucked away in this psalm are a few helpful steps in finding strength from God to defeat the foes we face.
First this is a song of praise. Instead of fixing his eyes upon the enemy, David chose to look upon the Lord. Often we give too much attention to the struggle we are facing and too little attention to the Lord. Thoughts are fed with attention. The more attention we give to any thought the larger it becomes. If I think about my fears they usually grow. The same is true of lust, envy, covetousness, bitterness etc. On the other hand if I fill my thoughts with the person, power and desires of God, there is a good chance I will develop an increased desire to please Him.
Second this song is a cry for help. David writes, “I cried out to You, O Lord;
And to the Lord I made supplication.” There are times in life when rescue will only come to those who cry out for it. Think of the shouts that go out when a person falls into the water or is in danger of being struck by a moving vehicle. It is not uncommon for a believer to find themselves in the midst of a surprise attack. A moment alone puts us in temptation or an unkind word from another stirs up desires to lash out, backbite or become bitter. It is in those moments that we must look up and cry out to the Lord for help. Silence is not an option when war is being waged against us.