“The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, And with my song I will praise Him.”
Years ago I injured my knee and required surgery. Before the operation, I was given a detailed description of the human knee. I learned how it was constructed, how it functioned and how mine was damaged. When the surgery was completed, I was even given a video of the operation. If I wanted to, I could have watched on the big screen as parts were cut away and replaced. I learned things I never really wanted to know.
David expresses praise to God for being his strength and his shield. It is important to keep in mind, the only way to know the strength of the Lord is to encounter your own weakness. It was the times when David reached the end of himself that he would come face to face with the reality of the power, strength and enabling of God. All of us want to know God’s power, but we need to realize He only gives it when we are facing things that our own strength cannot handle. Paul prayed to know the power of the resurrection. He needed that because he was constantly in situations where his own power was insufficient. Those who truly know the power of God, are those who have come to realize their own weakness.
The same concept is true regarding a shield. What sounds like beautiful poetic expression, also has a real and practical backstory. David knew God to be his shield because he faced situations in life where he was forced to hide from the attack of others. He had to duck from the spear of Saul, hide in the caves of Adullum, and even flee outside the borders of the land. It was in the times of greatest attack that David learned he could hide himself under the protective shield of His God.
Whatever you are facing, it is good to know that your strength does not have to be sufficient. You can break, and when you do, you can find the strength of the Lord to be enough. No matter what the enemy hurls at you, the shield of the Lord is a fortress that will not fail.
Questions for Psalm 28
- What does it seem like David is in need of at this point in his life?
- How can you relate to that today?
- How are “the wicked” described in verses 3-5?
- How can you avoid being like that?
“Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am weak; O Lord, heal me, for my bones are troubled.”
Have you ever heard the phrase, “You can do this,” as a mantra for finding the strength to face the challenge before you? Life often forces us to be stronger than we think we are and to stand up to the opportunity before us. In a passionate plea for the Corinthians to stand against the opposition they were facing, Paul declared,
1 Corinthians 16:13 “Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.”
While there are times when we must be strong, there are also times when we must realize our weakness. There are times when coming to grips with the fact that we are weak, is the very thing that will ensure we find victory. Image having to move a heavy item. We think we are strong enough, and dig deep within to muster all we have, yet the item still remains in its current location, unaffected by our efforts. On the other hand, if we realize our weakness and invite a few friends to help us, we find the object moved without too much work or injury.
As a believer, it is critical that we realize our weakness and learn to look to the Lord for strength. Those who have done so have accomplished feats well beyond themselves. It was not the military strategy of Joshua that brought down Jericho’s walls, nor was it the accuracy of David’s sling that topped the giant. These men, and others like them, were victorious because they realized their own weakness and learned to look to the Lord for strength.
Whatever you are facing today the supply of the Spirit of Christ Jesus is enough for the challenge. Like the psalmist, go to the Lord confessing your weakness and ask Him to provide you with His strength.
- David was a great man in many ways. We know him to be a triumphant soldier, a fair and honest king, and a man of worship. That being said, David knew himself to be weak and in need of Jesus. Notice how he cries out to the Lord as this psalm begins.
- Verse 5 can be confusing. David is not giving a doctrinal message on the afterlife, he is speaking about the reality that if he dies he will cease to write and sing praises in his earthly body.
- Describe David’s condition as the psalm progresses.
- Although struggling, what does David have confidence the Lord will do?
2 Chronicles 16:9
“For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. In this you have done foolishly; therefore from now on you shall have wars.”
There are some truths that are so powerful it seems almost frightening to open them up. That is certainly true of this particular verse. The truth tucked away here is so powerful it has the ability to transform the life of every individual who will apply it, and to bring about real and lasting changes in the world in which we live. It is a truth that might even need a warning label. “If you apply this verse to your life, God will do great things in and through you.”
First, notice the promises; He declares that if we are loyal to Him that He will prove Himself strong on our behalf. The word “loyal” means complete, and speaks of the person who has given himself completely to the Lord. The promise here is not for those who are keeping things back from God, or unwilling to give up certain desires, dreams, ambitions or even personal sins. This promise is for the loyal, the devoted, the surrendered, the one who,like Paul, have crucified themselves to the world and are living devoted to Christ.
It is to the loyal person that God promises He will show His strength. His strength will be shown in our weakness, inability, frailty, and confusion. We will find, when we are overwhelmed by our inadequacy and cannot possibly accomplish what is set before us, that the strength of God will meet our weakness, and we will be empowered by His Spirit to do what we could never do on our own. That is what I meant by needing a warning label on this verse. If this truth is applied, then there is nothing the child of God cannot accomplish for the kingdom of God. Suddenly, our personal weaknesses, our fears, and our inabilities, no longer limit what God may accomplish through us. When we apply this truth to our living, we will be able to step into any area of ministry The Lord calls us and we will find His strength for the task at hand.