David is having a hard time in battle. Things are not going as they should and he realizes again that without God he can do NOTHING.
I was wondering about the battle spoken of in the introduction. My bible helps tells me that the recount of it is in 2 Samuel 8. It is one of the many battles mentioned in that chapter as a list of David’s successes. It also says, “And the Lord gave victory to David wherever he went” (2 Samuel 8:14b). That statement sounds strange when I listen to the lament David has composed for today. Is it possible that the “he” is not David but God, “He”, instead.
Could David instead be speaking of campaigns that seemed to take a LONG time to conclude? The campaign in which David had Uriah killed lasted for some time. Uriah had time to come back from the front, stay the night in Jerusalem, return to the front, and be placed in harm’s way. Joab also told David some time later that the city was ready to fall and if David didn’t want Joab getting all the credit for it he better get there quick. David did come and it was counted in David’s conquests.
In the early wars of Joshua, the storytellers made it sound like battles took a few hours to maybe a day. The battle of Jericho took a week but it was because of the tactic the Lord used. They only fought hand to hand for one day. In Israel’s first battle after leaving Egypt, that one lasted less than a day as the people only prevailed while Moses’ hands were raised. Even with others holding them up there is no way his arms would have been usable if it took days to complete the fighting. In another instance we know that the battle Joshua fought took more than 24 hours because he asked God for more light and He made the sun stand still for a day.
David is telling us that his battles are not going well. He doesn’t see God’s hand in them. He had some major miracle moments in his early years but that doesn’t seem to be the case now. This is most probably after David became king too as he is speaking for the whole nation. He didn’t have national interests when he was on the run from Saul.
I wonder if this is going on during the time he was in sin over Bathsheba or during the time he took the census. Those events angered God and He punished at least David for those sins. Other people paid the price for him too.
God speaks to David’s heart in this psalm though and tells him that He is STILL in control and knows what He is doing. Then He returns victory to Israel under David’s hand. I’m curious to know when the battles started changing back for David and Israel. We know they did because of the listing in 2 Samuel 8 and the verse about God giving David victory wherever he went.
Was God trying to get David’s attention or maybe the peoples’? He certainly accomplished that. And David stated the MOST important fact when it comes to ANY ‘battle’; without God, we fail. “Oh, grant us help against the foe, for vain is the salvation of man! With God we shall do valiantly; it is He who will tread down our foes” (verse 11-12).
This is as true today as it was when David put pen to paper. And it applies to us as fully as it did to him. No matter what ‘foe’ we face, our victory is in Him. My biggest one is myself. Or rather the lies that the enemy feeds me about myself. I need God’s help to sort through the messages and keep what is valuable and wrap tape and wire around Satan’s mouth! If only I had some REALLY STRONG spiritual glue that I could fill his mouth with… Jesus and the Holy Spirit are my ‘glue’ and ‘wire’. It’s just that sometimes I pick at the glue and wire to see if they are holding and I expose spots in my heart that Satan can get around.
Father God, help me FULLY trust in the victories You have given me. Help me stop rehashing them to figure out if there was a better way I could have handled the problem. Keep my fingers from ‘picking at the scabs’ while the wounds heal properly. I KNOW that my victory is only found in You. Remind me of that every time I try to do it on my own. You know the areas where I struggle the most. Please God! Go with me into those battles and give me FINAL victory. And help me hold onto that victory for the rest of my life.