O LORD, how many are my foes!
Many are rising up against me;
Many are saying of my soul,
“There is no salvation for him in God.”
But you, O LORD, are a shield about me,
My glory, and the lifter of my head.
I cried aloud to the LORD,
And he answered me from his holy hill.
I lay down and slept;
I woke again, for the LORD sustained me.
I will not be afraid of many thousands of people
who have set themselves against me all around.
Arise, O LORD! Save me, O my God!
For you strike all my enemies on the cheek;
You break the teeth of the wicked.
Salvation belongs to the LORD;
Your blessing be on your people!
Observation: The very first prayer in the psalter is, “Help!”
“Help!” seems to be the primary and base prayer for most all of us.
Interpretation: Trouble, pain, and hardship get our attention like little else; it shows our weakness and vulnerability, our need for something, for someone stronger – stronger than cancer, stronger than relational struggle, stronger than sadness and confusion, disappointment and anger and hurt, stronger than my selfishness and any spiritual opposition – all of which try to whisper to my soul, “There is no salvation in God.”
And then, into this, come two really important words, “But God…”
In these two words God shows himself to be completely other, different, true; personally, intimately, powerfully and tenderly involved, and attentive! In “But God…” I can rest – assured, confident and secure because “Salvation belongs to the LORD” and he chooses to share it with me/us!
Application: Can I name the people and places in my life for which I cry “Help?”
Are there whispering voices that I need to acknowledge and silence?
Can I live less out of fear and weakness and doubt and more out of “But God..”?
(Suggested reading for the week: Ps. 1 – Shows a personally and intimately involved God. Ps. 2 – reveals a cosmic and powerfully ruling God. Ps. 4 – an evening prayer. Ps. 5 – a morning prayer.)