blog meditation Psalms

Meditation Psalm 144

Of David.

Praise be to the Lord my Rock,
    who trains my hands for war,
    my fingers for battle.
He is my loving God and my fortress,
    my stronghold and my deliverer,
my shield, in whom I take refuge,
    who subdues peoples under me.

Lord, what are human beings that you care for them,
    mere mortals that you think of them?
They are like a breath;
    their days are like a fleeting shadow.

Part your heavens, Lord, and come down;
    touch the mountains, so that they smoke.
Send forth lightning and scatter the enemy;
    shoot your arrows and rout them.
Reach down your hand from on high;
    deliver me and rescue me
from the mighty waters,
    from the hands of foreigners
whose mouths are full of lies,
    whose right hands are deceitful.

I will sing a new song to you, my God;
    on the ten-stringed lyre I will make music to you,
to the One who gives victory to kings,
    who delivers his servant David.

From the deadly sword deliver me;
    rescue me from the hands of foreigners
whose mouths are full of lies,
    whose right hands are deceitful.

Then our sons in their youth
    will be like well-nurtured plants,
and our daughters will be like pillars
    carved to adorn a palace.
Our barns will be filled
    with every kind of provision.
Our sheep will increase by thousands,
    by tens of thousands in our fields;
    our oxen will draw heavy loads.
There will be no breaching of walls,
    no going into captivity,
    no cry of distress in our streets.
Blessed is the people of whom this is true;
    blessed is the people whose God is the Lord.

(Ps. 144:1-15 NIV)

The Psalmist is conscious in this Psalm of his own need for help and of the help that the people need. The Psalmist praises the covenant LORD and describes the LORD as ‘my Rock’, ‘my fortress’, ‘my stronghold’ ‘my deliverer’ and ‘my shield’. This is confidence and this is personal to the Psalmist. He is not standing at a distance and using metaphors that he has heard others use of the Lord. In his lifetime he has discovered this for himself. The Lord has been all these things to him. The metaphors are there in Scripture for our use. It helps our confidence in the Lord if we can see the Lord this way. The Lord is ‘my Rock’, He has given us solid ground on which to stand. We may fall but we will fall on my Rock. The Lord puts us through the academy of life, training us for battle. We learn in the NT of the armour we must put on to prepare ourselves for the spiritual battles that lie ahead. This training is not just a forensic, detached training. The One who trains us and prepares us is our loving God. Each piece of armour that we put on is prepared by the hands of a loving God, who trains and prepares us for success. It is good to know that the Lord is our refuge. A Lord we can go to and find rest for our heart and mind and be at peace.

We are involved in the battle for the Kingdom of God, our weapons are spiritual, the message of the Gospel. Many people have been subdued by the Gospel. We have the spiritual armours and weapons to go into battles for the Lord.

As the Psalmist thinks of the greatness of God he reflects on the nature of human beings. What are we that God should care for us, what are mere mortals that God should give us a thought? Yet God has invested substantially in caring and thinking about us. He has sent His only Son into this world to die for His people. What are we, we are unstable, finite and unreliable and totally unworthy of the love of God. Our appearance on this earth is short lived, like a momentary breath or a shadow that briefly appears. Despite what we are, the Lord in grace has entered into covenant with us and promises to bless us.

The Psalmist asks the Lord to appear in a manifestation of power. He pictures the Lord pulling apart the heavens and making a highway in the skies to descend upon the mountains. Such is the holiness of the Lord that the mountains will smoke, and going forth from the Lord’s presence will be lightning and arrows scattering the enemy. He changes the metaphor from the Lord descending to the Lord reaching down His hand from on high to bring about deliverance and rescue for the Psalmist. The onslaught on the enemy is like the crashing in of mighty waters upon his life, a deluge of emotion and trial. That the battle is not merely physical is clear from the description of the activity of foreigner – they are full of lies and deceit.

In v9 we see the confidence of the Psalmist coming from his time spent in the presence of the Lord. The Psalmist vows to sing a new song, the song of salvation to the Lord. We sing to the Lord because the Lord is the One who gives victory. The greatest victory that the Lord has given to us is victory over sin and death.

When the Lord delivers there will then be an inheritance for the people of God. Sons and daughters will be nurtured and they will prosper. We are grateful to the Lord for our children who have trusted the Lord, and we continue to pray for those who have yet to profess faith in Christ.

The Lord also provides daily bread. The Psalmist has a different way of describing this in his agrarian society. They will have daily food and the walls of their cities will not be breached; they will not be carried away into captivity and there will be no voice of distress heard in the streets because of an enemy attack.

As this reality is worked out in their lives they will be blessed, because blessed are the people whose God is the Lord.

Lord what are we that You should love us or take steps to redeem us. We are greatly blessed because the Lord is our God. Lord help us to put on the whole armour of God each day and to seek to walk only in the strength of the Lord for Christ the Saviour’s sake. Amen.