A Young King and a Weak Nation-Psalm Sixty
A YOUNG KING AND A WEAK NATION
---- PSALM SIXTY
"O God, thou hast cast us off, thou hast scattered us, thou hast been displeased; O turn thyself to us again. Thou hast made the earth to tremble; thou hast broken it: heal the breaches thereof; for it shaketh. Thou hast shewed thy people hard things: thou hast made us to drink the wine of astonishment. Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth. Selah. That thy beloved may be delivered; save with thy right hand, and hear me. God hath spoken in his holiness; I will rejoice, I will divide Shechem, and mete out the valley of Succoth. Gilead is mine, and Manasseh is mine; Ephraim also is the strength of mine head; Judah is my lawgiver; Moab is my washpot; over Edom will I cast out my shoe: Philistia, triumph thou because of me. Who will bring me into the strong city? who will lead me into Edom? Wilt not thou, O God, which hadst cast us off? and thou, O God, which didst not go out with our armies? Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man. Through God we shall do valiantly: for he it is that shall tread down our enemies." (Psalm 60:1-12)
When David assumed power as King Saul had left the nation of Israel weak to its enemies and divided within. David was, in fact, anointed King years before he had power over the nation. (1 Samuel 16) The events of the battle described in this Psalm are found in 2 Samuel 8. It took place shortly after David received power as King. This was a time of loss and not victory for the nation of Israel. David passed through many trials before he entered his promised role as King. We too will endure many struggles before we enter God's heavenly kingdom.
We learn from King Saul that one person's disobedience hurts many others. Saul's disobedience caused the nation of Israel to suffer. David observed that God had rejected Israel because of disobedience. As was the case so often with David he prayed to God for help. He saw relief because of the faithfulness of God. He said to God, "Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth. Selah." (Psalms 60:4) Some are under the judgment of God and others are under the banner of God. Those who fear, love and obey God are under His banner. It is God who gives them victory. David recognized that salvation and deliverance come from God. He prayed, "Save with thy right hand, and hear me." (Psalms 60:5) Our concern must also be that we are saved from eternal destruction and that the Lord will take care of us as we deal with earthly trials. David relied upon God's promises because "God has spoken." David knew Israel had been rejected by God because of disobedience and yet understood that God is our only hope. Whatever our trouble may be, let us look to God for help. David prayed to God, "Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man." (Psalms 60:11) David realized that through God we can gain victory.
The sad verses of this great psalm -- Psalm 60:1-3: It has always been true that the nation who forgets God is condemned. "The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God." (Psalms 9:17) The defeat of Israel was so severe that it was compared to a terrible earthquake. Sin had caused the nation of Israel to become unable to function. Leave God out and the consequences are terrible.
The happy verses of this great psalm -- Psalm 60:4-8: Those who walk with God are able to raise His victory banner over them. There is much encouragement and hope as we walk with God. No matter how bad a matter may appear to be it is not too difficult for the Lord. Pray for His help. God had made many promises to Israel and David relied in those things that God had spoken. Neither Moab, Edom nor Philistia can defeat God's promises. God had promised to give Israel the entire land of Canaan. You can count on God to keep His promises.
The prayerful verses of this great psalm -- Psalm 60:9-12: Only God could bring David and the nation of Israel into Edom. David had confidence that God would take them into the strong city of Petra , the capital of Edom, even thou He had previously allowed them to be defeated in battle. David again prayed for God's help. "Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man." (Psalms 60:11) The weakness of man could never be more vividly seen than when He said, "Vain is the help of man." David expressed great confidence that God would give victory. It is a powerful thought that "Through God we shall do valiantly."
Let us be among those who believe that God can both save and delivered us. (Psalm 60:5) To begin your Christian life hear the gospel (Romans 10:17), believe in Jesus (John 8:24), repent of sins (Luke 13:3), confess Jesus as Lord (Romans 10:9-10) and be baptized into Christ. (Romans 6:3-4) After being washed in the blood of Jesus at baptism be among those who do valiantly through God. (Psalm 60:12)
By Charles Box, Walnut Street Church of Christ, 306 Walnut Street, Greenville, Alabama 36037 USA