Saturday, August 8, 2009

Who is like you, O LORD? (Psalm 35:10a)

There are plenty of so-so verses in the Bible, for instance the vast amount that set context, but some are simply rivetingly powerful, and verse 10a of Psalm 35 says an incredible amount about the God who defends us and brings us to glory.

Psalm 35 is pungently imprecatory. In other words, the psalmist does a peculiar thing in Christian tradition and speaks in vengeance regarding his foes. We Christianise this by allowing the psalmist the latitude of seeking appropriate vengeance through petition to God.

But, we underplay the pure power of this verse by limiting its scope within the field of imprecation--the cursing of the enemy--for this is a declaration of faith in God to deliver.

Historically, it seems that the king (David) was hemmed-in through the war of attrition, even possible legal ramifications of dispute over a treaty. His foes were using advantage and doing so deceptively, baffling his grip on stately power.

Faith such as this, deep in distress, with an entire kingdom at stake is bold at the very least, especially considering the evil that is returned for the good offered.

For David, with friends like this who needs enemies?

The undying faith of a David, whose commitment to God was unbending, was based in the very fact of total courageous obedience (in this circumstance), and it’s a great example for us, of course.

In the midst of distress he has the composure, and earnest faith, to reverence God as more awesome than anyone or anything; the most unique deity, and the only one worthy of his entire devotion. He fixes his eyes on God (Hebrews 12:2).

With such a view he could remain steadfast of heart toward leaning (Proverbs 3:5-6) with full confidence in God’s deliverance. His allegiance was not for sale and he asks unswervingly and is completely stable of mind (James 1:6).

And this is his confidence...

Who is like God? The creator of the heavens and the earth, the spiritual and the material, and of all life, is sovereign over all things. He is creator in past, present and future tenses. If we could not place our full confidence in him, what or who could we place our confidence in?

It bears strong consideration. “O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens... [And] The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands” –Psalms 8:1 & 19:1 (NIV).

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