“I will love You, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; so shall I be saved from my enemies. . . In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried out to my God; He heard my voice from His temple, and my cry came before Him, even to His ears.” Psalms 18:1-3 and 6 (NKJV)
What kind of battle are you facing today?
Each and every day, we all face a battle of some kind or another in our personal lives! The reality is that battles are a fact of life. It is through those battles that we build our character, find our strength, learn who has our back, and step out in courage to fight another day. What kind of battle are you engaged in today?
There are so many different battles in life. Every day we engage in one type or another. Sometimes we can choose these battles and other times we are thrown into the depths of battle without even realizing it.
The Psalmist David was ever so familiar with battles. Even before he was a King, David faced battles. As a shepherd he battled for his sheep’s safety against lions and bears that sought to devour. As a young man, he stood up against a 9 foot giant, named Goliath, and did battle with just a sling and five smooth stones, and the Lord was on his side to help him fight that giant, only to knock him dead with one powerful blow. David battled the threats and attempts of King Saul who desired to kill him. He ran for his very life as opposed to engaging in face to face conflict with him. As a king, he would lead his men into battle over other kings and nations. David knew all about battles. He suffered the consequences of some. And he rejoiced in the victory of many.
Psalms 18 is a record of David’s response when God provided deliverance from his enemies after a time of battle with them. Written to the Chief Musician; this is the “Psalm of David, the servant of the Lord, who spoke to the Lord the words of this song on the day that the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul.”
In the midst of his battles, David had learned this: He needed God! He needed God to be with him in battle, to strength him, to protect him, to give wisdom, to bring victory. Hmmm, don’t we need that in our battles as well? I know, I sure do. And thus, God can be that for us as well.
David starts out this Psalm by giving praise to God. David gives tribute to the Lord who was his strength, his rock, his fortress, his deliverer, his shield, his horn, and his stronghold. For all of these things, David said that his God is “worthy to be praised.” David received help from his God, in the midst of battle, from the Lord his God. And, David was grateful.
So, how did David get that help? Simple. He called upon the Lord! Look again at verse 6, “In my distress, I called upon the Lord, and cried out to my God.” My reader, whenever we are in the midst of our own battles, no matter what kind of battle it is, no matter where that battle is taking place, we too can call out to the Lord our God. We can cry out for strength in the midst of our battles! We can know that God is on our side.
Was God on David’s side? Absolutely. Just look at what David says of God’s response to him. “He heard my voice from His temple, and my cry came before Him, even to His ears.” God hears when we cry out to Him. He knows about our battles. He sees them. He allows them to take place in our lives. But, in the midst of our battles, He is there for us. He stands ready to help. He is listening for our cry. He hears and He will answer. His strength will become our strength. He will help fight the battle with us. He will bring about victory, in His time and in His way. That’s the Lord our God!
But…! As I read on in this Psalm of David, I learned something else that really blessed my heart. David shares some of the things that God did for him, in the midst of the battle. And I love the way David said it. The words he used. The help and encouragement that David received from the hand of the Lord his God was breathtakingly beautiful. Just listen to David’s words. You can almost hear his voice as he describes the Lord’s help in the midst of the battle.
I don’t know about you, but when I read through that list – my heart does flip-flops! There is no doubt whatsoever, that God was present with David in the midst of his battle. And no doubt, whenever David cried out to God, He was there for David. God provided David all that he needed to be successful in battle.
It’s no wonder that David wrote a psalm of praise to the God of the battles. This is David’s praise: “The Lord lives! Blessed be my Rock! Let the God of my salvation be exalted… Therefore I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the Gentiles, and sing praises to Your name.” (verses 46 and 49)
For myself, I realize, once again, that when I am in the midst of battle, of any kind, that I too can call out to God. And He will come to me, and give me aid in that battle. My strength and help will come from Him. The wisdom I need to make good decisions in the battle, will be His wisdom. He will be my rock, my fortress and my deliverer. And for that, I, too, can give praise to my God.
Let’s go back to my first question. What kind of battle are you facing today? Have you cried out yet to the Only One who has your back? He’s listening for that battle cry!