Facing Impossible Odds

(Today’s post by Wayne Bunting)

Psalm 144

sumoMany believe that Psalm 144 is the prayer that David prayed before he fought Goliath in 1 Samuel 17 (Or at least a Psalm about this confrontation). In Psalm 144 the theme of “blessing” is seen used in a few different ways. First, in verses 1-11, David is shown to be blessing God, meaning that he is praising God. In 12-15 it is shown that the Lord will bless His people, meaning good favor.

Verses 1-2 says “Blessed be the Lord, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle;  he is my steadfast love and my  fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield and he in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples under me.”

And then in a few verses later he says “Bow your heavens, O Lord, and come down! Touch the mountains so that they smoke! Flash forth the lightning and scatter them; send out your arrows and rout them!”

David is a man (or in this case a boy) whose heart wants to fight for the Lord. In the Old Testament the reality of war was played out in that the nation of Israel many times fought against the pagan nations that surrounded her. In the instance of Goliath, David’s heart was greatly troubled by the blasphemous and mocking words that this giant was spewing against God. While the other soldiers were afraid of him, David boldly took on Goliath, wanting to vindicate God’s name and renown. He wanted the people to see that the Lord was the Lord.

This Psalm reflects David’s heart in this matter. In verses 5-6 David’s request of the Lord is to “Bow your heavens, O Lord, and come down! Touch the mountains so that they smoke! Flash forth the lightning and scatter them.” The imagery of smoke and lightning on a mountain is a reference to Exodus where God came down on Mount Sinai before He gave Moses the law. It is significant in that the smoke and lightning that appeared on the mountain appeared because there was a Holy God meeting with an unholy people. Whenever there is sin in the presence of God there is wrath, which is represented in Exodus by smoke and lightning. This imagery was important because it was during this time that the law was given to Moses. The law was the solution to how a sinful people could commune with a Holy God.

The other side of this Psalm illustrates the life of the one who follows God. In verses 12-15 David asks for blessing from God so that his life and all that is in it will be full. He asks for deliverance from his enemies and then asks that they Lord would bless him.

So what does this have to do with David standing up to Goliath? David wanted God to give him the ability to defend His name to an ungodly people. The imagery of wrathful smoke and lightning is employed to show that David wanted God to “scatter them…and rout them!” David was willing to go all out and face impossible odds because of his zeal and love for God knowing that the Lord would show up.

We should be this bold in our walk with the Lord.

  • What would it look like if the church really started believing in God and boldly asking Him to show up in this world?
  • What would it be like if we as the church had the zeal that David had to stand up against those who opposed God and believed that the Lord would fight on our side?
  • What would it be like if we had the boldness and faith to see healing and miracles happen in this world?

In the early church Christians would stand when they prayed and sung to God as a symbol of boldness. They were showing that through Jesus they could boldly come into the presence of God and commune with Him, as where before Jesus this did not exist. One thing I do know for certain is that if we would step up like David did then the world would see much more of the light of Christ, and our purpose in Christ would be realized. Because if we step out in faith in Christ, and boldly bring Christ to the world, then God will be on our side.

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  • R Lee Lester Jr

    I like this post. I just bought a sweatshirt from a Christian ministry up here in the mountains. On the front it says “WARRIOR” and on the back it has Psalm 144:1 in large block print. I believe that the church has a very short time to get their act together. The time of Isaiah 55:6 will be here by the end of 2015 if things stay on track. Seek the Lord while He may be found. Now is the time to prepare however God is telling you to do that. Because, as the Psalmist also said, surely in a torrent of rushing waters you will not hear Him.

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