Briefing: Have you ever had one of those days where nothing goes right? Not just one thing goes wrong, it is one thing after another. Think about this on a grander scale. Imagine you were the general of a great army. A bad day like this has much greater consequences; lives are at stake.
Dispatch (Assignment): Read Psalm 60.
On the Street: When I find myself in the midst of a really bad day, I have learned to stop and check myself. Not just physically or mentally but spiritually. It could be physically, too sore from a workout or unusually strenuous activity that the muscles were not used to. It could be mentally, your mind is elsewhere and you cannot seem to focus on the task at hand. Most of the time I find that my problem is not physical or mental but a spiritual issue.
If I find myself in a bad place spiritually I have to start looking inward for unrepentant sin, ongoing sin, pride, neglecting my prayer life, or just generally living in a way contrary to what God expects of me. It is like a child who starts wondering off and has to be reminded to stay close. If I start wondering off from God, I can find myself in some dark places. This is when things start falling apart for me.
God is our Heavenly Father and He cares deeply for us. When we start acting out, He will discipline us like a good father should. “Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the Lord your God disciplines you.” Deuteronomy 8:5. If I start having one of those days and I cannot blame it on my physical or mental faculties, I have to assume I am under the discipline of my Heavenly Father. No one likes being disciplined in the moment but when it is over, there is comfort in knowing He is watching over you and concerned for your safety and well being. “Blessed is the one whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.” Job 5:17.
David starts Psalm 60 off with this statement to God, “You have rejected us, O God, and burst forth upon us; you have been angry; now restore us!” A father may get upset and discipline his children but it does not mean he stops loving them or would not rescue them from trouble. David understands this relationship. He sees and recognizes this trouble is from God and not from the enemy. In verse one David asks God to restore them, in verse 2 he asks God to “mend” what was torn. Isaiah 12:1-2, “I will praise you, O LORD. Although you were angry with me, your anger has turned away and you have comforted me. Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD, is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation.”
David continues in verses 4 and 5, “But for those who fear you, you have raised a banner to be unfurled against the bow. Save us and help us with your right hand, that those you love may be delivered.” The banner was a military symbol and lets us know that David expects God to turn from His anger and fight on behalf of Israel.
Unlike most of the other psalms, this is not a personal plea from David. He is praying on behalf of the Israelites. The Israelites and Jews were God’s chosen people. All of them are God’s children. David was the person God chose to lead His people. It is only right that David appeals directly to Israel’s Father on their behalf.
In the opening instructions of the psalm it says “For teaching”. Since this discipline is on all of Israel, they need to learn this psalm and repent as a nation. David wants all of Israel to know their hope should be in God alone, not him as King or General. Their help comes from God. Verses 11 and 12 say, “Give us aid against the enemy, for the help of man is worthless. With God we will gain the victory, and He will trample down our enemies.”
It was not just David’s responsibility to pray for the country’s deliverance, it was up to all Israelites to pray and get lined up with God’s will. Then they would have victory again.
Investigational Resources: 2 Samuel 8 and 1 Chronicles 18, Psalm 60:1-2, 4-5, 11-12, and Isaiah 12:1-2.
Officer Safety Principle: So, the question I pose to you and me is; what’s wrong? Are you in the midst of a bad season where things are not going the way you would like? Have you looked at your relationship with God to make sure you are close to Him and aligned with His will for your life? If you are not, you may have just found your answer.
from Psalms Through the Eyes of a Cop, Volume 1
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
Click here to check out the entire Through the Eyes of a Cop series!