CREDIT WHERE IT’S DUE
God of hope and help, show me more of your ways today, as I read and meditate on your Word.
Read PSALM 21
For the director of music. A psalm of David.
1 The king rejoices in your strength, Lord.
How great is his joy in the victories you give!
2 You have granted him his heart’s desire
and have not withheld the request of his lips.[b]
3 You came to greet him with rich blessings
and placed a crown of pure gold on his head.
4 He asked you for life, and you gave it to him—
length of days, for ever and ever.
5 Through the victories you gave, his glory is great;
you have bestowed on him splendor and majesty.
6 Surely you have granted him unending blessings
and made him glad with the joy of your presence.
7 For the king trusts in the Lord;
through the unfailing love of the Most High
he will not be shaken.
8 Your hand will lay hold on all your enemies;
your right hand will seize your foes.
9 When you appear for battle,
you will burn them up as in a blazing furnace.
The Lord will swallow them up in his wrath,
and his fire will consume them.
10 You will destroy their descendants from the earth,
their posterity from mankind.
11 Though they plot evil against you
and devise wicked schemes, they cannot succeed.
12 You will make them turn their backs
when you aim at them with drawn bow.
13 Be exalted in your strength, Lord;
we will sing and praise your might.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectIn what ways does God show his strength to you? In nature? In history? In your life’s journey?
A thousand years before King David, another king of ancient times, Shulgi of Ur, reigned for about 48 years around 2100 BC. Like David, he was renowned. Like David, he was a songwriter – among the records of his life is a long hymn of praise that he wrote to himself: ‘That I be eulogized in all the land.’ Later on in his reign, unlike David, he declared himself to be divine.
By contrast, Psalm 21 is the song of a very different kind of victorious king, one who gives all the credit to God. Read the psalm again slowly, taking time to notice all the ways in which David does this. As he addresses the Lord, he speaks of ‘your strength’ (v 1), ‘the victories you gave’ (v 5), ‘your hand’ laying hold of the enemy (v 8). He is clear-sighted and secure enough to let all the credit go where it belongs.
We live in times when self-reliance, self-promotion and self-esteem are paramount. But it is God who gives us our very breath. We are God-reliant. Our purpose is Christ-promotion. And our worth is whispered into our hearts by the Holy Spirit.
When things are going well in your life, who gets the glory?
Consider what accomplishments or achievements you have had in your life. In what ways have you (or could you have) turned those into opportunities to publicly glorify God?
Lord Jesus, you ran the course of your life with joy. May your example energize me to run joyfully the course of my life, with faithfulness to the Father’s will.
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