WORSHIP AND WAR
If you can, sing in worship to God. If not, could you listen to some music through headphones, or hum under your breath?
Read Psalm 108
A song. A psalm of David.
1 My heart, O God, is steadfast;
I will sing and make music with all my soul.
2 Awake, harp and lyre!
I will awaken the dawn.
3 I will praise you, Lord, among the nations;
I will sing of you among the peoples.
4 For great is your love, higher than the heavens;
your faithfulness reaches to the skies.
5 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;
let your glory be over all the earth.
6 Save us and help us with your right hand,
that those you love may be delivered.
7 God has spoken from his sanctuary:
“In triumph I will parcel out Shechem
and measure off the Valley of Sukkoth.
8 Gilead is mine, Manasseh is mine;
Ephraim is my helmet,
Judah is my scepter.
9 Moab is my washbasin,
on Edom I toss my sandal;
over Philistia I shout in triumph.”
10 Who will bring me to the fortified city?
Who will lead me to Edom?
11 Is it not you, God, you who have rejected us
and no longer go out with our armies?
12 Give us aid against the enemy,
for human help is worthless.
13 With God we will gain the victory,
and he will trample down our enemies.
- Psalm 108:1 In Hebrew texts 108:1-13 is numbered 108:2-14.
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.
ReflectHave you ever felt it hard to worship God?
Ancient Israel was small and surrounded by powerful enemies. Some are listed in this psalm: Edom, Philistia, Moab, and more. War was a constant part of life – spring meant time to head out to the battlefield (2 Samuel 11:1). The borders of the Promised Land were constantly redrawn.
War is violent and ugly. Each side believes it deserves to win, though often there are only losers. We might find the very idea of God going out with an army (11) uncomfortable. If the juxtaposition of worship and warfare here feels a bit awkward to you, it might help to consider two things.
First, before the kingdom of God has fully come on earth, conflict is inescapable. While there is rarely a simple divide of good and evil in war, often there is a moral high ground somewhere. Few would argue that defeating the Nazis in the Second World War was not a worthy reason to fight.
Secondly, in any literal or metaphorical battle, we are more likely to discern the side God is on if we are worshippers, focused on God’s character and committed to exalting His glory.
Use the first five verses of Psalm 108 as a basis for your worship today. Make a commitment before God to praise and lift Him up in public, every opportunity you get.
Father, You see the struggles in my life. Please give me the victory in my mind and heart as I choose to worship You.