A ROCK-LIKE GOD
“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.” (7).
Read PSALM 28:1–9
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Note the use of the word hands. The psalmist lifted up his hands in prayer (2). The enemies were using their hands to do evil things (4). But God has his hand in what was going on (5).
We turn from the political world, where evil is rampant, to our personal lives. The forces that inspire the beasts of Revelation have a more subtle activity in the domestic circumstances of the psalmist. He thinks of the wicked, who pretend to be neighborly and friendly, but in their hearts plan mischief against God’s people. There is often a feeling of treachery when those who are polite to you then turn against you and there is a danger that we then become suspicious of everyone—to our own damage.
The psalmist looks to God to deal with the wicked. There is a sense of relief when we can say that the behavior of others is in God’s hands, when we can open up our hurts in prayer so that God can comfort us and give us a new confidence to face the world, but the psalmist at the beginning of his prayer does not experience that relief. God seems distant from him, but he keeps crying out to God. He knows that it is only in God that he will find strength.
God does indeed respond to his prayer. God is a rock who can be relied upon, and, as the psalmist explores this relationship, praise begins to fill his heart. He repeatedly uses the divine personal name that reminds him that this is the God who has made a covenant with his chosen people. It is the name revealed in a new way to Moses as he was prepared to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt (Exod. 3:14). It reminds him that, although he has a joyous individual relationship with God, he is part of a whole people to whom God has made promises that he will be faithful to keep.
What image of God means the most to you and why: God as a fortress (8), or God as a shepherd (9)?
God, at times I need You as a safe fortress. Other times I need You as a guiding shepherd. Thank You for meeting my needs.
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