Beyond the Facts
Lord, today may Your mercy abide with me, Your Spirit direct me, and Your peace fill me.
Read Psalm 60:1-12
 For the director of music. To the tune of “The Lily of the Covenant.” A
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.
“To the one who is victorious and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations…. Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says” (Rev. 2:26,29).
A picture circulated recently in which an elderly couple staggered along and their shadows were thrown onto a wall; the shadows were the silhouette of a young couple dancing. The point was that appearances can be deceptive; what it looks like on the outside may not be what it feels like on the inside! Scripture often makes the same point. Micah, for example, describes Judah seeing nations gathering round Jerusalem to besiege it, although he sees these nations more as sheaves placed around a threshing pole, waiting to be threshed (Mic. 4:11-13)!
This psalm serves the same purpose. The heading which, although not original, may be correct, sees it as a story-poem telling of the fight with the Ammonites after the new King Hanun had insulted David’s peaceful delegation (2 Sam. 10; 1 Chron. 19). A huge army, reinforced by many thousand Aramean mercenaries, was approaching Israel. God had indeed shown them “desperate times” (3), but when, instead of looking out to the enemy ahead, they looked up, they would see God’s own banner. He would fight for them and “with God” they would indeed “gain the victory” (12). David was very aware (10) that God was not always on their side and that victory could not be assured on every occasion, but in this instance Israel was in the right and he was sure of his position. In today’s world the church seems to be assailed on every side, by threats of rampant secularism, increasing antipathy to biblical values and sometimes to any faith, the predictions of pundits that the church will have disappeared within a few decades, and so on. But appearances are deceptive. The church remains God’s scepter (7), whereas these influences are no more than his washbasin (8)!
What makes it seem that you (or the church) face defeat? Ask God’s help to see the reality of his sovereignty.
Mighty God, when the walls seem to close in on me, remind me that You are sovereign. I thank You for the assurance that You will have the last word.