“Deliver me from my enemies, O my God;
protect me from those who rise up against me;
deliver me from those who work evil,
and save me from bloodthirsty men.
For behold, they lie in wait for my life;
fierce men stir up strife against me.
For no transgression or sin of mine, O Lord,
for no fault of mine, they run and make ready.
Awake, come to meet me, and see!
You, Lord God of hosts, are God…
But you, O Lord, laugh at them;
you hold all the nations in derision.
O my Strength, I will watch for you,
for you, O God, are my fortress.
My God in his steadfast love will meet me;
God will let me look in triumph on my enemies…
O Lord, our shield!
For the sin of their mouths, the words of their lips,
let them be trapped in their pride.
For the cursing and lies that they utter,
consume them in wrath;
consume them till they are no more,
that they may know that God rules…
to the ends of the earth.
Each evening they come back,
howling like dogs
and prowling about the city.
They wander about for food
and growl if they do not get their fill.
But I will sing of your strength;
I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning.
For you have been to me a fortress
and a refuge in the day of my distress.
O my Strength, I will sing praises to you,
for you, O God, are my fortress,
the God who shows me steadfast love.”* Psalm 59:1-5a,8-17
*A miktam of David, when Saul sent men to watch his house in order to kill him.
In a jealous rage, King Saul ordered that his son-in-law be killed, and the noble, heroic David responded by pouring out his anguish to the Lord. God was his confidante, defender, and friend. God alone was his strength, shield, and fortress. When enemies plotted and preyed in hatred, God upheld in steadfast love. David’s cry was earnest, it was heard, it brought solace. And it can be ours. (1 Samuel 19:1,4-5,9-11)
We may not be confronted by physical armies, but in this life we face many foes. People who would trip up our path of faithfulness, sobriety, righteousness. Pests of anxiety, rights to be bitter, hearts cold to love and forgive. Varmints of crude talk, enticing gossip, sultry affections. Hoards of fear, doubt, shame. These lie in wait for weak moments and seasons of fatigue and frenzy. They rise up to attack when we think we are stable. They are persistent to steal, kill, and destroy. (John 10:10; 1 Peter 5:8)
Yet, we have a faithful God who meets us. He meets us, face to face, fully invested. He hears, He comes. He guards, He strengthens. And He is worthy of trust and praise.
What is my default when encountering strife? Where do I go when under siege from failure, worry, or pain? Do I strike out or call out? Retaliate or rest? Watch in panic, or watch for God in soul peace? How will I redirect angst and moaning to begin voicing my miktam in confidence to my loving Lord? Where will I trust Him to meet me today?
Lord, keep me dependent on You as my strength and fortress against every foe, that I might ever sing You the praises You deserve.