almost done except for the drama...
Sometimes I think we'd like to dissect the Psalms and just take out the good parts. But we forget that so much of this collection of the songs of David are from war. Yes, He praises God. Yes, His words are prophetic of Christ, who by the way had a few enemies in this life, those who were out to kill Him and did. Do we think we can skip this part? Afterall, we have soldiers and the police to protect us from evil. But it sneaks in sometimes, doesn't it. Even we need God to help us fight the enemy, even the enemy of our soul. But first we must admit, yes, there is evil in this ol' world. In the end, evil will meet its match in our Great God Almighty!
The closest I've been to going to battle was having to cross the picket line in a teacher's strike in the inner city of Kansas City. I didn't have the job protection as a teacher's aid that the teachers did. If I didn't show up, I was told I would be fired. I was called terrible names with every bad word in their mouth with hateful faces as I passed by my fellow teachers. Another time while leaving the school we were threatened by youth in the bad neighborhood and the teacher I was with was being kicked in order to knock her down as I held her up. I was in the middle of a little gang fight in Sacramento during a church youth gathering of Samoans and neighboring youth trying to spare the one beaten down and being kicked from further violence. But sometimes those hateful faces have been in church. I know this doesn't compare to the pure evil our soldiers confront in fighting say, ISIS, but it isn't just those who infiltrate. In our hearts we must come to terms with the words of Jesus, You are either for Me or against Me. Whether it is a foreigner attacking from within our borders or a wolf in sheep's clothing in our church, or the enemy who is out to steal, kill, and destroy our soul, we must rely on the coming victory of our King.
"Your hand will find out all your enemies;
Your right hand will find out
those who hate you.
Your right hand will find out
those who hate you.
You will make them as a fiery oven
in the time of your anger;
The Lord will swallow them up in His wrath,
And fire will devour them.
Their offspring Thou wilt destroy from the earth,
And their descendants from among the sons of men.
Though they intended evil against Thee,
And devised a plot,
They will not succeed.
For Thou wilt make them turn their back;
Thou wilt aim with Thy bowstrings at their faces.
Be Thou exalted, O Lord, in Thy strength;
We will sing and praise Thy power.
The Chaldees, verse 8 means "The vengeance of Thy right hand."
"Not only the discovering of the hiding-places of the haters of God,
but to touching them in their tenderest parts, so as to cause them the severest suffering.
When He appears to judge the world hard hearts will be subdued to terror,
and prodigal spirits humbled into shame."
"To wit that no enemy of God can escape Him. Job 34:22,
'There is no darkness or shadow of death, where the workers
of iniquity may hide themselves.'
'And the kings of earth and the great men
and the commanders and the rich and the strong
and every slave and free man,
hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains;
and they said to the mountains and to the rocks,
'Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne,
and from the wrath of the Lamb;
for the great day of their wrath has come;
and who is able to stand?'
"In the time of Thine anger."
(Elliott) This literally is 'Thy face,' by the very appearance, the dread, majesty of God's face."*
"The fire of sin will be followed by the fire of wrath."
"Never tolerate light thoughts of hell,
or you will soon have low thoughts of sin."
Now is the time of grace.
Then the "time of Thine anger
will be the time of His wrath."
I've told the story before about my grown daughter catching a little snake to show the kids. When she brought the little plastic container with a lid, I peeked in and saw the tiny snake that was evil incarnate. It was a baby rattler trying to strike. Evidently it had been scooped up and delivered with the gravel our neighbors had purchesed. Fortunately, no one was bitten and our neighbor man, the only one available willing to destroy the dangerous thing, took care of it for us.
I don't think I'll ever forget the anger coiled up in such a small serpent in an old butter container. Did you know that a baby rattler has more venom than a full grown snake? Hmm.
""Their parents were vipers, and they were serpents, the generation of them, and were the children of the devil and his works." (Matthew Poole)
"Though they intended evil against Thee, and devised a plot..."
"intended evil against Thee, ' stretched out evil, laying snares, nets. It was more than intention, but mischievous devices, machination."
"All evil, whether its thought, word, or deed...is ultimately against the Lord...
"Thou wilt aim with Thy bowstrings at their faces."
"The best laid plans are powerless, if God wills to baffle them."
"The judgments of God are called his arrows, being sharp, swift, sure, and deadly,
to be set as a mark and butt, at which these arrows are directed!
What did the old paddle on the principal's wall say about the hand of knowledge applied to the seat of discipline? When the enemy is on the run, their rump is a perfect target.
"Truth meets error boldly, face to face and is not afraid of a fair fight."
Back to "Thy face, the very appearance, the dread, the majesty of God's face..."
If meeting God's face was anything like meeting my mother's face when I knew I had been bad and deserved her "wrath," I can't think of anything sharper than those arrows to my heart.
She was the most perfect being under God's great heavens and I was in trouble with a capital "T":
It was the loving countenance that was in deep disappointment at my wrong doing. I think if she had shown scorn, or anger, I could have taken it better. It makes me think that when one comes face to face with God's face, the God of love will still be fixed with arrows of discipline, unmoving, consequences for our choices. I think nothing can cause more terror than when perfect love meets the wrath of God in the face of God.
"Be Thou exalted..."
"The ultimate and chief desire, that God might be exalted over all His foes."
"We will sing and praise Thy power."
Our Beloved will come back victorious!
We get to end on a happy note. Yeah! God wins. Did you sing yet today or are you still in the middle of the battle? Lean on His strength. David went out to battle, but came back to praise.