Psalms 149-150

Warriors, Not Just Worshipers.

“Let the praises of God be in their mouths, and a sharp sword in their hands.” ­– Psalm 159:6 NLT

What an interesting phrase. “Let the praises of God be in their mouths, and a sharp sword in their hands — to execute vengeance on the nations and punishment on the peoples, to bind their kings with shackles and their leaders with iron chains, to execute the judgment written against them” (Psalm 149:6-9 NLT). These last five psalms of the entire psalter are hymns of praise to God, encouraging us to praise Him for His power, provision, mercy and grace. But right in the middle of Psalm 149 the psalmist mixes in a little weaponry and war-like language with his call to worship. He tells the people of God to praise God with their lips, but to have a sword ready in their hand at the same time. I think we sometimes forget that our God has called us to be a part of His glorious army. We are at war. We are engaged in an epic battle between the dark forces of this world that have aligned themselves against the rule and reign of God Almighty. Jesus told us that the enemy (Satan) seeks to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10). Paul reminds us that we have weapons we are to use in this battle – the weapons of our warfare. “We use God’s mighty weapons, not mere worldly weapons, to knock down the Devil’s strongholds” (2 Corinthians 7:4 NLT). Paul also tells us to equip ourselves with the armor of God. “Use every piece of God’s armor to resist the enemy in the time of evil, so that after the battle you will still be standing firm” (Ephesians 6:13 NLT). This is not Disneyland. This is a battle field and there are casualties of war all around us. Every day we see marriages destroyed, relationships blown apart, children rebel, individuals succumb to addictions of all kinds, and fellow believers fall prey to the attacks of the enemy because they were ill-prepared for battle.

This psalm is a vivid reminder that we have been called to praise God, but to also be ready to fight for God. As Paul tells us, our enemies are spiritual, not physical. Our weapons are not made of steel and chrome. They are the Word of God and the power of faith in God. Paul tells us, “Be strong with the Lord’s mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies and tricks of the Devil. For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against those mighty powers of darkness who rule this world, and against wicked spirits in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 6:10-12 NLT). We have the promises of God’s Word, the power of believing prayer, the presence of the Holy Spirit, the protection of our faith in God’s love for us, and the peace-providing reality of our ultimate salvation and victory over the enemy. So praise God and be ready to defend the cause of God. One day His Son is going to return. This time He is not coming as an innocent, helpless baby in a manger. He is coming as the King of kings and Lord of lords. He is coming in might and power and He is bringing the army of heaven with Him. And He will put an end to this war once and for all. He will destroy the kingdom of Satan and restore the earth back to its former glory. We fight for the side that is going to win in the end! And that’s something worth shouting about.

“Then I saw heaven opened, and a white horse was standing there. And the one sitting on the horse was named Faithful and True. For he judges fairly and then goes to war. His eyes were bright like flames of fire, and on his head were many crowns. A name was written on him, and only he knew what it meant. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and his title was the Word of God. The armies of heaven, dressed in pure white linen, followed him on white horses. From his mouth came a sharp sword, and with it he struck down the nations. He ruled them with an iron rod, and he trod the winepress of the fierce wrath of almighty God. On his robe and thigh was written this title: King of kings and Lord of lords.” – Revelation 19:11-16 NLT

Father, we praise You, but we also want to be ready to fight alongside You in this earthly struggle between the kingdom of righteousness and the kingdom of wickedness. Never let us forget that we are at war. While we sing songs and worship You on Sunday, there are countless people dying at the hands of the enemy all around us. As we read our Bibles and study Your truths, there are people who are being destroyed by the enemy and his lies, and we have the means to rescue them. Show us how to be warriors, not just worshipers. Amen

Ken Miller
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men