Psalm 60 – Day 1

With God’s Help.

“With God’s help we will do mighty things, for he will trample down our foes.” – Psalm 60:12 NLT

I can’t imagine what it was like to have been king of the nation of Israel. While I’m sure the job had its perks, it also came with a significant number of headaches. Ruling any nation is difficult, but trying to lead a people group who happened to be the hand-picked possession of God Himself was no easy task. First, you had God for your employer. Forget about Congress, your cabinet, or even your constituents. At the end of the day, every action you took was being carefully critiqued by none other than God. Now that’s pressure. On top of that you had the unenviable task of trying to lead a people who greatly disliked being led. Leading the nation of Israel was like, as the phrase goes, trying to herd cats – nearly impossible. By God’s own opinion, these people were inherently stiff-necked, stubborn, rebellious, and had foreheads of iron. In other words, they were obstinate. And as the king of Israel you were free to make up your own rules as you went along. You were obligated to enforce the laws of God. Of course, some of Israel’s kings ignored that part and suffered the consequences. But for David, obeying God was a high priority and maintaining His laws, decrees and commands was job one.

Then there was the problem of Israel’s enemies, and there were a lot of them. This little land was literally surrounded on all sides by nations intent on their destruction. Philistines, Moabites, Ammonites, Aramaens, Edomites, Jebusites, and just about every other nation that existed at that time – both large and small. They all had it in for Israel and they were a constant threat to Israel’s existence. As king, David had to constantly be prepared to defend the kingdom, but also the reputation of God. And even though David was “a man after God’s own heart,” things didn’t always go his way. He didn’t always win every battle. His exploits didn’t always meet with success. And this Psalm was written with one of those times in mind. David opens up the Psalm describing what was an apparent defeat at the hands of his enemies. They had broken through his defenses. They had driven Israel back in defeat. And because David was so strongly dependent on God, he couldn’t help but wonder if all this was some kind of punishment from His hand. He viewed this latest military setback as coming from God. So he appealed to God for mercy. He begged God to rescue the nation from the hands of their enemies. “Now rescue your beloved people. Answer and save us by your power” (Psalm 60:5 NLT). David was a powerful warrior and a highly successful king, but he knew where his strength came from – God. One of David’s greatest fears was that God might ever reject him and remove His favor from him. He even asks God, “Have you rejected us, O God? Will you no longer march with our armies?” (Psalm 60:11 NLT). David knew the ramifications if that were ever to happen. He knew that their existence was solely based on the favor and power of God, not him. Without God, David was nothing, and he knew it. Without God, the nation of Israel was nothing, and David understood that sobering fact as well. So he calls out to God, “Oh, please help us against our enemies, for all human help is useless” (Psalm 60:11 NLT). David knew what we need to know. Without God’s help, we are helpless and hopeless. We are His people. He is our King. It is He who protects us, provides for us, gives us victory, keeps us safe, and meets all our needs. It is to Him we should turn in both the good times and the bad times. All human help is useless. Placing our hope in anyone or anything other than God will always prove dangerous and highly disappointing. We may win the battle, but we will end up losing the war. But David knew that “with God’s help we will do mighty things, for he will trample down our foes” (Psalm 60:12 NLT). Even this powerful king knew that he was nothing without the help of his all-powerful God.

Father, how ludicrous it is to think that I can somehow save myself. How silly for me to imagine that I can somehow come up with a plan to save myself from all the enemies I face every day. Without You I am nothing. I have no strength without You. I have no wisdom apart from You. I have no future unless You provide it. I have no hope other than You. But with Your help I will do mighty things! Amen

Ken Miller
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men
kenm@christchapelbc.org