Look Up to Heaven and Call Upon His Name

Psalm for the week: Lord Have Mercy as David Prays for Survival

Psalms Chapter 5: A Deep and Intimate Prayer for Survival

Today, we will look at Psalms Chapter 5, where David makes a deep and intimate prayer to God for survival. When I read the Chapter again this morning, to prepare for the blog, all I could say was, “Lord have mercy!” The enemy is in deep trouble if this is a blueprint of prayers we make to God when we are in trouble. “Satan, you are in hot soup! Literally! Wait, it’s coming for you. The Lake of Fire will burn you up! And I can see why.”

November is proving to be an interesting month in the spiritual sense. Cathy, my wife, has just introduced a new model that helps one to read Psalms within 30 days. It’s a simple yet an effective method, that I keep on wondering why I was not able to use it all along. But as they say, knowledge is power. And having covered most of Psalms already, today’s Psalm has gained a new meaning.

I invite you to read the whole chapter yourself. It only has 12 verses, therefore, it will not take any of your time to enjoy it. You will see that every verse is a masterpiece. The whole chapter covers a Christian life when faced with daily challenges.

But here’s a little background first.

David is a Mighty Warrior

As we have previously covered, David is a mighty warrior king. He knows that in order to gain peace, you must fight. Fight and fight, until the enemy has been vanquished. Well, for me, war is foreign, for I come from a tiny peaceful country that has never been at war. The mere fought of war sends pangs of trepidation up my spine. Nowadays, when we talk of war, it is in the context of beating deadlines, going for new business, protecting existing business deals and so on.

Not in the case of David. War meant physical contact from faces bent on killing you. War meant engaging an enemy that wanted to obliterate your presence. Usually, war meant either the enemy survives or you do, but not both. The outcome required only one preferred state – that is, a victory over the enemy.

It is, therefore, not surprising that David turns to God for survival with such a passionate plea for God’s intervention. The enemy, must and should be vapourised by the mighty Hand of the Lord, and God’s children, must and will be completely shielded away from the vicious attacks of the enemy.

A Call for Celestial Help
A Call for Celestial Help

The wicked enemy is foolish

And for purposes of involving God in the plan to defeat the enemy, David gives distinct features that describe the enemy well. The wicked enemy is evil. The enemy has no faithfulness in his mouth. The enemy lies, though he comes in a sweet manner. Do not trust him. Rather, destroy the enemy.

Surprisingly, the enemy is also foolish. This shows that despite the enemy being fierce, he has a major weakness he cannot overcome – he’s not wise. On being fierce, well, how else would David want to involve God if it is not to deal with a powerful contender? The enemy has rebelled against God, and against the children of God.

Now, that we have put a tag on the enemy let’s bring it to the present day.

Lord Jesus, the Warrior King

We know David spoke under inspiration. This has been repeatedly pointed out in the New Testament. When he spoke about his kingdom, he was in actual fact prophesying about the ministry that Christ would have many years later. And I can’t help but think what this Psalms meant for Jesus.

Our humble Shepherd King is the best mighty warrior ever to walk on earth. Though He came as a Lamb to be sacrificed on the Cross, there are many verses that speak of Him as the Ultimate Conqueror! To begin with, he single-handedly dealt with the great weapon that the enemy had – death. He also smashed to pieces the wicked vices that sin brought to humanity. He thoroughly purged our sins, and declared the devil impotent. “Oh devil, you have it coming!”

Pray to Jesus for Survival

Therefore, Psalms Chapter 5 is our ultimate call on Jesus for survival. I hope you don’t use it to deal with your unpleasant neighbour or difficult boss. Please, don’t use it for that elusive debtor who doesn’t want to pay back what he owes you. I’d rather use it like David, who focussed on the big issues of his kingdom, and invoked divine intervention from above.

Since this prayer is more powerful than the biggest hydrogen bomb in the world, do direct it to the spiritual enemy who is behind all the strife and wars we face in life. The prayer should go to the one who makes us sick. This spiritual weapon must go to the devil who spares no one from sinning before God.  This powerful prayer is a well deserved response from the children of God when in distress.

I only hope we will not use it on a fellow human, as David was forced when wars in his days meant physical contact with wicked men bent on destroying his kingdom. Dear Lord, help us survive this life.

Lord have mercy!

Read It Again: May The Day Star Arise In Your Heart

Jesus, the Day Star

Have you ever come across the name, Day Star? The Bible is poetic beyond measure. Some of the expressions that you find in this Holy Book leave you wondering at the genius and creativity of the Author – God. Through the eyes of the scribes and the prophets, you get a glimpse of the command of the language that our God possesses.

One such expression is found in the Scripture from Peter the Apostle. 2 Peter 1:19 says, “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:”

Day Star! Beautiful! Simply magnificent. Jesus is called the Day Star.

Day Star Arise
Day Star Arise

The Grand Setup

Think of the setup. Our obvious choice is the world that is introduced in the Book of Genesis. Here, the earth which was covered in water, is surrounded by darkness. It’s still a great world, but it’s not in a useful state for God. He wants to turn this great piece of terrestrial rock floating in space into a masterpiece. So first things first, He commands Light to shine over it, and then the creative process begins in earnest.

The end result? You have a Garden of Eden, which man dreams of replicating. You have a place where there is no sin, no pain, no death. There’s no hunger, there are no tears, no breakups or disappointments. Inside the garden, there are no social unrests or wars. (That’s my kind of place – and I guess it’s the same for you.)

This all starts with the rising of the sun. And here the Apostle Peter captures the same vision. He says let the sun, which he beautifully calls a day star, arise in our hearts. The sun he is talking about is not the physical one. This time, it is a spiritual one, which is much superior to the one we see today. He is telling us, Jesus is the Day Star.

The Punchline

Here is the crux of the matter. Surely, there will be another masterpiece. We have been restored in all the splendour and glory of the original creation. We are going to a much better place than the first Garden of Eden, for we are going to New Jerusalem, the City of God. And it all starts with the rising of the sun in our hearts.

Day Star arise!

Read it again.

Psalm for the week: A humble victim of a violent take-over

Greetings to all. I have been away from the blog for a short while. It turns out that I needed a break from blogging just to find time to recharge. I’m back fresh, eager, and hopefully humble.

Today, we dig straight into Psalms. The last article in this series was about King David prophesying about Jesus being the King of all the kings of the world. It was a bold prophesy that most likely upset the giant kingdoms of the day.

Now comes Chapter Three, and David is in deep problems. He has had a take-over from within. One of his children has decided to take over the throne instead of waiting for a succession plan. Absalom has moved the people of Israel to rally behind him, forcing David to run away from Jerusalem to seek refuge in the wilderness. The story is covered in the book of Chronicles. It is a moving narration.

Do not be afraid.
Do not be afraid.

But this is what Psalms records:

“Lord, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me.

Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah.

But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.

I cried unto the Lord with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah.

I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the Lord sustained me.

I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about.

Arise, O Lord; save me, O my God: for thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek bone; thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly.

Salvation belongeth unto the Lord: thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah.”

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Psalms‬ ‭3:1-8‬ ‭KJV‬‬ http://bible.com/1/psa.3.1-8.kjv

Absalom, the vindictive

Of all the characters of the Old Testament, I find Absalom a very disturbing figure. He does not have a forgiving heart, he’s very ambitious and he’s a skimmer par-excellence. His character first shows up when his half-brother forced himself on Absalom’s sister. This shameful act caused Absalom to react. He plotted an elaborate plan to avenge his sister’s shame. He effected a 2 year plan, and finally managed to kill the perpetrator.

For taking matters into his own hands, the king banished him out of the kingdom. After some years, he was brought back but never enjoyed audience with the king. The state of affairs made him a bitter man. So he planned how he would gain audience again. And it involved setting on fire the harvest of the Army General, just to get his attention, and used him to ask David to meet him.

It worked. But this did not satisfy him. He went on to plan a super grand coup de tat of all times. He hatched a 40 year plan to take over his father’s throne. Talk about focus and determination. 40 years is equal to a generation. And that’s how long he took to implement his evil plan.

In the end, it worked just as he had planned. He took over the throne, kicked the king out of his city, slept with the king’s concubines to debase the public image of David, and had the backing of the majority of the population.

Unfortunately, he missed a point or two in his plan.

David, the humble but wise

Now, enters King David in the picture. When David fled the throne, the High Priest joined him, and came along with the Ark of Covenant. This was the ultimate symbol of God’s presence, and by extension, the spiritual proof that the king was indeed God’s chosen.

But then David does the unthinkable. He asks the priest to take back the Ark to Jerusalem, right in the domain of the enemy. He wanted to see the Ark in its rightful place, rather than clinging to it to legitimize his kingship. He does not utilize the Ark, to serve his personal needs.

And David refuses to fight the young man. Yet, he plans to set his counsel to nought. So he sends into the victorious plotter’s camp, a strategist whose sole purpose was to bring down the new rulership.

By the way, along the way, those that had a gripe or two with king David took advantage of the situation to bad mouth the king. The king’s followers were not pleased with this, and one of them demanded to chop off the offender’s head. David, not surprisingly declined, and took the insults in his stride. What a man!

In the end, Absalom got defeated, killed, and David got restored. The king used the power of humility and wisdom, to get rid of his enemies, and left a big lesson for us all.

Jesus, the more humble and much wiser

Again, this is a prophesy for Jesus. His enemies planned against His downfall for much longer than 40 years. For we are told that He was crucified before the foundation of the world. Genesis introduces the anti-Christ in the Garden of Eden that would bruise His heel. And when He came to the world some 2,000 years ago, the enemies were right beside Him, doing all they could to frustrate His ministry, and in the end terminated His life.

But just like David, Jesus resolved not to fight back. In fact, He forgave those that were baying for His Holy Blood. That’s an amazing character. He died, but that was not the end of it. He rose up Immortal, and is beyond the powers of this world. He is the most powerful person as we speak.

King David, the Brave

So here comes my favourite part:

Verse 6: I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about.

Whoa! There’s more than meets the eye here. Ten thousands of people, is a huge crowd if they constituted the camp of the enemy. So King David was not a coward after all. He just wanted God to intervene. Those are the words of a brave warrior, who never allowed fear to dominate his life even in the darkest moment. He never lost sight of his God, and believed that he would return to Jerusalem in his former glory.

In our day to day life, often we get disturbed by what people say about us. It may be a mouth or two. It may not even be 20 individuals. But then, we allow this to ruin our day, our lives and even our relationships. David here says, even if they were more than 10,000 souls, it would mean nothing as long as God was in control. Think about it.

King Jesus, the Ultimate Warrior

The humble King who was struggling to carry His cross on the way to Golgotha had much more to offer than what the people of His day saw. He was not afraid to face death. He was not ashamed to be crucified as a sinner on our behalf. For He knew He would emerge a victor, having conquered hell and death.

Just like Absalom, the devil got hoodwinked. The external humility of these kings, masked the powerful wisdom that figured out the enemy’s plot, exploited the enemy’s pride, and both emerged victors. And behind that vulnerability, beat a heart that knew no fear.

Of all the prophesies about Christ, I find this one outstanding. And yes, there’s so much to learn from it on how we should deal with life, when caught in our weakest moments. We must turn to God, and not fight back the way the world expects.

When push comes to shove, try to use humility, wisdom and bravery, and see what God will do for you.