Be merciful to me,my God,
for my enemies are in hot pursuit;
all day long they press their attack.
My adversaries pursue me all day long;
in their pride many are attacking me.
When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.
In God, whose word I praise—
in God I trust and am not afraid.
What can mere mortals do to me?
All day long they twist my words;
all their schemes are for my ruin.
They conspire,they lurk,
they watch my steps,
hoping to take my life.
Because of their wickedness do not let them escape;
in your anger, God, bring the nations down.
Record my misery;
list my tears on your scroll—
are they not in your record?
Then my enemies will turn back
when I call for help.
By this I will know that God is for me.
In God, whose word I praise,
in the Lord, whose word I praise—
in God I trust and am not afraid.
What can man do to me?
I am under vows to you, my God;
I will present my thank offerings to you.
For you have delivered me from death
and my feet from stumbling,
that I may walk before God
in the light of life.
David lived an enemy-filled life. A life filled with war and death, and frontline battles no further than his own front door.
Often using his kingly power, and sometimes being played by it, David was always pursuing or being pursued. But down deep, in the nitty gritty dirt of darkened caves, David knew who had the true royal power… and to that Heavenly King, he was under vows:
“I will present my thank offerings to you.”
I’ve never been chased by a literal army. And I don’t imagine you have a target on your back either. We don’t have an enemy pursuing us at every corner … or do we?
* Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8)
* For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. (Mark 13:22)
* And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. (2 Cor.11:14-15)
Prowling. Roaring. Devouring. Deceiving. Masquerading.
This enemy is subtle, sneaky, driven by power-hunger, and dresses in his Sunday best. A defeated, and desperate foe pulling out all the stops to take down as many as he can before his power is no more.
But that’s the point: Right now, his power is no more.
How you have fallen from heaven,
morning star, son of the dawn!
You have been cast down to the earth,
you who once laid low the nations!
Those who see you stare at you,
they ponder your fate:
“Is this the man who shook the earth
and made kingdoms tremble,
the man who made the world a wilderness,
who over threw its cities
and would not let his captives go home?” (Isaiah 14: 12-17)
We have overcome by the blood of God’s lamb. Yet, until he is thrown back to the pit of hill, we are easily deceived – just ask Eve.
And we are easily persuaded – just ask Adam.
And we have not been promised a trouble free life – just ask Jesus …
So I will follow David’s lead, and grab hold fast and hard to my overcoming King as he whispers his bold-faced strategy, “Be of good cheer!”
And I will make a vow to the Living God.
I will hold my head up and look to the Lord, maker of heaven and Earth from where my help comes and when battles rage, and my enemy laughs… I. Will. Bring. My. Thank. Offerings.
Today. Tomorrow. Forever.
Father, not by might, not by power, but by your spirit … With all my trust poured out in thanksgiving, I will keep my vows to you, because you are worthy.
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