TODAY’S BIBLE READING:

Genesis 11:1–13:4
Matthew 5:1-26
Psalm 5:1-12
Proverbs 1:24-28

TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):

Psalm 5:11-12 (CSB) “But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them shout for joy forever. May you shelter them, and may those who love your name boast about you. For you, LORD, bless the righteous one; you surround him with favor like a shield.”

REFLECTIONS ON TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):

In Psalm 5, we read one of the many chapters in which David is calling out to God for help. We might assume that David had King Saul in mind as he bowed his head and offered up this prayer.

Even though King Saul was behaving in clearly sinful ways, David was convicted that he had no right to bring harm to the king. In 1 Chronicles 16:22, David was in the middle of a psalm when he wrote what was in God’s heart: “Do not touch my anointed ones or harm my prophets.”

It was this conviction that kept David from taking Saul’s life when he had a chance (read 1 Samuel 24).

Was David a pacifist? Did he believe that he had to sit back and allow injustice to take place without putting up a fight?

David was certainly not a pacifist. In fact, he realized that God had called him “a man of war” who had “shed blood” (1 Chronicles 28:2-3).

What we see as we look at the life of David and read the Psalms is that there were times when he believed it was appropriate to administer justice (as the king sitting in the place of governmental leadership) and go to war.

But, there were also plenty of times when he realized that he had no right to administer justice. Yes, he continued to fight in those situations but he did so … on his knees.

We cannot read the Psalms without realizing that David wrestled often with his God in prayer. He called for God’s attention. He brought the knowledge of injustice before God. He knew of his helpless condition before his enemies if God did not intervene. He called God to action.

David had a “prayer closet” and he fought long and hard on his knees. Keep your eyes open and your mind alert to this truth as you read through the Psalms over the next year.

Learn about prayer as you read the Psalms.

David was clearly a man of war. But, he often fought his battles in private on his knees in prayer.

But, also note that David typically ended his prayers with heartfelt praise. He made it clear that his requests were not for his own benefit. Instead, David was making his requests to protect God’s honor. David wanted the nations to see how wonderful his God was and it would only happen when God came to the rescue of his people and punished those engaged in sin and injustice.

That’s how David ended our Psalm for today. After lifting up a prayer that pointed to injustice and threatenings against him, David said that he was asking for God to protect him. When God did this, David said that he (and all others who seek refuge in God) would be happy in their God.

Psalm 5:11-12 (CSB) “But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them shout for joy forever. May you shelter them, and may those who love your name boast about you. For you, LORD, bless the righteous one; you surround him with favor like a shield.”

Friend, go to war on your knees rather than taking matters into your own hands. Yes, there are times when we must act but there are plenty of times when it would be much more appropriate to fight on our knees.

As we continue to read through the Psalms, we will see that our prayer-life is supposed to be real. If we are thinking it or feeling it, then we need to tell God all about it.

If you are anxious about an unresolved problem, let God know about it.

If you are discouraged and depressed about a seemingly hopeless situation, share it with your God.

If you are angry at injustice, let God know exactly how you feel.

If you are afraid because of someone’s mistreatment, take it to the Lord in prayer.

Again, there are certainly times when we should act. There are times when we are within God’s will to stand up against what is wrong. But, the Psalms remind us that there are many, many times when we should do our fighting on our knees.

Just make sure that you also end your warrior prayers with praise. The Psalms typically end with the matter unresolved but David was acting in faith by praising his God for what He was going to do.

The Psalms are an incredible instruction manual on prayer! Learn about how to talk to your God as you read through the Psalms this year!

I’ll end with a music video about fighting on our knees from the movie, “War Room.”