Daily Update #241

Pause:  As we prepare to look at God’s Word let us quieten our minds, so that
   His Holy Spirit may speak to us today.

Readings:  Jeremiah 20 : 10-13;  Psalm 18 : 1-6;  John 10 : 31- 42

“I love you, Lord, my strength.  The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”  Psalm 18 : 1-2

King David was a very complex character, as you will know if you have read any of his history in the Old Testament.  He was chosen by God to be the king, anointed when he was a young lad, became a great fighter and a great king, but had many failings as well.  His story, in the books of Samuel, Kings and Chronicles, is brutally honest at times, but the Bible never glosses over people’s failings.
For me, however, the best part of David’s life story is the legacy he has left in the book of Psalms.  At times David faced great problems, both within himself and from others, at times he seemed to feel that God was far from him, at times he almost seems to shout out to God for help, but the over-riding thought through these wonderful poems and songs is that David comes across as a man of great faith.  That strength of faith comes across in Psalm 18, which he sang to the Lord when the Lord delivered him from his enemies and from Saul, who sought to kill him.  As I read this Psalm, and particularly the first two verses, three words seemed to be worthy of further consideration this morning.
Firstly, David says that God is his rock, the rock in whom he takes refuge.  At times the Bible speaks of the rock on which we can firmly stand, but here the thought is of a cleft in the rock, offering a secure hiding place in times of danger.  Of course, we need both of these thoughts.  We need to know that our faith is on a firm foundation, and we also need to know that in times of danger or need we can be sure of a safe refuge in God.
Secondly, David speaks of God as his fortress, his stronghold, and the picture here is of a high place of security, out of the reach of the enemy.  Somewhere between 1527 and 1529 Martin Luther took up this theme, when he wrote that wonderful hymn, “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God”.  In this hymn Luther recognises that although there is a spiritual battle that we are all engaged in, Christ is the victor and we can know security in him.
Thirdly, David speaks of God as his deliverer or rescuer.  As I mentioned earlier this Psalm was written when the Lord saved David from his enemies, and although we may not face the same sort of battles that David did, we do still have battles to face in our lives today.  Those battles may come in various guises; our health, our wealth, Covid-19, family problems, and of course our failure to keep to God’s laws.  However, we too have a deliverer, a rescuer, in the person of Jesus Christ.  If we have put our faith in Jesus as our Lord and Saviour then we have a rescuer who will never leave us, for that is his promise to each one of us.
My prayer for each one of us today is that we, like David, will know beyond all doubt that our God is with us whatever life throws at us, that he can be trusted, and that we are safe and secure in his never-failing love.

A prayer:  Lord, in the storms of life, bid us come to you, that we, who are aware of our weakness, may be made strong; through the power of Christ our Lord, Amen.