“With God, we shall do valiantly. It is he who will tread down our foes.”
That’s quite a verse at the end of a chapter where at the very beginning, the Psalmist is saying, O God, you have rejected us. You’ve broken down our defenses. You have been angry. O restore us. You’ve made the land to quake. You’ve torn it open. Repair its breaches for it totters. For you have made your people see hard things. You have given us wine to drink that made us stagger. So the whole picture in the beginning of the Psalm is the Psalmist acknowledging that apart from God he is, we are hopeless. That if God is against us, we have no hope. But if God is for us, so this is the way the Psalm ends. With God on our side, with God working with us, for us, we shall do valiantly. It is he who will tread down our foes.
Without God’s mercy, grace, and kindness, we are doomed to fail.
What I love about this Psalm from beginning to end is the clarity that it gives that without God, you and I are hopeless. Without God and his mercy and his grace and his help, we are doomed to fail. Yet with God, in a Romans 8 kind of way, if God is for us, who can stand against us? And the language of Psalm 56 which we prayed about a couple of episodes ago, as long as God is with us, we have nothing to fear. What can flesh do to us when we are walking with trust in God? And so just think about how this relates to your life today. You think about even the language here in this Psalm is focused on battle, on going into battle with other armies. And the reality is, every single day of our lives we are engaged in a spiritual battle and you and I are hopeless in that battle every day apart from God. Apart from his presence, his power, his protection, his leading, his guiding, his mercy and his grace.
So let’s never go into a day without acknowledging our total dependence upon God. That apart from God, we are hopeless, helpless. We need him in every way all day long. So we pray whether you’re at the beginning of your day, at the close of your day, in the middle somewhere, we pray together. God, in this moment we acknowledge that apart from you, apart from your help, apart from your grace, apart from your mercy, apart from your strength, apart from your power, apart from your Spirit in us, we are hopeless. We are helpless in battles against sin and temptation. We are hopeless, helpless, in any and every effort to live out the life that you have called and created us to live. We need you. We say in the words of John 15, apart from you, we can do nothing. Jesus, apart from you we can do nothing and apart from you, we don’t want to do anything.
We don’t want to go into battle. We don’t want to go into today or the rest of our day. We don’t want to go into tomorrow. We don’t even want to lay our heads down on our pillows at night apart from total dependence upon you, because you are God. You are the Lord most high. You are the all-powerful, omnipotent, omniscient, all protecting God, omnipresent God and we need you at every moment. And we praise you, O God, we praise you for your grace and your mercy and your promises to help all who trust in you. God, we praise you that we can say with the Psalmist in verse 12 of Psalm 60, with God we shall do valiantly. With Paul in Romans chapter 8, if God is for us, who can be against us? It is he who will tread down our foes. It is he who will give us victory. Even as you taught us to pray, Lord Jesus lead us not into temptation. Deliver us from evil.
I think about first Corinthians chapter 10. The fact that we will be tempted in ways that are common to all people. Yet you are faithful and you will always give us a way out. So God, we pray for victory in spiritual battle. We pray for comfort amidst trials. We pray for wisdom amidst decision-making. God, We pray for strength amidst our weakness. God, we pray for all these things that only you can give. And we praise you for your grace and your mercy to give everything we need on a daily basis. So we confess our need for you. We say to you, we are hopeless without you. And our hope is entirely in you. And we praise you for you alone are worthy of our hope and you alone are worthy of our trust. And we pray all of these things in the name of Jesus who makes all of this possible, who fought the ultimate battle for us. All glory be to your name, Jesus, for conquering sin and death and the grave. We live in you today. With you, Jesus, we shall do valiantly. In your name we pray. Amen.
View the 2021 McLean Bible Church Reading Plan here.