God, you are my strength, I watch for you. You are my fortress, my God on whom I can rely. (Psalm 59:9-10)
Relying on God
I was reading this morning about a significant event in our nation’s life that is being celebrated this week. No, I’m not talking about September 18, which is National Cheeseburger Day. I’m actually referring to yesterday, September 17, the 232nd anniversary of the signing of the final draft of the U.S. Constitution back in 1787.
Ironically, given our current political tensions, the cheeseburger has actually gotten a lot more press than the Constitution! But while that savory lunch might sound appealing for a moment (or at least provide a little diversion), it will ultimately leave you unsatisfied; and tomorrow you will have to go back and pay full price!
The Constitution, on the other hand, promises something a bit more sustaining: a more perfect union, justice, domestic tranquility, common defense, general welfare, and the blessings of liberty for now and for the future. That’s a pretty big promise! And for the last ten generations at least, it’s done a pretty good job. Even when the political climate is tense, even when our leaders may leave us unsatisfied, it’s comforting to point to something that lasts…something that doesn’t change…something reliable.
If there’s one constant message from the book of Psalms, it’s just that. Someone has said, “The psalms contain a thousand questions, but just a single answer.” Whatever the circumstance, whatever the need, whatever the problem…God is our everlasting, unchanging, completely reliable answer.
In Psalm 59, we get yet another glimpse into David’s challenging life. The inscription at the beginning tells us that David wrote this song, “When Saul had sent men to watch David’s house in order to kill him.” These were troubling times for David…dangerous, frightening times. And so, like all of the songs in the book, this one is a prayer. “Deliver me…be my fortress…save me” (vs. 1-2). He is surrounded by enemies, who “come out at night, snarling like vicious dogs as they prowl the streets” (vs. 6 & 14, NLT). They speak filth, and sneer in the face of God (vs. 7). We all know these kind of enemies! But although they may bluster with malice and self-confidence, they are really empty inside. “They scavenge for food, but go to sleep unsatisfied” (vs. 15). So, what can David do in the midst of these troubling times? What should his strategy be?
But as for me, I will sing about your power. Each morning I will sing with joy about your unfailing love. For you have been my refuge, a place of safety when I am in distress.” (Psalm 59:16)
David is living in troubling times. He has a thousand questions, but he knows there is only one answer. He knows that it’s not about what the “enemy” is doing…they will get what they deserve. It’s not even ultimately about what he’s doing in the middle of this mess. It’s about who God is, and what He’s doing. David is relying on Someone who is truly reliable, Someone who doesn’t change, Someone who lasts. David knows that his God is the only One who can really deliver on the promise of justice, peace, security, welfare, and the blessings of life…now and forever. His love is unfailing, His power is unlimited, His authority is unquestionable. He is the One “on whom I can rely.”
That was true for David 3000 years ago, and it’s still true for you and me today. In Matthew 6:31-34, Jesus reminds all his disciples that no matter the challenges they face in their daily lives, big or small, our heavenly Father knows our needs. He cares about you. He protects you and provides for you. He is the One on whom we can rely.
So, go and get that great cheeseburger deal today! Be thankful for our Constitution and our country and our founding fathers. But know there is only one truly reliable Source of hope in this world–in any and every circumstance. He is only One who can satisfy what you’re hungry and thirsty for today and every day. Always stays thirsty for him.