For by You I can run against a troop,
By my God I can leap over a wall…
For who is God, except the LORD?
And who is a rock, except our God?
It is God who arms me with strength,
And makes my way perfect.
He makes my feet like the feet of deer,
And sets me on my high places.
He teaches my hands to make war,
So that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
You have also given me the shield of Your salvation;
Your right hand has held me up,
Your gentleness has made me great. Psalm 18.29, 31-35
A Psalm of David.
Blessed be the LORDmy Rock,
Who trains my hands for war,
And my fingers for battle--
My lovingkindness and my fortress,
My high tower and my deliverer,
My shield and the One in whom I take refuge,
Who subdues my people under me. Psalm 144.1, 2
David understood warfare. His victories were numerous (look at I Chron. 18 for a quick summary).
He battled against lions and bears, Goliath and the Philistines, and countless others. So many were his military victories, that when David desired to build a temple in Jerusalem, God told him that he would not, “because you have been a man of war and have shed blood” (I Chron. 28.3).
But as much as David understood, practiced, and excelled at warfare, his trust was not in himself, but in God.
Let’s look at the first two verses of Psalm 18 – “I will love you, O LORDmy strength./The LORDis my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; /My God, my strength, in whom I will trust,/My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”
These verses reveal someone quite knowledgeable with warfare in and around Israel. Rocky terrain, small passages through intimidating mountains, streams subject to surging unexpectedly, rocky outcroppings ideal for commanding a field of battle, and vast areas of wilderness: These are just some of the obstacles you would face engaging in warfare.
David was quite skillful in taking advantage of each of these. He knew his way around warfare. Our proof is simply that he survived countless battles and eventually rose to be king, in spite of his own king seeking to put him to death and being more than willing to employ the army to accomplish this; in spite of his own tribe willing to give him up; and in spite of Israel being surrounded by enemies who had good reasons to hate David and seek revenge on him.
Yet with all of this experience, David always kept God at the center of his perspective. This is why, when the armies of Israel cowered in fear of Goliath and would not accept his challenge, David had a quite different response. As he insisted to King Saul, “‘Your servant has killed both lion and bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God.’ Moreover David said, “The LORD, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine’” (1 Sam. 17.36, 37, emphasis added).
With David, it was the Lord who set him on a secure place, the Lord Who enabled him to leap over a wall and bend a bow of bronze. Our enemies are spiritual in nature, which is why we must fight spiritually. And we do this with prayer and with God’s Word.
We not only need to be in prayer, and to study God’s Word, but we need God to increase our desire to study His Word and to pray, and to teach us how to pray.
Because unless we know our way around in spiritual warfare, and how to wield the weapon of prayer, we have no hope of gaining any victory.
Let us seek the Lord in prayer, and Christ, Who ever lives to intercede for us, will fight our battles and defeat our enemies.
Therefore, let us be in prayer that God will deliver us, our church, and our culture from the gods of this age, who hold men captive and in fear.
An invitation to pray!
Ralph Lehman, Men’s Prayer Coordinator
T. M. Moore, Principal
Download “Men of the Church: A Solemn Call” for free by clicking this link. Make copies for all the men you know, and urge them to join you in this movement of Men at Prayer.
Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.