With the kind You show Yourself kind; With the blameless You show Yourself blameless;
With the pure You show Yourself pure, And with the crooked You show Yourself astute.
For You save an afflicted people, But haughty eyes You abase.
For You light my lamp; The LORD my God illumines my darkness.
For by You I can run upon a troop; And by my God I can leap over a wall.
As for God, His way is blameless; The word of the LORD is tried; He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.
For who is God, but the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God,
The God who girds me with strength And makes my way blameless?
He makes my feet like hinds’ feet, And sets me upon my high places.
He trains my hands for battle, So that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
You have also given me the shield of Your salvation, And Your right hand upholds me; And Your gentleness makes me great.
You enlarge my steps under me, And my feet have not slipped.
I pursued my enemies and overtook them, And I did not turn back until they were consumed.
I shattered them, so that they were not able to rise; They fell under my feet.
For You have girded me with strength for battle; You have subdued under me those who rose up against me.
You have also made my enemies turn their backs to me, And I destroyed those who hated me.
They cried for help, but there was none to save, Even to the LORD, but He did not answer them.
Then I beat them fine as the dust before the wind; I emptied them out as the mire of the streets.
You have delivered me from the contentions of the people; You have placed me as head of the nations; A people whom I have not known serve me.
As soon as they hear, they obey me; Foreigners submit to me.
Foreigners fade away, And come trembling out of their fortresses.
The LORD lives, and blessed be my rock; And exalted be the God of my salvation,
The God who executes vengeance for me, And subdues peoples under me.
He delivers me from my enemies; Surely You lift me above those who rise up against me; You rescue me from the violent man.
Therefore I will give thanks to You among the nations, O LORD, And I will sing praises to Your name.
He gives great deliverance to His king, And shows lovingkindness to His anointed, To David and his descendants forever. –Psalm 18:37-50
These verses are pretty interesting in light of this weeks killing of Osama, and the national celebration that has ensued. While I have been appalled at some of the more wacky celebratory images that I have seen, I am equally disturbed by some of the overreaction on the left, yes, even the christian left. I read Patrol’s take as well as some musings at Tony Campolo’s Redletterchristians.
I can’t really agree with a lot of what is said on those two sites, but it’s interesting nonetheless.
The problem with the posture that a lot of Christians have, is that they are just looking at the Sermon On The Mount. (Why is it that those are the only verses liberal thinkers quote?)
Yes it is Jesus’ great teaching on how we as believers ought to live, yes it is the greatest moral treatise man has ever received, but there is a great volume of scripture to take into account as well. Jesus’ teaching on how we are to live as Christians, is different than what he expects of nations and government. Individually, we are to be at peace with all men, so far as it depends upon us. We are not to hate, and not to murder, to love our enemies. But, the scripture also allows for justice to be meted out by governments, yes even killing. Government bears the sword, and God not only allows it, He ordained it.
When we consider David’s inspired words, the words of a king and a warrior, we see him give credit to God for training for battle, strength in battle, and victory over his enemies. We may not like it, but David understood God more than, perhaps any man. He understood God was a God of love and grace, but for those who chose to not follow Him, “there was none to save.” They are destroyed, they are “beaten fine as dust.”
When we consider the character of God, it’s important that we consider the entire volume of scripture, not just a handful of verses that appeal to us. None of us really understand the dichotomies presented in the scriptures… whether its the difficulties of election and predestination, or the idea of sanctioned violence. We trust Him nonetheless by faith. And, we must remember that it was a violent act (against sin) that yielded the salvation for all who would believe.
“the LORD was pleased to crush Him” –Isaiah 53:10
I welcome your thoughts & comments.