Praise be to the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle. He is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield, in whom
I take refuge, who subdues peoples under me. Lord , what are human beings that you care for them, mere mortals that you think of them? They are like a breath; their days are like a fleeting shadow. Part your heavens, Lord , and come down; touch the mountains, so that they smoke. Send forth lightning and scatter the enemy; shoot your arrows and rout them. Reach down your hand from on high; deliver me and rescue me from the mighty waters, from the hands of foreigners whose mouths are full of lies, whose right hands are deceitful. Psalm 144:1-8
This Psalm is another familiar one…making it difficult for me to approach this “stretch of water” with “fresh eyes”. I have been surprised before by the “hidden wells” in passages like this so let us begin.
This Psalm is similar to other Psalms attributed to King David. He spent much of his life as a warrior king and prior to taking the throne David was constantly pursuing or being pursued. It occurs to me that David, God, and all those who seek God have this in common. They are both pursuing and being pursued at the same time…playing hide and seek if you will.
The psalmist is clear that God ” is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield, in whom I take refuge…”. Even while the author acknowledges this they seem surprised or in awe that the God of the universe would care for mere mortals in this way. We who ” are like a breath…days are like a fleeting shadow.”
The author seems to place God “high up in the clouds”. Yet towards the end of the Psalm God comes down from heaven to rescue us from mighty waters…” Reach down your hand from on high; deliver me and rescue me from the mighty waters,”. Jesus was, and is, God’s great “reaching down”.
Jesus rescues us from all that might ensnare us…He rescues us from the mighty waters… He is our lifeguard and Lord. He sacrificed much to save our drowning souls.
Prayer: Thank You God for being our rock, refuge, and rescuer.