Psalm 144 begins:
Bless the Lord who is my rock.
He gives me strength for war & skill for battle.
He is my loving ally and my fortress,
My tower of safety, my deliverer.
He stands before me as a shield and I take refuge in Him.
I’ll be honest. This former pacifist used to shudder at some of the war imagery in the Bible. Now I realize that much of life is a battle. We are bombarded on every side with temptation, challenges, stress and trials. And if all the external struggles weren’t enough, the Bible describes the battle that is raging in our minds in 2 Corinthians 10:
We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.
This psalm says that God, our rock, gives us strength for war (big picture) and the skills we need for each battle (little picture). He doesn’t leave us unarmed and unaided to fight in this life alone. Not only does He gave us strength & skills, He serves as our ally, our fortress, and a tower of safety. He alone is our deliverer.
But possibly the most powerful imagery for me in this passage is of God standing before me as a shield.
I’m more apt to be found stepping out in front of God rather than allowing Him to shield me, or running around, aimlessly, without direction.
That is not how God wants us to react to battles. God’s desire is to protect me. But in order for Him to do that, I need to choose to take refuge in Him.
We may be at war at times, but we have a mighty deliverer who has called us by name and said, “You are mine.” He desires to serve us our ally, a place of safety.
Choose to take refuge in Him today.