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The Higher Purpose of Our Warfare

This psalm presents God as the "deliverer" (v.2) who delivers David (v.19, 43, 48, 50) from his "strong enemy" (v.17). In preparation for victory, God taught David’s "hands to war" (v.34), gave him the "shield" of his "salvation" (v.35) and girded him with "strength unto the battle" (v.39). David, in turn, destroys his enemies (v.40) and is made the "head of the heathen" (v.43).

He is also delivered "from the strivings of the people" (v.43). In the Bible, the phrase "the people" usually refers to the Israelites as the people of God. In their strivings against one another, they often destroy their own people; especially their leaders. Unfortunately, God’s people today are still striving against one another and destroying their own in the process.

Now, David again turns His attention to God. Although he gives God praise throughout the psalm, he especially praises Him at the end and gives God full credit for his victories. "It is God that avengeth me…He delivereth me from mine enemies" (v.47-48). We should always be ready to give God credit for all the good that happens in our lives.

Yet David recognizes something else as well. Through the battles he has faced, God has been working on David in order to make him better. He tells the Lord, "thy gentleness hath made me great" (v.35). He understands that, even in the stress and trials of battle, God has watched over him in a gentle way. The Apostle Paul was gentle among the Thessalonians as a nurse would be with her children. So God is gentle in His dealings with us.

In what ways does God work in our lives to make us what we ought to be? What are some examples in your life where God used gentleness with you when He could have been much harsher? Finally, do you make sure to give God all the credit for your blessings and victories?