Pilgrim's Bread
Pilgrim's Bread Podcast
September 16: Psalm 63 - Finding Our Footing, in a Dry and Weary Land
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September 16: Psalm 63 - Finding Our Footing, in a Dry and Weary Land

2 Samuel 12; 2 Corinthians 5; Ezekiel 19; Psalms 64–65

orange lighthouse on rock
Photo by Tina Rolf on Unsplash

We must not moralistically tut-tut about David’s wish that his enemies would “be given over to the power of the sword” (10). For they want to literally kill him - to make him “food for jackals” (9-10). David only prays that their own devices would fall back upon them, that their lying mouths would be shut (11).

But on what basis does he pray this? What makes David any different? Only the “steadfast love” of Yahweh, given freely, by God’s amazing grace. The word for “steadfast love” - qesed - is perhaps the most important word of the Old Testament (besides the name Yahweh), for, as David says, it is “better than life itself” (3).

Yet in the middle of the storm, David must do something to remember God’s steadfast love to him: he remembers the temple (2). There he beheld God’s “power and the glory” (2), wielded for David, in steadfast, unchanging love. This truth then feeds David in the dark of night, when his fears assail him. He is not consumed by those fears, because he can look back, and cling to God: because of your steadfast love, I know that your right hand upholds me, this very moment (8).

We may, we must do the same, for we have very clear and present enemies, whose desire to destroy our lives only becomes more clear with the passage of time. Our enemies wear different uniforms, but they all want a world where God and his people are erased. And we must remember his steadfast love because we can see it even more clearly than David could. David only had the temple; we have the cross.

So we must go to church, to be among Yahweh’s people, the temple of God (1 Peter 2:5), the body of Christ. There we are reminded, in the simple elements of bread and wine: he who gave us His own Son, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things (Romans 8:32)? In the face of our enemies, in every darker news cycle, we find our footing in His steadfast love to us, proven at the cross, and unleashed in his empty tomb. There we see the power and the glory.

Then we too may take heart, and even rejoice and exult (11): those who seek to destroy our lives will fall by their own devices. Haman hung by his own gallows (Esther 7:10). By the law that they judge they will be held accountable (Romans 3:19). And then we may pray and proclaim to our enemies: repent and turn him. He died for you, too. Kiss the Son, lest you perish along the way (Psalm 2:12).

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Pilgrim's Bread
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