O Lord,

Draw the spear and javelin against my pursuers!

Say to my soul, “I am your salvation.”

Psalm 35:3

 

The way that we humans are wired to handle challenging, difficult, and dangerous situations is really interesting. Most of the time we rather automatically go into a state of mind and body that will either engage the opposition with every ounce of our being, or it will get our feet running away from the risk at a pace that is beyond our normal ability. This is a powerful response that comes to good use in certain situations. It is also the sort of thing that sets us up for a lot of unresolved conflict and hurt relationships. It seems to me that in daily life the situations that truly require me to put up the fight or to escape are rare, but the human encounters that cause the adrenaline rush and the powerful emotions of this state of being are more common.

 

David is telling us about his own life-experience-derived thoughts on how to prepare for the physical and for the emotional dangers of living in this world. He was no stranger to the reality of facing conflict, and he was painfully aware of just how much harm and damage that he was capable of inflicting to his relationships with others when he took action that was based on his own understanding. You see, David was good with swords and he could drive the point of a spear deep into another person’s heart. He also knew that God had something greater in mind for him. David became aware of the fact that his own strengths were also his greatest liabilities.

 

We all face situations that make us feel threatened, vulnerable, or fearful. We have been trained by our culture, by others, and by life to be competent and to show strength in handling these challenges. Yet, God says that He will be our strength. He desires to go before us. The Lord desires to speak to our hearts and to provide us with His reassuring truth about the conflict that we are facing. His weapons of choice are intended to heal the brokenness in others, and His approach to engaging the enemy is intended to bring about reconciliation rather than ruin. Christ came into a world that is hostile to Him and that rejects His truth. Still, without regard to our own anger and rejection, He comes into our damaged hearts and restores us to a position of peace and love in the presence of God. As Christ goes before us into the hostility of the day, He desires to equip us to be agents of restoration rather than to be people who bring about destruction. Christ speaks peace to the heart that is open to His voice.