Psalms of David
This psalm of David is a song in praise to God’s steadfast love. It was also a prayer for God’s help against the enemy. Charles Spurgeon called it the warror’s morning song. Jewish sources say that verse 2 refers to David’s practice of rising each and day before dawn to praise God with lute and harp, thus “awakening the dawn”.
The books of Psalms are roughly themed like this:
Book 1: Psalms 1 – 41: God is beside us.
Book 2: Psalms 42 – 72: God goes before us
Book 3: Psalms 73 – 89: God is all around us.
Book 4: Psalms 90 – 106: God is above us.
Book 5: Psalms 107 – 150: God is among us.
A Song. A Psalm of David.
108 My heart is steadfast, O God!
I will sing and make melody with all my being!
2 Awake, O harp and lyre!
I will awake the dawn!
3 I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples;
I will sing praises to you among the nations.
4 For your steadfast love is great above the heavens;
your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.
5 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!
Let your glory be over all the earth!
6 That your beloved ones may be delivered,
give salvation by your right hand and answer me!
7 God has promised in his holiness:Psalm 108 ESV UK
“With exultation I will divide up Shechem
and portion out the Valley of Succoth.
8 Gilead is mine; Manasseh is mine;
Ephraim is my helmet,
Judah my sceptre.
9 Moab is my washbasin;
upon Edom I cast my shoe;
over Philistia I shout in triumph.”
10 Who will bring me to the fortified city?
Who will lead me to Edom?
11 Have you not rejected us, O God?
You do not go out, O God, with our armies.
12 Oh grant us help against the foe,
for vain is the salvation of man!
13 With God we shall do valiantly;
it is he who will tread down our foes.
I have said this before, I have a problem with the military Psalms. But not with this one, there is no jingoistic sabre-rattling and gloryfying in the death of the enemy. This is a song of praise to God, but it is also the prayer of a soldier. This post will be published between Remembrance day, 11th November and Remembrance Sunday three days later.
The purpose of Remembrance Day is, according to CBBC,the children’s channelof the BBC, “A two-minute silence is held at 11am [on 11th November] to remember the people who have died in wars around the world. Remembrance Sunday is also marked each year, this falls on the second Sunday in November.”
Commitment to praise and adoration.
The psalm falls into two stanzas, verses 1 – 6 and 7 – 13
A lot of psalms start with praise, but the praise in Psalm 108 does nor start until verse 4. The first three verses are a commitment to praise: I will sing, I will awaken the dawn (get up early to praise God), I will give thanks to you O Lord, I will praise you. WE need commitment to Praise God, praise in not just for the good days, but for the lousy days when things just pile up on top of the things of the precious lousy day and last lousy week. God is still good, God will always keephis promises, even when it hasn’t been your day,your week,your month or even your year*.
Praise puts God at the centre of things, when things are going bad we all need to getthingsinto perspective and stop being introspective, but it isn’t easy to praise God when you are depressed. I know, I have spent years there. Having a commitment to praise God helps on those longperiods when getting roundtodoing anything at all is difficult.
Another thing I have learned about depression is that I needed to constantly renew my commitment not just of praising God,but for getting up in the morning.
Claiming God’s promises as your own
The theme of the psalm changes in the second stanza. Verses 7 to 9 are God speaking, saying what he said about Gilead, Manesseh, Eprhaim and Judah, tribes of Israel and contrasting it with what God has said about some of their neighbouring countries.
David the warrior king may have suffered a defeat, reflected in the lyrics, “Have you not rejected us, O God? You do not go out, O God, with our armies.” But David does not believe that. Instead he claims God’s promises for himself. “With God we shall do valliently,” he says. You need faith in God to say things like that.
It would be good if we can emulate that. When things are bad to hold on to the promise that God will be faithful to what he is, kind,loving and faithful. Let’s claim God’s promises for putselves.
This is Remembrance weekend. Let us use these words of David the warrior King to remember those who have died in wars and hold them and those who miss them in the loving, faithful arms of God.
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*I’ll Be There for You lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group