Psalm 144

Read: Psalm 144:1 – 2; 2 Timothy 2:3 – 4; Ephesians 6:10

The Lord was David’s “Rock” – his safety, security, shade, shelter. The Lord was David’s teacher; He instructed David how to have victory in every situation. Christians are pictured in 2 Timothy 2:3 – 4  as soldiers on active duty. The Lord is our assurance of spiritual victory, if we are willing to be under His command. David gave credit for his success to the Lord. The peoples subdued under David included his enemies and those of his own people who initially resisted his reign but were won over by his success. The list of titles David ascribed to God in Psalm 144 runs the gamut of praises David expressed throughout the Psalms.

Think About It: Recall David’s fighting history.  Did he have a one-size-fits-all approach to warfare? What are some of the methods he used in fighting battles? What are the titles David used in Psalm 144:2 for God? What do those titles for God mean in my relationship with God?

Prayer: Praise God for strengthening me.

 

Read: Psalm 144:3; Psalm 8; 2 Samuel 7:18; Ephesians 2:8 – 9; Judges 7:2

The Hebrew word used for “man” in Psalm 144:3 denotes man’s weakness and fragility. Having achieved success, David remained humble.  David’s expression of humility in Psalm 144 was similar to his response when God made covenant with him (2 Samuel 7:18).  Man’s insignificance in Psalm144 is in the context of God’s awesome intervention into the affairs of men, against which men are powerless to stand. Compare this to Psalm 8, were man’s insignificance emerges in contrast to the vastness of God’s creation.

Think About It: How does David’s view of man’s weakness and fragility relate to our spiritual condition? Why are pride and saving faith in God’s grace incompatible? What do I have to boast about?

Prayer: Glory to God for providing salvation.

 

Read: Psalm 144:4; Job 20:8; Psalm 90:10, 102;11, 109:23; 2 Corinthians 5:10

Man is like a breath, a passing shadow. The shadows cast by a large tree or a high wall are substantial; but a passing shadow, such as that cast by a bird that flies overhead, is gone without a trace. Our lives are that passing shadow.

Think About It: According to Psalms 39:4 and 90:12, what should we do in the light of the brevity of our lives? What does it mean to number our days? What awaits us at the end of our lives? Am I ready for that day (Amos 4:12)?

Prayer: Lord, help me to keep the end of my days in mind.

 

Read: Psalm 144:5 – 6; Psalm 2:1 – 4; 1 Peter 5:8; Matthew 6:12; John 16:33; 1 John 4:4

Psalm 144:5 – 6 pictures the mighty intervention of God, against which the resistance of man is useless (Psalm 2:1 – 4). David cried out for that intervention to continue, for his wars were not over. The struggles with enemies without and within would continue to the end of his days.

Think About It:  What were some of the battles David fought after the beginning of his reign in Jerusalem? How do David’s ongoing struggles relate to the Christian life? What direction is given related to these struggles in the New Testament references for today? Why can we be confident in the face of conflict?

Prayer: Lord, help me to be watchful, faithful, and confident.

 

Read: Psalm 144:7 -8, 11; Matthew 6:7; Luke 18:7; Ephesians 6:18

Psalm 144:8 reminds us that there can be no peace with some adversaries because they cannot be trusted when they raise their right hand to promise peace. This was the sad reality behind David’s request for God’s deliverance. The prayer of Psalm 144:7 is repeated in Psalm 144:11.

Think About It: Jesus warned against vain repetition (Matthew 6:7), yet He also taught that we should persevere in prayer. What makes the difference between prayer that is merely vain repetition, and repeated prayer that exemplifies perseverance?

Prayer: For the fortitude to persevere in prayer.

 

Read: Psalm 144:9 – 13;  Psalm 115:1; Isaiah 48:11; Acts 12:23; 2 Timothy 3:16 – 17

In Psalm 144:9 – 10 David wrote a new kind of song that differed from the songs typical of ancient kings. Instead of glorifying man and the might of the sword, David glorified God and deliverance from the sword. David’s prayer anticipated the Messianic kingdom: “And they shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks” (Isaiah 2:4). In Psalm 144:12 – 13 David pictured the ideal world that would be brought into existence by the fulfillment of God’s deliverance.  The Jewish commentator Rashi observed that the closest the Jews ever came to this picture of fulfillment was in the days of Hezekiah, because all youth received intensive education in God’s Word and learned well what God required of them.

Think About It: Do I glorify God, or do I seek my own glory?  What insight does Rashi’s observation provide on how I can fulfill my spiritual potential?

Prayer: All glory be to God for my salvation and my spiritual growth.

 

Read: Psalm 144:14 – 15; 1 Corinthians 9:9, 11:1; 1 Timothy 5:8

Rabbi Rashi interpreted Psalm 144:14 – 15 as a reference to leaders towards whom the people offered the obedience and stamina of oxen in accepting the responsibilities laid on them. The relationship was reciprocal; the people responded to their leaders because they shouldered the burdens of the people. While Rashi’s interpretation may seem arbitrary, the Apostle Paul made a similar interpretation of Deuteronomy 5:24 in 1 Corinthians 9:9 and 1 Timothy 5:8.

Think About It: Psalm 144:14 -15 might be paraphrased: “Blessed are the people who follow godly leaders who in turn lead the people to follow the Lord!” What does this blessing suggest about giving spiritual leadership? What does this blessing suggest about what I should expect from my spiritual (and other) leaders? What does this blessing suggest about how to pray for those in leadership?

Prayer: Lord, please bless those in leadership and strengthen them to lead me and others to follow You.  

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