Psalm 59 

Deliver me from my enemies, O God;
    be my fortress against those who are attacking me.
Deliver me from evildoers
    and save me from those who are after my blood.

See how they lie in wait for me!
    Fierce men conspire against me
    for no offence or sin of mine, Lord.
I have done no wrong, yet they are ready to attack me.
    Arise to help me; look on my plight!
You, Lord God Almighty,
    you who are the God of Israel,
rouse yourself to punish all the nations;
    show no mercy to wicked traitors.[c]

They return at evening,
    snarling like dogs,
    and prowl about the city.
See what they spew from their mouths –
    the words from their lips are sharp as swords,
    and they think, ‘Who can hear us?’
But you laugh at them, Lord;
    you scoff at all those nations.

You are my strength, I watch for you;
    you, God, are my fortress,
10     my God on whom I can rely.

God will go before me
    and will let me gloat over those who slander me.
11 But do not kill them, Lord our shield,[d]
    or my people will forget.
In your might uproot them
    and bring them down.
12 For the sins of their mouths,
    for the words of their lips,
    let them be caught in their pride.
For the curses and lies they utter,
13     consume them in your wrath,
    consume them till they are no more.
Then it will be known to the ends of the earth
    that God rules over Jacob.

14 They return at evening,
    snarling like dogs,
    and prowl about the city.
15 They wander about for food
    and howl if not satisfied.
16 But I will sing of your strength,
    in the morning I will sing of your love;
for you are my fortress,
    my refuge in times of trouble.

17 You are my strength, I sing praise to you;
    you, God, are my fortress,
    my God on whom I can rely.

 

We like to think of ourselves as strong, I think. I don’t mean in a physical way (although who wouldn’t want abs of steel, right?) but rather in a ‘I can handle this’ sort of a way. We like to be in control. Well, I do anyway! I like to be able to handle things, to be self-sufficient, to be able to just get on with it. And when I can’t, that offends me! This psalm says at least three times that God is our strength. Not that he lends us strength but that he IS our strength. I’m not sure we’re supposed to be able to do it without him. He is our strength - even when we think it comes from us. I can only do anything because he gives me the strength for it. I wonder how different my life might look if I properly understood this and surrendered to it….

QUESTIONS FOR THOUGHT AND DISCUSSION:  

  • Where do you feel strong today? How can you hand that over to God?
  • How can we help our young people to know what it is to fully depend on Him?

 

Jenny Cheung

Jenny is the Independent Schools’ Worker in west & central Scotland. She’s also a mum of three and has a passion for the gym and the community choir she directs (the last two are not related!).