With God on our side vs. being on God’s side
God’s goodness is like a rock to David. It is the most concrete thing in his life, despite constant and very tangible threats all around.
Uber confident start. The lord is:
- light (bringing clarity, direction, guidance)
- salvation (bringing deliverance from enemies and fear as well as forgiveness) and
- stronghold of life … source, protector of the soul’s existence
So he has nothing to fear and repeats that three times, which makes you think those he was addressing had plenty to fear. Enemies will fail, stay confident, he says. It is a psalm of confidence. Its like the St Crispians Day speech in Henry V.. a stirring rally by a leader, except the call is to rely on God’s strength not their own.
Til now it has seemed like a military psalm, but the next section seems to broaden it out because he talks about being in the tent, the tabernacle, in the presence of God and being kept safe there and being raised up above his enemies. He will be exalted above them by sacrificing to God and singing about him. No doubt singing this very Psalm.
As a literal military strategy, hiding in a tent and singing is unlikely to work. He’s pushing this way past a “god is on our side” prayer before a battle in war… locking in God’s support to a human endeavour. When he speaks of the one thing he wants god to give him: time gazing upon God’s beauty and seeking him, it is more like a love affair with God. He doesn’t want God to lend support to his fight, he wants God’s will to supplant the fight.
He is following his heart, seeking God above all others, he asks God not to forsake him, confident that even his mum and dad would do that before God did. The foes are identified as more than military… they are spreaders of malice and false witness.
Strong end focusses in on the theme succinctly: he is confident of the triumph of God’s goodness, so he will wait for him. How many bad decisions do we make because of impatience with God?