For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. A maskil.
We have heard it with our ears, O God; our ancestors have told us what you did in their days, in days long ago. With your hand you drove out the nations and planted our ancestors; you crushed the peoples and made our ancestors flourish. It was not by their sword that they won the land, nor did their arm bring them victory; it was your right hand, your arm, and the light of your face, for you loved them. You are my King and my God, who decrees victories for Jacob. Through you we push back our enemies; through your name we trample our foes. I put no trust in my bow, my sword does not bring me victory; but you give us victory over our enemies, you put our adversaries to shame. In God we make our boast all day long, and we will praise your name forever.
In failure we see God more clearly. When things are going well we are lulled into thinking that we are steering the ship. After all, it was our wisdom, leadership and decisiveness that delivered the success…or so we think. But failure shows us how weak and vulnerable we really are.
Today’s psalm was written after Israel suffered a devastating defeat. With a clearer perspective, the song begins by praising God for past victories. Israel remembered that the strength of their army had not brought triumph; their archers or swordsmen did not bring home the win. It was God who delivered success and put the “adversaries to shame.”
No one is fond of failure, but it will come reminding us that we are weak and vulnerable. If you are experiencing the fallout of failure, it’s time for a review of God’s past work in your life. The same God who brought home the victories yesterday is able to do the same today.
Father, You are my God and my King. I am weak and vulnerable. You alone are the only One who can deliver me from my self-inflicted failure and bring victory. I thank You for what You have done in the past. Now I trust You to do Your work in my life today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.