Psalm 60 The Lord is Our Banner
This Psalm, a miktam of David is entitled God Who Judges the Earth. It is supposed to be God who is the judge, not man. Yet so many people put themselves in His place and condemn, punish, and kill as if they have the right, as if they have never sinned. Leaders make sweeping decisions for people and someone is always hurt by their choices. If they swear to uphold group a, group b is forgotten and vice versa. But they are never trampled by their own rulings. They always reap the gain from the people’s loss.
Verses 1-2 read,
“Do you indeed decree what is right, you gods?
Do you judge the children of man uprightly?
2 No, in your hearts you devise wrongs;
your hands deal out violence on earth.”
The people who make themselves judge by doling out slanted justice elevate themselves to a false position of god. They think they have a right to magistrate. But they can’t hand out justice properly, they can’t judge uprightly, because their hearts are flawed. They like all of us are born sinners. We all plan evil. We all scheme selfishly. And those who elevate themselves to be judge, dispense a skewed justice. They become murderers. They take vengeance on themselves and somehow think it is their right to spew their false piety, anger, hate, and viciousness over everyone.
We are all born sinners. None of us has the right to allocate justice while we ourselves are unjust. None of us has the right to judge because we deserve judgment. Verses 3-5 read,
“The wicked are estranged from the womb;
they go astray from birth, speaking lies.
4 They have venom like the venom of a serpent,
like the deaf adder that stops its ear,
5 so that it does not hear the voice of charmers
or of the cunning enchanter.”
We are all born imperfect and capable of evil. But we don’t have to stay that way. The Father calls us to Him. Jesus can give us His righteousness. The Holy Spirit can conform us to Christ’s image. But some people can’t make The Lord their God, because they have raised themselves up to be their own gods. They think they are in charge of their own lives, but these gods are slaves to Satan, the prince of this world. They spread their poison like deadly snakes who kill with one bite. And like the adder those lethal serpents keep spreading their poisonous lies. Their own agenda is fragile and can’t stand up to arguments. Their pride makes them deaf. They refuse to hear anyone for fear that their image will be destroyed.
But they like everyone on this earth will be judged by the One God Elohim. He is our Creator and Judge. Only He has the authority to avenge, judge, condemn, or absolve. Verses 6-7 describe the punishment the wicked judges will receive.
“O God, break the teeth in their mouths;
tear out the fangs of the young lions, O Lord!
7 Let them vanish like water that runs away;
when he aims his arrows, let them be blunted.”
God breaks their teeth making them harmless. They can’t rip apart their prey or even wound without their teeth. And though in the worldly sense they may cause the believer pain and suffering, they have no real power to wound us. They are like their haughty prince, the devil, whom Peter described as a prowling lion. He encouraged believers not to freak out and fear him, but to remain calm and act. 1 Peter 5:6-11 says,
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11 To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
The devil is like a roaring lion, but he has no teeth when it comes to followers of Jesus Christ. Whatever pains he might cause are temporary. We can resist him because of our faith in Our Awesome God, The Lion of Judah who is worthy and conquered the devil. Revelation 5:1-5 reads,
“Then I saw in the right hand of him who was seated on the throne a scroll written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals. 2 And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” 3 And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it, 4 and I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. 5 And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.”
It is God, Elohim, who judges. Only He is worthy. Vengeance is His. (Deuteronomy 32:35-36). His Judgment will bring eternal punishment and death to the wicked. It will be as if they never existed. Verses 8-9 read,
“Let them be like the snail that dissolves into slime,
like the stillborn child who never sees the sun.
9 Sooner than your pots can feel the heat of thorns,
whether green or ablaze, may he sweep them away!”
But for us who make Jesus our Lord and are credited with His righteousness judgement brings eternal life and the Kingdom of Heaven. He gives it to us now before Judgement Day so that we can glorify Him and so that the lost can be found and declare Jesus is Lord. Verses 10-11 read,
“The righteous will rejoice when he sees the vengeance;
he will bathe his feet in the blood of the wicked.
11 Mankind will say, “Surely there is a reward for the righteous;
surely there is a God who judges on earth.”
Who is your God? Is He Elohim? Is Jesus your righteousness? Are you indwelled with God’s Awesome Holy Spirit? Or are you your own god judging the world with an unworthy and sinful heart. With Jesus as our Lord and The Holy Spirit within us we are given the authority to forgive, and to bless. (John 20:21-23). But we leave judgement up to Jesus. We may discern sin and error in a fellow believer and help him back, but this is not the judgement of God who judges finally and completely with all authority. (John 5:25-29, James 4:10-12).
What is glory? What does glorified mean? To glorify God is to honor Him through our sanctification, our transformation to become perfect in His image. Imagine that glory is a mirror we hold up. We glorify God by reflecting His image to the world and back to Him. It is a pleasing worship for us to praise Him through our lives as we respond with godliness, with the fruit of the Spirit. To glorify God is to act with Love because God is Love. (1 John 4:8). It is to speak and act with Truth because Jesus is the Truth. (John 14:6). It is to walk in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, because that is the nature of The Holy Spirit. (Galatians 5:22-23).
How is The Lord glorified? Is He glorified when we suffer and moan? Or is it when we suffer and sing His Praises that He is glorified? Is He glorified when our enemies hate us and we curse them? Or is He glorified when our enemies try and trample us and we bless them and pray for them?
In this Miktam titled Let Your Glory Be over All the Earth, David expressed his anguish over his enemies to The Lord. But through his distress, he glorified the Lord. Verses 1-4 read,
“Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me,
for in you my soul takes refuge;
in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge,
till the storms of destruction pass by.
2 I cry out to God Most High,
to God who fulfills his purpose for me.
3 He will send from heaven and save me;
he will put to shame him who tramples on me. Selah
God will send out his steadfast love and his faithfulness!
4 My soul is in the midst of lions;
I lie down amid fiery beasts--
the children of man, whose teeth are spears and arrows,
whose tongues are sharp swords.
5 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!
Let your glory be over all the earth!
6 They set a net for my steps;
my soul was bowed down.
They dug a pit in my way,
but they have fallen into it themselves. Selah”
David praised God for His mercy. Mercy is God’s loving kindness, his compassion in knowing we are fallible, yet showing us favor regardless. God shows us His mercy in many ways in this verse, God showed David His mercy by letting David take refuge in Him, by being a shield from the furor of his enemies’ attacks and the evil they tried to inflict upon him. God is our refuge through everything. No matter what our enemies do to us, we know our future, we know that God is with us and that nothing the enemy does to us can succeed. (Isaiah 54:17).
David, a man after God’s own heart showed mercy to Saul. He could have killed him when Saul came entered the cave where David was hiding. But instead he bowed down to King Saul and declared he wouldn’t kill him even though he could have. (1 Samuel 24).
David was hiding in a cave from Saul who was desperate to kill him. God surrounded and protected David like the mountain. David was even able to sleep knowing Almighty God was His refuge and that God had anointed Him to be the next king of Israel. He trusted God to sustain him and keep him alive so that he could be the king God called him to be. Believer, you have been anointed to a royal and magnificent calling, a great purpose, and an eternal hope. God is your shield in order to fulfill your purpose for His glory.
David glorified the Lord by showing mercy to Saul, by trusting God to be His refuge, and praising God and giving Him the credit for his safety instead of taking that acclaim for himself. David didn’t keep God’s great work to himself. He told people, wrote a song, sang and danced, and he praised The Lord. Verses 7-11 read,
“My heart is steadfast, O God,
my heart is steadfast!
I will sing and make melody!
8 Awake, my glory!
Awake, O harp and lyre!
I will awake the dawn!
9 I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples;
I will sing praises to you among the nations.
10 For your steadfast love is great to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the clouds.
11 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!
Let your glory be over all the earth!”
David didn’t only praise the Lord when things were going well for him. He didn’t only pray when things were going poorly. He praised and prayed constantly. His faith in God didn’t waver. He wasn’t tossed around like a buoy on a tumultuous sea. God is steadfast. His love is steadfast. His commitment to us is steadfast. We glorify God with that same steadfast faith in Him.
When we manifest God’s character toward Him and to the world we glorify Him. The world can’t help but take notice. It isn’t the Christianese t-shirt or bumper sticker that says we are followers of Christ. It is our love. It is not a patronizing pretentious piety that says we are royal heirs with Jesus. It is our active and intentional love. It is walking in the Spirit and so demonstrating His love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control which glorifies God. John 13:31-35 in The Message says it this way,
“When he had left, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man is seen for who he is, and God seen for who he is in him. The moment God is seen in him, God’s glory will be on display. In glorifying him, he himself is glorified—glory all around!
33 “Children, I am with you for only a short time longer. You are going to look high and low for me. But just as I told the Jews, I’m telling you: ‘Where I go, you are not able to come.’
34-35 “Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.”
As I read the Bible every day, I take what God teaches me, what He says, and write it out. I then share that with you. It gives me a deeper understanding of the Word and I hope that it will encourage you as it does me, to put your love and faith into action.