Happy To Welcome You To The Hallelujah Chorus

I will exalt you my God, the King, I will praise your name forever and ever. Every day I will praise you and exalt your name forever and ever. Psalm 145:1-2

Sunday, March 21, 2010


As I have wandered around in the Psalms of David, there are several themes that seem common to most of them, love for God, praise of His name and power, faith that at some point God would step in and save Israel, etc. But, not all of his songs were filled with praise and faith. He repeatedly calls on God to destroy his enemies, break their teeth, come down on their heads with holy retribution. I simply cannot sing those songs or pray those prayers.
We still live in a violent world where power reigns and fear and anger retaliate which produces a never ending cycle of more violence. For several thousand years the Jewish people have repeated these songs in their worship to Yahweh, to no avail. The nation of Israel is still fighting to survive in the midst of the same ongoing battle David and his nation had to fight. But the same is true of many nations, factions within nations, governing bodies, churches, schools, families, neighborhoods, and on and on the cycle goes.
Jesus said, "You have heard it said, love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven." Matthew 5:43-45 Jesus doesn't promise you peace with your enemies, only that the love of God in you will make you His child.
Would Jesus' way of dealing with one's enemies have worked for David?
The fact is, David's violent way didn't work very well either. He constantly had to come back to God with the same request over and over and over. Some of that I truly understand. There are times when a show of superior strength and determination is required in a violent world. However, history has shown repeatedly that war begets more war, violence begets more violence.
Jesus is our peace. Only in Him can the human family find any hope of true peace. The early disciples of Jesus proved the possibility of a shared love of other races, nationalities and customs. I feel strongly confident that the Apostles wrestled with the same misgivings about love for one's enemies when they first heard the teaching of Jesus.
I appreciate this statement from David: "Surely God is my helper, the Lord is the upholder of my life." Psalm 54:4 Through the worst of times he had enough faith to sing this song and cast himself and his nation in the care of Yahweh. David wasn't really a bad man, just a man who struggled most days to survive in a violent world. I cant say I have any enemies, except maybe those who are bent on destroying my country and our way of life. I served in the military and would again if the leaders of my country called on me and would have an old guy like me. I am very thankful that I never had to look into the eyes of a stranger and shoot him. Thousands of my countrymen have and I appreciate their sacrifice.
Sometimes you have to get on the other side of a situation to see the hand of God, but He's always there to hold me up. That I HAVE experienced. HALLELUJAH!

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