Saturday, July 18, 2009

July 18, 2009

"Be exalted, O LORD, in your strength; we will sing and praise your might." Psalm 21:13

I once had a sofa bed that I needed to move up to a third-floor apartment. There was no elevator. Fortunately I had a friend named Jack who was a power-lifter. His strength and might helped me get the job done.
When I was 14 and too young to get a real job, I got hired on to bale hay. At the crack of dawn I was on duty and the work began. I will never forget the loading the first few bales onto the wagon wondering how I would have the strength to do this for the next twelve hours. I did it for twelve hours for the next three days. I had more strength than I thought. This new found strength gave me confidence.
Not that long ago, I could wrestle with my boys and win. Now they are stronger than I am. They could crush me like a soda can except they love me too much.
One of the things that make the Virginia Tech Hokies a perennial power in football is that they have one of the best strength and conditioning programs in the country. They take strong heathy young men and make them much stronger. When the ball is snapped at the line of scrimmage, strength matters!
We honor strength in our culture. In fact, our world is governed by the aggressive use of force. The nation with the strongest values, and the strongest economy, and the strongest will, and the strongest military will win. It is a fact of life. History bears it out.
As I was reading this Psalm this morning it dawned on me that I worship God for His holiness and for His love and for His grace and for His goodness and His mercy, but the Psalmist here exalts Him for His strength.
Meditating on that I realized he is right! If it were not for the strength and power and might of our God, none of these other virtues would matter. God can manifest all of His goodness and righteousness because He has the power to execute it! If He were unable to overcome evil, His holiness would be of no consequence.
Remember when you were a child boasting that your dad could beat up their dad? The Psalmist is essentially doing that. He is exalting in the fact that His God is greater than all other gods. God is more powerful than evil, more powerful than time, more powerful than nations, more powerful than death, and always will be!
There is only one thing that God can't overpower - your will. He wants you to surrender that to His strength. Like the Psalmist, God wants you to "sing and praise His might".
If you sing about salvation - praise Him for His might. If you sing about deliverance - praise Him for His might! If you praise Him for healing - praise Him for His might! If you praise Him for provision - praise Him for His might! If you praise Him for protection - praise Him for His might!
Martin Luther had it right - "A Mighty Fortress IS Our God!"