Wednesday, November 27, 2013

not in bow and sword

For not in my bow do I trust, nor can my sword save me. But you have saved us from our foes and have put to shame those who hate us. 

Psalm 44:6-7

Self-reliance is not a biblical virtue. In fact, it is more often than not a snare to the soul. This psalm begins by celebrating God's deliverance of Israel. He established them in a land that they did not own, driving out their enemies. He fought their battles for them. The history of Israel began with God's fighting for His people.

And this historical fact was a hallmark of the nation. It was a way of defining themselves as a people. They trusted in God for protection and peace. They existed as a nation by divine providence and worshiped God accordingly. No one man could take sword or bow in hand and claim to be Israel's strength. No army was their hope.

That healthy trust in God and abandonment of self-reliance speaks to my world. I, like most of my generation, tend to idolize independence. And we Americans boast about our own strength, self-reliance, and  national defense. But that is an enemy to real faith when we fail to see God as the giver of all good things in our lives, even our security, economy, and standard of living. So at this Thanksgiving season, I am reminded to praise God Who is my strength, my deliverer, and my salvation.

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