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Read Psalm 60

For the director of music. To the tune of “The Lily of the Covenant.” A miktam of David. For teaching. When he fought Aram Naharaim and Aram Zobah, and when Joab returned and struck down twelve thousand Edomites in the Valley of Salt.

1 You have rejected us, God, and burst upon us;
you have been angry—now restore us!

2 You have shaken the land and torn it open;
mend its fractures, for it is quaking.

3 You have shown your people desperate times;
you have given us wine that makes us stagger.

4 But for those who fear you, you have raised a banner
to be unfurled against the bow.

5 Save us and help us with your right hand,
that those you love may be delivered.

6 God has spoken from his sanctuary:
“In triumph I will parcel out Shechem
and measure off the Valley of Sukkoth.

7 Gilead is mine, and Manasseh is mine;
Ephraim is my helmet,
Judah is my scepter.

8 Moab is my washbasin,
on Edom I toss my sandal;
over Philistia I shout in triumph.”

9 Who will bring me to the fortified city?
Who will lead me to Edom?

10 Is it not you, God, you who have now rejected us
and no longer go out with our armies?

11 Give us aid against the enemy,
for human help is worthless.

12 With God we will gain the victory,
and he will trample down our enemies.

Go Deeper

In Psalm 60 King David helps us understand the true source of victory in the battle against the enemy. Every one of us knows what it’s like to fight a battle in our own strength. We make promises, claim victory, and vow to never smoke/drink/gossip/binge/look at porn ever again. We pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and white knuckle it. We might find success or sobriety for a few days, but ultimately we end up returning to our old ways. Without the Lord leading our lives we will fail. If we fight in our power and not His, we will be defeated. 

It’s exhausting to fail in our battles. We know what it’s like to desire change but to find ourselves stuck in the same old struggles. We feel alone, we feel like failures, and we feel defeated. Sometimes it’s a grind to get out of bed, put our feet on the ground, and face the day ahead of us. The weight is too heavy to carry on our own.

In John 15:5, Jesus says, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” Apart from Christ we can do nothing! We need aid against the enemy, because human help is worthless (Psalm 60:11). Without Him we will not succeed and with Him we cannot fail.

What would it look like for you and I to put our hope and trust in the only One who can trample down our enemies and gain victory (Psalm 60:12)? Whether fighting against enemy nations like King David or attacking an addiction or sin struggle, how can we acknowledge the true source of victory? God does give us the gift of community to help bear our burdens and to fight alongside us, but unless the Lord leads us, we will labor in vain (Psalm 127:1). 

Pause, right now. Take a moment and repent of the ways you try to fight without the Lord. In a position of humility, ask God to give you aid against the enemy. Ask Him to save you and help you. Those He loves will be delivered (Psalm 60:5).

Questions

  1. What battle are you facing on your own? Who can help you carry your burden (Galatians 6:2)?
  2. What do you think it means when David says “human help is worthless” in Psalm 60:11?
  3. Why do you think we often rely on our own strength and try to power through instead of leaning on the Lord?

Did You Know?

In Genesis 49:10 we see God promise Judah the right to rule the other tribes. When David writes that “Judah is my scepter,” he’s reminding his readers that a descendant of Judah will reign over God’s people.

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2 thoughts on “Psalm 60”

  1. David writes of a harrowing defeat of Israel where they lost 12,000 in battle. He speaks of God’s rejection & anger which has split his people apart. Worse than the defeat was separation from God. David desperately appeals for God’s mercy to restore favor again. He speaks of a banner in v4 noting that no matter what the hardship may be his his allegiance and trust would remain in God. The Psalm that began in defeat ends in triumph as v12 proclaims “With God we will perform valiantly; He will trample down our foes.” Today I will remember that “what God does in judgement or discipline, He can restore in love and mercy.”

  2. Thank you BRP. I am remembering the verse: “with God, all things are possible” Matthew 19:23. What a comfort to hear the words “hold you in the palm of his hands” from Psalm 91 with lyrics from Shane&Shane.

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