10 “Who will bring me to the fortified city?
Who will lead me to Edom?
11 Have you not rejected us, O God?
You do not go out, O God, with our armies.
12 Oh grant us help against the foe,
for vain is the salvation of man!
13 With God we shall do valiantly;
it is he who will tread down our foes.”
Psalm 108:10-13, ESV
As believers we all have expectations. In this Psalm, the mind of David is clear and aware– and it is essentially focusing on whether God will be present (or not?). David has seen a lot in his life. And after our life is all sifted, we should be asking, “how close was God to me?”
“With God we shall do valiantly” is most certainly a profound statement. It is pretty much saturated by an intense faith. It declares that we are now enabled to face anything life decides to throw at us.
V. 10, ““Who will bring me to the fortified city?
Who will lead me to Edom?”
David’s question has been cloaked in the metaphors of his day. Today we need to break out our study books to define things for us. But the contemporaries of David would have instantly understood the question.
The “fortified city,” or Edom was the very place of concentrated evil. It was always a source of disruption and pain for Jerusalem. I suppose we could make the comparison between Iran and the USA.
Terrorism and dealing with advanced weaponry are just two of the issues. There are also real religious and social incompatibilities. We face core ideas where we are diametrically and irreconcilable opposed to each other.
The question is this– how do we oppose a fortified city? Or take on the greatest threat to our nation’s prosperity and well-being?
V. 11, “ Have you not rejected us, O God?
You do not go out, O God, with our armies.”
This statement clarifies King David’s greatest fear. The absence of God in the heart of his nation terrifies him. It is a nightmare when God withdraws His presence from His people.
Yes…Israel does have an army. And I’m sure it was the equal (more or less) with any other kingdom’s army. It would be good to remember that as a boy David faced Goliath. There was something quite solid inserted in his thinking. It had to do with a faithful God acting on Israel’s behalf.
V. 12, “ Oh grant us help against the foe,
for vain is the salvation of man!”
David refuses to stay in verse 11. He pushes into v. 12. He refuses to accept the false “alternate reality” of an absent God, but instead he forges out this cry for divine help.
This man David was the boy who faced Goliath, the giant. Obviously, Goliath was the superior warrior. He was experienced after many encounters in combat. Never defeated, he was ‘the human wood-chipper.’ And when David defeated him, it was a victory of monumental proportions. And David would never, ever be the same.
I’m reasonably certain that Israel had generals trained in their version of “West Point.” I’m reasonably sure they had a diplomatic presence reaching out for alliances and treaties. But in all these gyrations and preparations, King David refused to put any confidence in them.
V. 13, “With God we shall do valiantly;
it is he who will tread down our foes.”
A most remarkable verse. It has a definite value far beyond David’s situation, it chisels out a principle that has as much, (or more) significance today.
“With God.” “Do valiantly.” There is something quite heroic about any person that chooses to “walk by faith, and not by sight.” Valiant ones are not necessarily stronger or smarter, rather they know they are weaker. They have relinquished anything that keep them following their Father into victory.
“Tread down” can be understood as ‘trampling or stomping.’ It is the ultimate act of victory, with the enemy under our feet. It reveals the sense of total victory over them. And we must see, it is God’s feet doing the crushing.
“When we pray for the Spirit’s help … we will simply fall down at the Lord’s feet in our weakness. There we will find the victory and power that comes from His love. ”