August 6, 2023 Heavenly Father, we want to end up where David did in this psalm, praising you for your righteousness and your supremacy—you are God Most High—in the midst of the injustice he was experiencing from very threatening enemies. But we may need to start where he started.
So we cry out to you, Lord, interceding for one another this morning: save us and rescue us as those who have taken refuge in you. We may be facing such a threat, such an onslaught, from enemies—the devil and his demons, the world system of thinking and living, the flesh and its persistent and powerful bent toward sin—that we feel like we will be torn apart by a lion unless you intervene and rescue us. So to you we cry out—for one another and for ourselves—for that rescue.
Mistreatment, assault, attack, threats that arise through no wrongdoing on our part are particularly painful and grievous, Lord, as you know. This may be where we live this morning, and we echo David’s cry to you: arise, Lord, lift yourself up, awake! Let not the injustice continue. Act in accordance with your righteousness.
We praise you this morning that you are the righteous God, the God of justice, the God who will one day judge nothing less than all the nations, the whole world. You are the God who tests minds and hearts and know the real facts. You are the God who will justly and fearfully execute retribution against the enemies of your anointed king—the enemies of David in his day, the enemies of the Son of David, Jesus the Messiah, at the last day. We are sobered by your instruments of judgment pictured in this psalm: sword, bow, flaming arrows. Who can withstand your righteous wrath?
On our own we ourselves could not, Father. We know our own sin, our own rebellions against you, our own resistance to the reign of King Jesus and our insistence of reigning over our own lives. We are glad for the integrity of King David and his earnest plea for vindication on that basis. We ourselves fall short. Our lack of integrity is painfully real to us.
So we turn to the one who fulfills this psalm even more fully than David. We praise you, Lord Jesus, for your perfect integrity, your perfect righteousness, your full deserving of vindication from God in your earthly life. We are amazed and humbled that you willingly gave up that vindication, that deliverance, that justice on this side of death and patiently waited for it on the other side of death. You bore the sword, the bow, the arrows of divine wrath for our sakes, taking our sin and its rightful punishment on yourself, so that we could wear your righteousness, share in your resurrection vindication, be clothed in your integrity, and grow in our daily experience of living that out by the power of your Holy Spirit.
Praise be to you, King Jesus, for your resurrection victory and glory. Our hearts are full of praise for the deliverance we now have because we are united with you.
Father, may others get in on this deliverance, this justice, this good news that the righteous Judge of the nations judges in favor of his anointed King—and in favor of all those who belong to him in faith. May our loved ones, our friends, our acquaintances in our spheres of influence, and the unreached peoples of the world cease resisting the King. May they see his patient offer of profound peace to those who lay down their arms. May they repent. May they not face your deadly weapons. May they not end up at the last day standing on a foundation of lies. May they see the futility of opposing you. Save them, Lord, as you have saved us. Make us instrumental in sharing the good news.
We are mindful of our persecuted brothers and sisters around the world who are suffering injustice. May they trust you for their vindication and deliverance. Sustain them and rescue them, Lord.
We are mindful of the younger generation in our church fellowship—the children who bless us by their lives. It seems likely that they will face increasing cultural hostility and unjust treatment if they purpose to follow Jesus faithfully. Prepare them, protect them, equip them for the future that lies before them.
Enlarge, O Lord, the number of people, in our church, in our spheres of influence, and among the nations of the world—the number of people who join with David in declaring: We will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness, and we will sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High.
Through Jesus Christ, our Lord, we pray. And all the congregation said, “Amen!”