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(Click or hover over the above Scripture reference link to read the passage.)
Psalm 18 is God’s hype music. Hype music is what a sports team plays in the locker room before a game or what blares from the speakers as a fighter does his walk up to the ring. Hype music is loud, it gets you pumped up, and it has the air of victory to it. Psalm 18 is all of these things.
In high school, I had Psalm 18:32-34 taped up in my football locker. While it didn’t do much to help my status as a benchwarmer, it was a great reminder of who I served and the strength he gave me within my lost and vulgar football team where I was shining Jesus’ light.
I just love the mood behind this Psalm. It’s a reminder that within all of the lament psalms, within all of the ongoing suffering of our world, and within the feeling like we are outnumbered and overwhelmed, God is:
my rock! my fortress! my deliverer! my rock in whom I take refuge!
my shield and the horn of my salvation! my stronghold!
worthy of praise!
quaking the earth and the foundation of the mountains, with smoke from his nostrils and fire from his mouth, parting the heavens and coming down on dark clouds, flying on the wings of the wind, advancing with hailstones and bolts of lightnings, all to defeat my foes!
reaching down from on high and taking hold of me!
delighting in me!
flawless in his word!
shielding all who take refuge in him!
keeping my way secure!
am saved from my enemies!
am rescued from my powerful enemy who is too strong for me!
am brought into a spacious place!
am God’s delight!
am in the light, because God keeps my lamp burning and has turned my darkness to light!
can advance against a troop!
can scale a wall!
am armed with strength!
am given feet like a deer!
am able to stand on the heights, with hands trained for battle!
can bend a bow of bronze!
have God’s saving help as my shield!
am sustained by God’s right hand!
am given a broad path for my feet!
have crushed my enemies!
am delivered from being attacked!
The LORD lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be God my Savior!
I don’t know about you, but I need this hype music as I walk up to the boxing ring for another round. I need the visual of God defeating Satan and his minions with lightning and earthquakes and fire. I love these earthy visuals. The psalmist is taking the most fierce, ferocious, and powerful images he knows to paint a picture of God’s raw power unleashed onto evil. This is our God! His furious anger is turned upon evil and his furious love is turned up on me. Amen and amen!
Prayer for the day: Thank you for rescuing me God! Thank you for your might and power! Thank you that evil cannot defeat you. Evil has no hold on you. Evil has no power over you. Thank you that you are my strength when I need it most. Thank you that you turn darkness into light. This world is so dark. My life can be so dark. Yet you turn my darkness into light! You are the light of the world Jesus. Thank you for choosing me. Thank you for calling my name. Thank you for being my refuge and my strength. Thank you that you delight in me! The God of the universe delights…in me! You are good God, I love you.
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- Ep. 69: Pastor Jack and Becky Sytsema on being in a mixed orientation marriage and how the Church should treat LGBTQ+ people - August 8, 2022
- Ep. 68: Thoughts on Hillsong Exposed, The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill, & Willow Creek - July 19, 2022
- The Flip Side Ep. 67: Jack Sytsema shares about being a gay / same sex attracted pastor in a mixed orientation marriage - June 25, 2022