"He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure." Psalm 40:2

He teaches my hands to war

I have no clue what I’m doing.

I’m trying to manage a household, homeschool my children, help my husband start a business…and the longer I do all these things the more clearly I see that I am clueless.

Not in a self-hatred “I’m so dumb” woeful sort of way, mind you. I’m just, well, discouraged. I plan and I plan – and I implement the plans – and some portion doesn’t pan out, so I return to the drawing board yet again.

Way back in November I began a study on the Armour of God, which I plan to explore here on the blog with you one day. As I told my husband at the time, I felt like I had to get a handle on what the armour is and how to get it on. I felt spiritually exposed, naked, barraged, and defenseless.

Well, I’ve studied, and prayed, and I’m not yet done. In a lot of ways I feel like I understand less now than I did when I started. I hit a real low this week, and explained to God (it’s so funny how we do that) that I knew I needed to be a soldier – I understood how critical it is for me to be in full armour for the battles I face every day – but I didn’t know how to do it. I couldn’t do it. I didn’t understand how, and I didn’t feel as if I ever would.

As Providence would have it, that evening one of the scheduled chapters in my Bible reading plan was Psalm 144.

“Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight: My goodness, and my fortress; my high tower, and my deliverer; my shield, and he in whom I trust; who subdueth my people under me.” (Psalms 144:1-2)

“Which teacheth my hands to war…” The words leapt off the page.

In his commentary on this passage Matthew Henry reflects on how this truth is seen practically in David’s life, and then applies that truth to us:

[David] was bred a shepherd, and seems not to have been designed by his parents, or himself for any thing more. But, God had made him a soldier. His hands had been used to the crook and his fingers to the harp, but God taught his hands to war and his fingers to fight, because he designed him for Israel’s champion; and what God calls men to he either finds them or makes them fit for. Let the men of war give God the glory of all their military skill; the same that teaches the meanest husbandman his art teaches the greatest general his. It is a pity that any whose fingers God has taught to fight should fight against him or his kingdom among men. Those have special reason to acknowledge God with thankfulness who prove to be qualified for services which they themselves never thought of.

He’s teaching me. God’s teaching me. I don’t have to know it all yet. What He has called me to do, He will equip me to do.

Not only that, but He is my shield & fortress – my protection from the evil one.

David could have trusted in his physical stronghold where he was physically refuged, yet in this Psalm he expressed that his trust was in the LORD.

“My goodness, and my fortress; my high tower, and my deliverer; my shield, and he in whom I trust” (Psalm 144:2a)

Pulling from Matthew Henry again:

“Lord,” says [David], “thou art my fortress and my high tower.” The divine attributes and promises are fortifications to a believer, far exceeding those either of nature or art.

My deliverer, and, as it is in the original, very emphatically, my deliverer to me, “not only a deliverer I have interest in, but who is always nigh unto me and makes all my deliverances turn to my real benefit.”

“My shield, to guard me against all the malignant darts that my enemies let fly at me, not only my fortress at home, but my shield abroad in the field of battle.” Wherever a believer goes he carries his protection along with him.

My shield abroad in the field of battle. Even when that field of battle happens to appear in the form of a kitchen table strewn with school books, a snide remark, or a rebellious child.

God’s promises stand securely, exceedingly and abundantly above any place I could find in nature or have built – above any other means I might dream up to try and protect myself.

In every test and trial I face, God is patiently teaching me to do His will and He is vigilantly shielding me from harm. My responsibility is to continue seeking him in the Word and in prayer, and to obey – by His power and grace.

I may not always feel it, but I can say in all honesty with David:

“Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the LORD.” (Psalms 144:15)

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