Psalm 60:1 O God, you have rejected us, broken our defenses; you have been angry; now restore us! 2 You have caused the land to quake; you have torn it open; repair the cracks in it, for it is tottering. 3 You have made your people suffer hard things; you have given us wine to drink that made us reel.
David and his warriors are in trouble. Again. And so David makes an appeal to God for relief from enemies. What I find interesting is David’s interpretation of the cause of their military struggles. There is no mention of being outnumbered or outgunned or out maneuvered. The sole basis of his troubles is his relationship with God.
If David is struggling, God must be the reason why.
Now I understand David was part of the first covenant based on adherence to the law (those who follow the law are blessed, though who don’t are cursed), whereas we are part of the second covenant of grace through Jesus Christ. That said, the New Testament includes the idea that God may be the source of struggle and difficulty – for our own good. See these verses from the writer of Hebrews:
Hebrews 12:7 Endure trials for the sake of discipline. God is treating you as children; for what child is there whom a parent does not discipline? 8 If you do not have that discipline in which all children share, then you are illegitimate and not his children.
What I find curious is how infrequently I think of hardship as something originating from God the Father. I’m more likely to point a finger at Satan, or even my own stupidity. But this passage is pushing me to think and pray in a different way about hardship.
Lord, give me grace to recognize and accept your discipline when I experience it. Amen.