Strength and weakness…

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Psalm 119:38 I pursued my enemies and destroyed them, and did not turn back until they were consumed. 39 I consumed them; I struck them down, so that they did not rise; they fell under my feet. 40 For you girded me with strength for the battle; you made my assailants sink under me. 

I know I mention this more than necessary, but it always strikes me how different is the posture of God’s anointed in the Old Testament than in Jesus. David’s favor is defined by strength and victory in battle. Of his enemies he writes, “I consume them; I strike them down, so that they did not rise; they fell under my feet.” This is in obvious contrast to Jesus’ teaching, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”

But more than that, in the Sermon on the Mount of Matthew chapter five Jesus teaches that those who inherit the Kingdom of God are not the strong, as one might expect from this psalm. Instead they are the meek, the poor, those who mourn, the peacemakers, and so on. It’s an image of God’s favor via humility rather than pride. It’s victory via the cross rather than the crown. It’s as the Lord speaks in 2 Corinthians, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect through weakness.”

Radical stuff, man.

Lord there are many, including myself, who feel as though we’re being laid low. Life is heavy. The burdens of leadership profound. We’re just plain worn out Lord, weary of spirit. Revive us O God. Strengthen us this day so that we might serve you well. And then do it again tomorrow. For now, more than ever, our hope is in you. Amen.

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