FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE VALIANT ONE
November 8, 2016
Today’s psalm: Psalm 37:3-29
Who or what is “the valiant one whose steps are guided by the Lord, who will delight in his way” (v.23)? That is an apt description of a holy warrior! His life is subject to God’s guidance and God’s ways, and he is brave as he plunges into battle.
In today’s verses of Psalm 37, King David, the ultimate holy warrior, instructs God’s people as to the right conduct of a holy warrior.
First, “Be still before the Lord; wait for him.” (v.7a). A holy warrior prays, kneels before Jesus, awaits his commands. He is patient and persevering in combat. He knows the eventual outcome of the battle. “Those who do evil will be cut off, but those who wait for the Lord will inherit the earth.” (v.9).
Second, “Commit your way to the Lord” (v.5a). A holy warrior pledges his life to God, commits to do His will, resolves to obey all His orders. He lives out his covenant.
Third, “Turn from evil and do good” (v.27a). He avoids sin and wrongdoing. He does what is good, according to God’s decrees.
Fourth, “Trust in the Lord and do good” (v.3a). A holy warrior looks to God for everything and fully trusts in His divine providence. He knows God will provide whatever he needs for his life and for the battle. “Trust in him and he will act” (v.5b). He is thus free to focus on doing God’s will, on doing what is good and just. “And make your righteousness shine like the dawn, your justice like noonday.” (v.6).
Fifth, “Find your delight in the Lord” (v.4a). A holy warrior knows he will encounter trials, oppression, persecution, rejection, betrayal, suffering and pain. He embraces all these with joy, knowing that he participates, in his own small way, in the cross of Christ. Further, he knows God is always there for him. He “may stumble, but he will never fall, for the Lord holds his hand.” (v.24).
Sixth, “Do not be provoked by the prosperous, nor by malicious schemers.” (v.7b). A holy warrior does not look to riches, power or acclaim. He lives a simple lifestyle with simple needs. He does not use money or resources to buy loyalty, to build his own turf, to entice others to his cause. He will not be led astray by prosperity. “Better the meagerness of the righteous one than the plenty of the wicked.” (v.16).
Now what does God do for a holy warrior?
One, a holy warrior is assured by God of victory against the evil enemy. “The wicked perish, enemies of the Lord” (v.20a). The enemy is powerful, but God thwarts their evil designs. “The wicked unsheath their swords; they string their bows to fell the poor and oppressed, to slaughter those whose way is upright. Their swords will pierce their own hearts; their bows will be broken.” (v.14-15). A holy warrior is patient and persevering in battle, looking to God’s time for the victory. “Wait a little, and the wicked will be no more” (v.10a). He knows the enemy is up against the all-powerful God, who will not be mocked. “But my Lord laughs at them, because he sees that their day is coming.” (v.13). The victory belongs to the holy. “The arms of the wicked will be broken, while the Lord will sustain the righteous.” (v.17).
Two, a holy warrior is assured by God of His bountiful provision. “They will not be ashamed when times are bad; in days of famine they will be satisfied.” (v.19).
Three, a holy warrior will see God’s hand upon his family, as “his offspring become a blessing.” (v.26b). Such blessing will go on through the generations after him. “The Lord knows the days of the blameless; their heritage lasts forever.” (v.18).
Four, a holy warrior will always have God at his side. “For the Lord loves justice and does not abandon the faithful.” (v.28). He need never fear.
Five, a holy warrior will “dwell in the land and live secure” (v.3b), both now and forever. God created the earth for His people. A holy warrior helps recover what is God’s dominion, which is the rightful dominion of God’s people. “The righteous will inherit the earth and dwell in it forever.” (v.29).
* * *