prepared for battle

SCRIPTURE: Psalms 140-141


  1. These two psalms are help prayers for Jesus-followers. Although I am not facing the human enemies that David faced, I read these words in light of the evil one, the Enemy behind all other enemies. I am also having to deal with Satan’s poison, his tricks and traps. Like David, I need to daily affirm my commitment to Jesus as my Lord, my God. Like David I need to depend on God’s help and protection, to guard my heart, my mind, my lips from giving in to evil.
  2. Satan is very real, he is the sneak behind all of the little distractions and discouragements that I face each day. I can appreciate the many times we are urged to arm ourselves for battle, to keep watch, to be alert. Everyday is a battlefield, and the person who naively goes into the day without preparing for battle is a fool. I am speaking to myself, as I think of the many days I go in unprepared, unarmed, and ignorant of the danger I am in.
  3. This is not to say that we must live in fear. We stand with the Lord, and David demonstrates this confidence in the Lord while facing the daily attacks and challenges. With David I say, ‘You are my God!’ [140:6]. ‘My eyes are fixed on You, O Sovereign Lord, in You I take refuge’ [141:8]. We must not focus on the enemy, but on the Lord. Satan is strong, but the Lord is stronger. The enemy is real, but not as REAL as our Lord, our victorious King.
  4. ‘Let burning coals fall upon them’ seems a harsh prayer. On the one hand it brings up images of the judgment against Sodom and Gomorah. David is praying that God would punish them, that they would experience the very cruelty and suffering that they are imposing on others. But for us as Jesus-followers, these words bring to mind how Jesus would heap coals on the heads of his enemies – by showing kindness, love, undeserved mercy [see Romans 12:17-21].
  5. ‘Let him rebuke me – it is oil on my head’. As a Jesus-follower, my constant desire must be to be more and more like Jesus. To that end, I will be open to anyone who helps me grow, anyone who challenges me where I need to be challenged. This verse highlights the need for accountability to other Jesus-followers. It is arrogant for me to think that I can do this by myself. Yes, I need the Lord, but I also need others to lovingly point out my growth areas, to reveal my blind spots.

Lord, already now I am under attack. Lord, forgive me and deliver me from the evil one. May Your will be done, and Your kingdom come in my life today.


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