Because so many of the psalms were written in times of armed conflict, the language is often the language of warfare. They sing of God’s protection in battle, and his provision of strong towers and fortification against very real enemies.
In the inner conflicts and emotional struggles we face today, the psalmist’s answer may seem too simplistic. Here’s one example: “Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.” (Psalm 8:2) In armed conflict, it’s hard to imagine “children and infants” silencing “the foe and the avenger”. We need all the resources of a strong, battle-tested army. But wait – it is “the praise of children and infants” that establishes a stronghold against the enemy. The simple, unfettered, overflowing, grinning-ear-to-ear thankful child-like gratitude to God that establishes a protective stronghold against our enemies. And it’s the infant-like, too-deep-for-words thankfulness of our hearts that will “silence the foe and the avenger” today.
Realism tells us to look at our conflict and gather together all our resources. Faith says: “Be child-like. Whatever the conflict – praise God. Let him establish the stronghold you need to withstand your seen and unseen foes.
Prayer – Teach me, LORD, to have a praise-filled heart today. Amen
Photo courtesy of Alek Zaslawski (www.awzorchids.com), copyright 2016