In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears. – Psa. 18:6 NIV
Today’s devotional is the second part of the devotional with the same title where David, having experienced the deliverance of the Lord from the hands of King Saul and his army expressed his love for Jehovah, describing Him as his strength, his rock, his fortress, his deliverer, his shield, the horn of his salvation and his stronghold and confessing his love for Jehovah in the process – Psa. 18:1-2. Who would not anyway, after enjoying such victory without having to draw his sword in battle.
Worthy of note however is the reason for this victory which he says was due to his being considered righteous for allowing Jehovah to have His way in the course of his travails – Gen. 15:6. He would not allow the pain of the persecution to make him transgress the instructions of Jehovah with regards to how His anointed should be related with – Psa. 105:15, 1Chr. 16:22.
In the scripture that is the foundation of today’s devotional he revealed the process that led to the victory. He had simply cried onto Jehovah asking Him for help in the situation that he had found himself in. He was very much aware that nothing would happen without Jehovah knowing and allowing it to happen – 2Sam. 16:5-13. Also being aware of the personality involved in this situation, He did not have to seek the downfall, death or destruction of this particular enemy but simply sought help from Jehovah – 2Pet. 2:10.
This however is not the prayer style of most Christians today as the bulk of the content of prayers of today’s Christian is more about what should be done to the perceived enemy. The Christian today seems to consider Jehovah as a servant whose role is simply to implement all their decisions and instructions which have been presented as a request, since He is not considered or expected to have any say in the decision making process. For as long as Christians in particular and human beings in general think this way, they will always fail in their prayer life. Bishop James who Bible historians believe to be the brother of Jesus Christ ascribed to this when in his letter to all Christians, he revealed one of the reasons for failed prayer as the selfish and ungodly intention of the one that is praying – Jms. 4:3.
That David found himself in a very grave situation was not in doubt as he himself admitted, and which is captured in four phrases in today’s reference scripture – Psa. 18:3-5. According to him, the cords of death entangled him, the torrents of destruction overwhelmed him, the cords of the grave coiled around him and the snares of death confronted him. – Psa. 18:4-5.
That Jehovah also heard his cry for help and did not disappoint was also evident as David himself recorded in today’s reference scripture. In a double pronged approach, Jehovah attacked the enemy (Psa. 18:6-15) and took specific actions to save David – Psa. 18:16-19. As far as David was concerned, the actions of Jehovah were consequent upon his own acts of righteousness and the cleanliness of his hands – Psa. 18:20. This is not to say that he considered himself a saint, sinless or blameless, after all he was the first to always admit his transgressions filled life in addition to the indisputable fact that he was conceived and born in sin (Psa. 51:1-5), but it was more in reference to his strict adherence to the instructions of Jehovah concerning such battles. He was not going to go beyond the boundary of his rights and privileges and was willing to accept Jehovah’s decision on his situation.
Jehovah needs to find the Christian righteous on that occasion that His intervention is being sought, for him to act in the manner that meets the expectation of the Christian. He is not an unrighteous god and will never support evil. Christians must stop seeing and believing the throne of judgement to be a place of unrighteousness where all they need do is to present their nominal identity as Christians and all their demands will be granted – Psa. 7:11. No matter the length of time spent in the place of prayer, Jehovah will only respond according to the activities of the individual or group in that situation, at His own time and in His own manner.
Yes! You quickly ran to Jehovah in prayer, but how much can he find you righteous if he is to judge your actions in that situation for which you seek His intervention. He will definitely not intervene on your behalf if all you are getting is the true harvest of your actions. Okay. Agreed. He has found you righteous but then it is not for you to determine His manner of intervention. Report the event to Him and let Him decide His manner and time of intervention. Until this basic understanding of the manner of His reaction to issues is well understood, Christians will always fail at the place of prayer. He simply MUST have His way after all, even all that righteousness being referenced are like filthy rags and cuts no ice with Him – Isa. 64:6. He is indeed a sovereign God. Run to Him in prayer only when you are convinced of your righteousness in that situation after a very honest and sincere introspection, else you may experience a huge backlash and regret for getting Him involved in the matter. He simply will not support the wicked.
Even then, do not make the mistake of instructing Him on what and how the supposed enemy must be recompensed neither must you box Him into a time frame. He will move if He has to, at a time He wishes to and in a manner He desires. May Jehovah grant us the spirit to allow Him have His way in all situations in Jesus name. Amen.