The Lord has dealt with me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands he has rewarded me. – Psa. 18:20 NIV
Today’s devotional is the third part of the series of devotionals with the same title where David celebrated his victory in a battle that he did not have to draw his sword. That he attributed his victory to the great intervention of Jehovah, whom he described with the glowing words found in the first two verses of Psalm 18 is well noted but equally worthy of note is that this intervention was not simply because he cried and called on the Lord or probably spent hours or may be days in his presence, pleading for His intervention on his behalf. According to him as revealed in the foundation scripture of today’s devotional, it was purely because of his own righteousness in that situation for which he was seeking the intervention of Jehovah – Psa. 18:20. The actions he took in that situation that tended to justify his claim of righteousness is the focus of today’s devotional.
David, after a deep and honest introspection, concluded that Jehovah;
- Rewarded him with victory due to the cleanliness of his hands – Psa. 18:20b; 24:3-4. This definitely is not to say that he considered himself a saint as all his actions revealed that he was very much aware of the sinful nature of all men and the impossibility of anyone been able to claim to be sinless. He was however very certain that in the prevailing circumstance, he could lay claims to having clean hands. That is the state that the Christian who desires Jehovah’s support in achieving victory must be in, if such desires are to be met. Jehovah will never support injustice – Heb. 6:10.
- Because he kept the ways of the Lord – Psa. 18: 21a. Even in that situation where he was convinced of his innocence with regards to the challenge he was facing, he refused to take any action including those that were within his ability to take, that will amount to fighting back – 1Cor. 6:12; 10:23. He was very much aware that having the ability does not imply that such could be deployed recklessly and without caution – Matt. 26:52. Today’s Christian needs to be careful about how possessed authority and power is used especially during uncomfortable situations. You may indeed be able to fight your way through in that situation but you must always remember that the ability to do so was granted by Jehovah who will demand an account of how such authorities and power were used and will recompense accordingly – Eccl. 12:14.
- He was not guilty of turning from his God – Psa. 18: 21b. Perseverance is one of the major virtues that the true Christian that desires a good relationship with Jehovah must have – Gal. 5:22-23. The one who cannot persevere will definitely find life as a Christian frustrating. This is because Jehovah’s timing is never same with that of men neither are His ways similar to that of men – Isa. 55:8-9. Just as the Prophet Isaiah presented it, the one who chooses to wait on the Lord must have renewed strength, mount up with wings like the eagle, must not be tired of running and must not be weary of walking – Isa. 40:31; Matt. 10:23. David was never tired of running whilst Jehovah looked on and did not intervene 1Sam. 19:1 – 31.4. He only intervened at His own time and that was when David stopped running. The Christian will have to keep running and never trying to fight back until Jehovah arrives.
- He placed all His laws before himself and did not turn away from his decrees – Psa. 18: 22. It took a proper awareness of the laws of Jehovah and a determination to remain in them, for David to achieve victory without trespassing them. The average Christian today is simply lazy and not willing to spend time reading the laws of Jehovah, more so meditating in them. That was the only prescription that Jehovah gave for anyone who desires to achieve “good success” (Josh. 1:8), just as not doing so remains the only reason why a Christian can be crushed by the enemy – Hos. 4:6. The one who cannot read and meditate on Jehovah’s Words will find it extremely difficult if not impossible to sing the kind of song that David sang in today’s reference scripture. No wonder, true love for Jehovah is waning on a daily basis, even amongst professing Christians – Lk. 18:8. The Word is the major spiritual weapon of war that Jehovah gave to the Christian – Eph. 6:17 . The one who lacks it is a loser even before the battle commences.
- He remained blameless before Jehovah – Psa. 18: 23a. With all the above, David was able to remain blameless, not before men but before Jehovah. It did not matter how many people found David wrong, but all he needed to achieve was to ensure that he was blameless before Jehovah. Christians must pay less attention to the acquittal or praises of men and focus more on what Jehovah’s judgement is. If Jehovah says No, nothing men say or do can earn such a person His support and favour – 1Kgs. 18:1-22. It may be desirable to have men exonerate the One that Jehovah has equally exonerated but human position becomes completely irrelevant when it runs contrary to the judgement of Jehovah – Dan. 3:1-28; Dan. 6:1-28. It will only be a matter of time for His Will to manifest, to the shame and disgrace of all those who choose to operate contrary to His Will. Indeed, one with Jehovah will always be in majority.
- Above all, he kept himself away from sin – Psa. 18: 23b. No condition is too unbearable to justify the Christian making a choice of transgressing the instructions of Jehovah. He simply honours His words more than His name (Psa. 138:2), or whatever relationship the Christian may have hitherto built with Him – 1Sam. 13:1-15; 15:1-30. He did not hesitate to recall His promises to even kings that were chosen by Him when they decided to transgress His express instructions. The Christian for example who chooses to seek vengeance in prayer will be going out of human boundaries as he long made it clear that He only has the rights to vengeance – Deut. 32:35; Rom. 12:17-19. When the Christian for whatever reason begins to make vengeful pronouncements and requests, all in the name of prayers, such should know that it will be impossible to have divine support that can lead to victory. All that came out of the mouth of David to King Saul were words of peace even when his co-travellers thought otherwise – 1Sam. 24:3-22; 26:6-25. That aided him in achieving victory. That opportunity to get back at that perceived enemy may not be divine after all, but at best could be a test to see if the Christian will adhere to the instructions of Jehovah or worse still, may just be the trap of the devil to make the Christian lose the required grace for victory. Nothing! Absolutely nothing can justify the transgression of the laws of Jehovah and this must be foremost in the mind of the Christian that desires divine victory.
May Jehovah grant us the Grace to remain steadfast to His laws in the midst of adversity in Jesus name. Amen.