I’ve never had to go off to war. I’m very thankful for that.
I have to imagine that the sense of fear and foreboding going into a battle in which one’s life could be lost creates more than a little nervous energy. Preparing for a day or night of death-defying battle must push one’s sense of personal anxiety to it’s highest possible levels.
Psalm 20 captures for us the moments before a battle. The psalm offers a public blessing prayed over a military king and his troops just before they embark on a journey to engage the enemy. I can’t help but imagine that the praying crowd included many weeping mothers, apprehensive fathers and sick-hearted sweethearts. The dire need for God’s strength, protection and help would be deeply felt by every bowed head.
By God’s grace, most of us won’t have to go off to war, nor send off our sons or daughters. Yet everyday we face countless spiritual dangers–battles in which our enemy is rarely seen or heard. As we head out the door each day, we’re making decisions that determine the eternal legacy of our lives. The stakes couldn’t be higher: today we’ll either find victory through God’s grace, hope and wisdom . . . or we’ll allow our souls to be slaughtered by selfishness, bitterness and despair.
So let’s bow our heads and pray Psalm 20, nervously pleading for God’s strength, protection and help through each and every battle.