In “The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe,” C.S. Lewis tells the story of 4 children who go to another world and battle a witch to save their brother. While there, they meet Aslan, the lion king of the land. It is he that devises what seems like an impossible plan to recuse their brother, the land, and destroy the witch. It involves the children facing the witch’s army with a very undersized army, trusting that Aslan can not only overcome death, but return to rescue them all.
I love this story and particularly this part because up until this part, all of Aslan’s power is simply hearsay. He hasn’t done anything overtly in the story to this point that lets the characters know what he is capable of.
The story concludes with Aslan returning from death, forming an even bigger army from the prisoners at the witch’s palace and destroying the witch in a final conflict. No matter how big and scary the opposition, Aslan is bigger and scarier.
Psalm 18 says the same thing to us. David talks about his dependence on God - how he relies on Him to be his rock, fortress and deliverer. He then spends a number of verses describing God coming to his rescue in spectacular, earth-shattering fashion. The point of this is to remind both David and the reader that the God we serve is all powerful. He is unbelievably and unfathomably powerful! There is nothing he cannot overcome to rescue us.
Unfortunately, we often live our lives like this is not the case. We believe that God has the best of intentions but is bound in some way and unable to help us in our current predicament either because of our failings as humans or because of restrictions that he is under. We believe that God is not powerful enough, so we look to other options or take matters into our own hands. The problem is summed up on this quote from Jerry Bridges.
“The sovereignty of God is often questioned because man does not understand what God is doing. Because He does not act as we think He should, we conclude He cannot act as we think He would.”
The truth is that the power of God is always readily at hand. God exercises it lavishly and often on our behalf and he does so out of his great love for us. He is always working to give us what is best because he delights in us (vs 19) and because he has made us pure and righteous in his sight (vs 35), we can boldly ask for the creator of the universe’s intervention in our lives as David does (vs 20-24).
We need to trust God and how he uses his unlimited power to bless us. We need to rejoice when he intervenes. We also need to trust that he has something better planned when he does not intervene “like we think he should”. God has the power to shake the very foundations of our world both figuratively and literally. We need to know that when he does not act in the way we think he should, we can trust that it is not because he is inhibited by our failings or his inability. He has forgiven us, He loves us and he delights in us. What is happening is not retribution but is what will lead us to even a greater victory.
3 Month Reading Plan - Psalms 19-20