Devotional

Vanquished or Victorious?

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Psalm 44

In an era where spelling is almost irrelevant as words are reduced to fit into a texting format, the existence of the English language may be threatened. However, there are those who still enjoy the richness of words as they contribute to our understanding of ideas, of history, as they paint word pictures and describe feelings.

‘Vanquished’ is an old-fashioned word describing those subdued completely in battle, overcome in conflict or contest, or overwhelmed by emotion. There are times in the lives of most of us when we feel vanquished by circumstance – perhaps external, or even internal conflict.

We live in a world of unprecedented choices. One can actually now chose their gender. A growing trend is to examine preferences in early childhood, upon which one’s sexuality is based. Despite physical appearances hormonal growth can be stunted to achieve the look of the gender preferred. Imagine the confusion if in later years these people who are neither man nor woman might long for a child. When we cannot accept and celebrate what God has given to us we find ourselves in serious conflict, vulnerable to feeling continually overwhelmed/ vanquished.

On the battlefield of life Satan has the advantage when we feel conquered. Once we are down we are vulnerable to every fiery dart he can throw at us. But God! In Psalm 44 there is a theme running through this lament, a theme of victory. Israelite history proved God-given victories. He brought them into the Promised Land and settled them there, removing completely those who might have been their enemies. “…not by sword that they won the land nor did their arm [of strength] bring them victory, but it was Your right hand, Your arm and the light of Your face – because You loved them!” (:3).

Looking at the present, the Psalmist recognized the hand of God once again had given him victory: “I do not trust in my bow, my sword does not bring me victory; but You give us victory over our enemies [Satan, self, others]….in God we make our boast all the day long! (:6-8).

However, momentarily there is a pause. “Selah” – pause and listen. The Director of Music who wrote this Psalm for the sons of Korah, worries about the possibility of God’s rejection. Israel has known the judgment of God. It was not a pretty sight when God removed His blessings because His people broke faith with His everlasting covenant. Their armies failed to gain the victory (:8-9). There had been a diaspora – scattering among pagan nations (:11). In fact, they became a laughing stock among the nations; vanquished in shame and disgrace (:15).

This Psalm is written in denial of ever having displeased God (:17-19). Trusting God who knows the secrets of the heart, he pleads with God to redeem Israel on the basis of his unfailing love! (:21, 26) Jewish history had taught him that God is faithful. This gives him confidence to cry out for redemption from the present overwhelming circumstances (:26).

In the midst of Israel’s rejection of God, He renewed His covenant promises through the prophet Hosea. Down through the ages God has proven Himself to be true to His word: “I will betroth you to Me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion. I will betroth you in faithfulness and you will acknowledge the Lord!” (Hosea 2:19-20).

Reflection:

Meditate on these verses.

Note their petition is based on the certain knowledge of God’s unfailing love (:26).

Can you identify with this lament?

How do you approach God when you feel vanquished?

Where will your certain victory originate?

Note that God’s promise is forever…and so we look to the end times when it will be fulfilled in all its glory!

by Marilyn Daniels (MarilynDaniels.net)

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