Hello, I’m Daniel Westfall on the channel “Pray with Me”.
Psalm 64 describes the poet’s enemies as hunters and warriors. For example:
– They sharpen their tongues like swords (v. 2).
– They aim cruel words like deadly arrows (v. 2).
– They hide in a blind and shoot at their victims (v. 4).
– Their minds and hearts are cunning as they aim at the righteous (v. 6).
Little do they know that God is also a hunter!
– He will shoot them with his arrows (v. 7).
– He will strike them down (v. 7).
– He will turn their sharpened tongues and cruel words back on them, destroying them with their own weapons (v. 8).
Our father, with the poet we say,
Hide us from the conspiracy of the wicked,
from the plots of evildoers (v. 2).
We try not to be overly dramatic, Lord, but we like that word “conspiracy”. Often we feel we are victims of conspiracy. We know we should pray, but it’s more interesting to catch up on coronavirus news. We want to make better use of our time, but play too many computer games. We want to exercise more and eat less, but we hear the ice cream and the chocolate calling our name. What is this a conspiracy that corrupts us? Are we oblivious to some malevolent influence that causes our failure?
Our father, in this business of life we reject conspiracy theories. Instead we arm ourselves against our soul’s great enemies: the world, the flesh, and the devil. With the poet in Psalm 64, we invite you, our God to hunt and destroy these enemies of our soul.
Our first enemy is the flesh. We confess that our appetites are out of control. We prefer food and comfort to work and discipline, we choose lethargy over exercise, we choose conspiracy theories over personal responsibility. When we look after our own interests, we are strong-willed and diligent. But in our service for you, Lord, we are weak-willed and complacent. Search and destroy the enemy within, strengthen our ability to make good choices and our discipline to follow through.
Our second enemy is the world. Not the physical world that you created, God, but the world of human culture and philosophy that shapes our values and feeds our desires. This world offers us money, sex, entertainment, food, shopping, travel, sports, not as good gifts from you, God, but as ends in themselves. And we use them to hide from you, to numb our pain, to avoid difficult choices, to escape reality. O God, expose the places where human culture is our enemy. Teach us to value the giver more than the gifts, to love the creator more than things created. Destroy the world’s power over us, tame all things that attract us until we love you with our whole heart, and until we love the world for you sake.
Our third enemy is the devil, who Paul says schemes against us. Shall we conclude that we fail because “the devil made me do it?” Rather, with Paul. we put on the armour of God to protect us. There is a battle that rages within us as the good spirit and the evil spirit influence our thoughts and behaviours, as we feel impulses to true love and obsessions with evil. Cleanse us from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit (2 Cor. 7:1). Help us to embrace the good and resist the evil.
Our father, we invite you who search our mind and spirit to hunt these hunters who hunt us. Strike them down in their cunning evil. Then with the poet we will:
Rejoice in you
and take refuge in you
and praise your name (v. 10).
I’m Daniel on the channel “Pray with Me”.