Psalm 18:1-3, 46-50
Back when I used to lead music at Junior Camp, one of my favorite songs to sing was “I Will Call Upon the Lord.” We did a version that cut out about half of the lyrics and added some sweet karate chop action, which is why I liked it so much. It was hardcore, high energy, and got people up and moving for morning chapel (or 90 degree evening services). It’s a song I’ve sung hundreds, maybe thousands of times, but I’d forgotten about it until reading Psalm 18, which is where the original lyrics come from:
I will call upon the Lord who is worthy to be praised.
So shall I be saved from my enemies.
The Lord liveth, and blessed be the rock,
And let the God of my salvation be exalted.
This psalm was written by David, a king of Israel who had many enemies from surrounding nations and was hunted by Saul, Israel’s previous king. David wrote Psalm 18 as a response to how God delivered him from all of his enemies, striking them down in His great power.
Most of us don’t have armies or kings out to get us. Most of us don’t have human enemies at all. Our enemies take different forms, like discouragement, stress, fear…distractions from the truth of who God is and the reality of what He has done for us. In coming to earth, Jesus lived a perfect life and performed miracles, not the least of which was the incarnation itself–God becoming man and living among us. He came to defeat our greatest enemies: Satan and death itself. When Jesus died on the cross, He took on the punishment for our sins and made it possible for us to be in relationship with a holy God. Then He rose again, conquering the grave so that we would never have to fear death and so we could be with God for eternity. And He has promised to come again to rule forever and make His victory over sin and death complete.
Psalm 18 is a celebration of God’s deliverance–of His strength being stronger than the strength of our enemies. It’s a reminder that our Lord lives and that He is actively fighting for His people. Knowing that God has delivered us from our greatest enemies, we can have confidence that God is strong enough to handle the daily enemies that threaten our peace. My hope is that this Advent season, you will call upon the Lord, our Rock, the God of our salvation. He is strong. He is for us. He is with us. And He has already claimed the victory.
Robin (Giberson) Lawrenz has been connected with Delanco Camp for 25 years as a scamper, camper, counselor, craft lady, music leader, teacher, activities director, and assistant dean. She currently lives in Boston with her husband Jason and their one-and-a-half year old son Judah.
For more Advent devotions, check out Beyond the Trappings, our 2012 Advent Devotion book.