Psalms 76 reminded me about how we serve a God who is above all the military power in the world. His power is beyond human comprehension, and it is futile for people to try to contend with His power.
Psa 76:3 There brake he the arrows of the bow, the shield, and the sword, and the battle. Selah.
Psa 76:4 Thou art more glorious and excellent than the mountains of prey.
Psa 76:5 The stouthearted are spoiled, they have slept their sleep: and none of the men of might have found their hands.
Psa 76:6 At thy rebuke, O God of Jacob, both the chariot and horse are cast into a dead sleep.
Psa 76:7 Thou, even thou, art to be feared: and who may stand in thy sight when once thou art angry?
At this time, all of these weapons were state-of-the-art. They might not seem like much to us in modern times, but these were indeed the weapons of general warfare, and God was above them. For today, you could substitute machine guns, nuclear submarines and stealth bombers, and the analogy would still hold. It doesn’t matter what the technology is, but the point of the passage is that God is above any type of earthly power that might develop.
Look at the final verse I gave you. It is a rhetorical question. Who can stand against God when He is angry? Obviously, after reading the preceding verses, your response is supposed to be that nobody has the power to stand against God. If the military can’t do it, and if the military is the best expression of human power that we have on earth, then who out there would be able to contend with God?
Think about it. Military generally have the power to overrun. If you have a well-organized and well-equipped army, they have the potential to impose their will on most people on earth. It is hard to resist that kind of force.
However, God is above that. Even the brave and the stouthearted can’t stand against God. The strongest military can’t do it either.
What does that tell you and me?
I think that we need to recognize this power. We live in a world where people don’t always want to acknowledge that God is this kind of being. They create some kind of fluffy image that strips Him of His power. That is simply incorrect. God is indeed powerful, and as a result, He deserves our worship and our respect.
Because Easter is coming up, 1 Samuel 11 made me think about what type of king Israel wanted.
In this chapter, the people were in trouble, but Saul was able to rally 300,000 people from around the country to come and militarily defeat the Ammonites. After seeing his potential, here is what the people of Israel said.
1Sa 11:12 And the people said unto Samuel, Who is he that said, Shall Saul reign over us? bring the men, that we may put them to death.
The people could literally not believe that some people would oppose Saul as king of Israel. Why did they love him? They loved him because he was able to free them from oppression.
Wait a minute. By whose will did they actually win the battle? It wasn’t because of Saul. It was because of this physical deliverance that the people were loyal to him.
Now, let’s look at the ultimate King and what kind of deliverance He was going to bring.
Luk 19:37 And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen;
Luk 19:38 Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.
Luk 19:39 And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples.
Luk 19:40 And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.
Luk 19:41 And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it,
Here we have a King that everyone was expecting to throw out the Roman Empire. In a way, they expected Jesus to do what Saul had done. Perform some military conquest, and then you can be our King.
We can come to this conclusion from the fact that they were praising Him for his works. Of course, His works were great, but at this point, He had not even done His most amazing deed.
I think that is why Jesus was crying at what would seem to be a very happy moment. The people of Israel had no idea what He was about to do and why. They didn’t realize that they needed a lot more than just an earthly king.