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  • Psalm Eighteen (verses 20 - 50)

    The Lord answered my prayer
    according to my uprightness
    He has repaid me
    for my adherence to his laws.
    I have kept the laws of the Lord
    I have not departed from my God.
    I witnessed His judgments,
    and I learned His laws.
    I let His words guide me,
    and did not listen to my desires.
    The Lord saw how I lived,
    and rewarded me for my fidelity.

    God shows mercy to the merciful.
    He is faithful to the man of faith.
    He knows if you are pure of heart,
    He also knows if you are not.
    He saves afflicted people,
    and He despises the proud and defiant.
    He is the light of goodness,
    God will give us the light of wisdom and faith.

    By God's hand I have overcome armies,
    by God's hand I have torn down fortresses,
    the way of God is perfect, the word of God is true.
    God is the armor and shield
    for all who trust in him.

    God is the Lord, our God,
    there is no other who stands firmly for all eternity.
    God gives me the strength and the power,
    God gives me courage and authority,
    God gives me the power to defeat the strongest enemy,
    no army can stand against the Lord.

    My enemies are crushed beneath me,
    They shake for fear, they offer their necks to my sword,
    they called upon false gods, but there was no one to help them.
    I have scattered them to the winds, Lord,
    and now the people of their lands will serve me.

    They hear my name, and they obey,
    strangers hear my name and tremble.
    For they know the Lord, my God,
    is with me.

    The Lord, my God, lives,
    Bless Him, the rock of my faith,
    Exalt Him, all the people,
    for surely He is our salvation.

    God has avenged us,
    God has subdued the foreigners,
    God has delivered me from my enemies,
    God has delivered us from evil men.

    We offer thanks and prayers to you, Oh God,
    we will teach your name to the heathen,
    we will sing praises to the God of Gods.

    You have shown great mercy to your king
    You have delivered David from the jaws of death.
    You have shown mercy to your king and your beloved people.

    In a short span of years, David went from ruling a small kingdom to conquering the region for the glory of God. His mission was to reveal the true God to the world, to offer them the God of salvation and give them the chance to know peace and comfort in the promises of God. His mission was to affirm in the eyes of Israel the power and faithfulness of their God. Throughout this prayer, David gives the glory to God and not himself.

    That must be a very hard concept in this day and age when even our ministers and Presidents seem bent on exalting the power of the individual. Self help 'Gurus' are always repeating their 'mantra' of self, the power within you, without acknowledging the power of God. The world we live in is moving closer and closer to a world where the individual sees himself as his own God. We create virtual worlds, rule in virtual kingdoms, disregard the laws of man and God in games where we become the criminal or the warlord without mercy or care. We seemingly create and compose our own destiny. Or do we?

    Recently a young man in Aurora, Colorado sought the ultimate power for himself when he opened fire in a crowded movie theater, taking the lives of at least twelve innocent people and wounding an estimated fifty others. His actions have impacted us all, and once again our concern for our own safety has come under scrutiny. Just as it did in Columbine. Just as it did on 9/11.

    When we stand on the protection of men, we stand on precarious and shifting ground. Men are flawed, governments fail, and even the most powerful army can be beaten. David did not rely on himself. David did not rely on his army. David relied on God.


    [Both the governor and the president have publicly announced their decision to not mention the name of this heinous criminal so as to deny him the 'fame' he sought. I am joining them in that decision, and urge my fellow writers in Cowbird to do the same.]
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