For this season in my life I look at a lot of these Psalms were the author is being either persecuted or coming under some form of attack and I have to put this into a spiritual context because for right now I’m in a season of physical health (mostly), financial stability (I’m barely scraping by but I’m scraping by!), and reaping some awesome fruit from sowing to the spirit for a while now. So I’m in a blessed spot, where it’s easy for me to say, “Praise God, brother” and “The Lord’s good, eh?”
I have no one attacking me/slandering me, I have few enemies if any that I could think of (save of course an entire unseen realm of evil spirits…which I’ll get to), and I truly consider myself to be blessed beyond anything I’d ever imaged. When I read a Psalm like this, while I’m sure it will mean more to me and much deeper things when I’m in the midst of the trials I have coming, I still can apply this to my life in a pretty significant way.
Who’s the “they” in the chapter for me right now? Well, it’s the enemy of my soul and it’s my flesh. Even while I don’t have any specific enemies in this world I could list, my choice to follow Christ has set me on a collision course with the world which will be more in the days ahead than the occasional snicker I receive now. So it will also be the world soon I’m sure. But I know that I was sold under sin, that I was whipped by the lusts of my flesh and the enemy had only to put before me any of a whole list of temptations and I would gladly enter into them. I looked for them. I practiced them. And I was on my way to both an early physical death and an eternal spiritual one.
So when the verse 2 says “Many a time they have afflicted me from my youth…”, I can say amen to that. I know who I was, and to stop and look at what God has done in my life and what He’s given me so much in spite of myself, well, the end of that verse I share with the Psalmist and can say with the utmost confidence – “…yet they have not prevailed against me.” In the short run, they sure did, but my God had me picked out from before the foundations of the earth and as cliche as this is going to be, I’d lost a lot of battles before I got on the side of Jesus Christ and once for all ended the war with complete and total victory over Satan, my flesh, and this world.
From here on out then, as they have not prevailed against me – nor will they ever! – I set my course on heaven, on things above, and I work out my salvation with fear and trembling, counting on Jesus Christ to fill His promised role as Author and Finisher of my faith. Man, my hope is built on nothing less…