Are You Happy?
Psa. 144:9 ¶ I will sing a new song to you, O God;
upon a ten-stringed harp I will play to you,
Psa. 144:10 the one who gives victory to kings,
who rescues his servant David.
Psa. 144:11 Rescue me from the cruel sword,
and deliver me from the hand of aliens,
whose mouths speak lies,
and whose right hands are false.
Psa. 144:12 ¶ May our sons in their youth
be like plants full grown,
our daughters like corner pillars,
cut for the building of a palace.
Psa. 144:13 May our barns be filled,
with produce of every kind;
may our sheep increase by thousands,
by tens of thousands in our fields,
Psa. 144:14 and may our cattle be heavy with young.
May there be no breach in the walls, no exile,
and no cry of distress in our streets.
Psa. 144:15 ¶ Happy are the people to whom such blessings fall;
happy are the people whose God is the LORD.
David’s psalm takes us through a spiritual journey that leads us to a question of happiness. He sings a new song for this is a new chapter in his life and the life of God’s people. God leads them into victory against the foes that are around them. Of course David is speaking in terms of the literal battles that he has to face, but what about our spiritual battles? Can we sing a new song for God because he is leading us out of a time of difficulty and bringing about such a victory that a new song must be written? And this will be a song of happiness for those who are God's people.
The very God who brings victory to kings is the God who can bring victory into our lives. Just as he rescued David, he wants to rescue us from that which surround us.
Let’s look at this from a perspective of Christianity in the world today. It seems that the secular world and culture is constantly trying to attack Christianity and maybe not in the sense that we think. We have sisters and brothers in parts of the world who are literally facing persecution at the end of a sword. They are being asked to give up their lives in response to the faith. For them we must pray on a daily basis that the hand of God intercedes on their behalf. At the same time some of us live in cultures where Christianity is under attack in more subtle ways and there is a question as to whether Christianity can be victorious and whether the Christian can live and be happy as one who serves the LORD.
The culture presents us with a sword of animosity toward the Gospel. It is a cruel sword that is angry with Christianity for its apparent ‘exclusivity’ and if we have been exclusive when it comes to sharing the love of Christ, then maybe it is justified. At the same time, if we are living in Christ and this angers others, then there should not be compromise for we are to answer to him and not to the world. The Psalmist goes on to speak of the “hand of aliens,” or those who do not know the Lord. Those who are citizens of the kingdom will appear as aliens to the citizens of this world. If that is the case then we should not be surprised when those around us speak lies against us and carry within their right hand the ability to stab us. Being a follower of Christ is a very counter-cultural life-style that will not make the citizenry around us happy with the way we do things.
This lifestyle is not legalistic, nor is it condemning. Instead the lifestyle which we are called to follow is one of radical obedience to Christ. In this place of obedience we live in him on a daily basis and our interaction with the world comes from a desire to draw all to him. Our eyes are focused on a daily basis on our LORD who makes the cruel swords and lies powerless in light of the kingdom. Being a follower of Christ is a radically different way of living than what the world has to offer.
The world will not bring us real happiness. For those who take up their cross and follow him the problems will come, but the the blessings of God will lead to a place of happiness and joy found only by resting in him.
Lord, may I rest in you today. Amen.