Theme: Our Weakness and God’s Power
In this week’s lessons, we learn what it means to trust God for his help and blessing.
Scripture: Psalm 144:1-15
What strikes David as he reflects on the majesty and power of God is the smallness and frailty of man and the astonishing fact that this majestic God actually stoops to help as insignificant a person as himself. “O LORD, what is man that you care for him, the son of man that you think of him? Man is like a breath; his days are like a fleeting shadow” (vv. 3, 4).
The first two of those lines are almost exactly like Psalm 8:4, except that parts of the two parallel sentences are exchanged. Psalm 8 reads, “What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?” Yet in Psalm 8 what follows is a reflection on man’s astonishing place in the cosmos, that God has “crowned him with glory and honor” and “made him ruler over the works of [God’s] hands” (vv. 5, 6); while in Psalm 144 the amazing fact is that God should be a help and stronghold for David, actually intervening in the affairs of his life to give him military victories. So once again we are seeing how intensely personal the religion of this writer truly is. And how triumphant!
G. Campbell Morgan suggests that we will appreciate Psalm 144 better if we remember the psalms that come before it (Psalms 135-143), those following the Songs of Ascents. “Five of them elaborate the sufficiency of God. These are followed by four which declare the utter helplessness of man.” Both truths are present here. But, says Morgan, “The divine sufficiency is seen encompassing the human helplessness until it is so lost sight of as hardly to be discoverable.”1 In other words, David is utterly aware of his weakness. He is not swept up into being arrogant just because he is a king. But David is not trembling in fear either, because his faith is real and the God in whom he has faith is all-powerful.
1G. Campbell Morgan, Notes on the Psalms (Westwood, NJ: Revell, 1947), p. 279.
Contrast the opening verses of Psalms 8 and 144.
What two truths does G. Campbell Morgan see in Psalm 144?
Application: Recount times in your life when you experienced situations that were meant to remind you of your helplessness and to increase your trust in the Lord. Praise him for what he accomplished during these times.
Key Point: …David is utterly aware of his weakness. He is not swept up into being arrogant just because he is a king. But David is not trembling in fear either, because his faith is real and the God in whom he has faith is all-powerful.