1 Contend, Lord, with those who contend with me;
fight against those who fight against me.
2 Take up shield and armor;
arise and come to my aid.
3 Brandish spear and javelin[a]
against those who pursue me.
Say to me,
“I am your salvation.”
4 May those who seek my life
be disgraced and put to shame;
may those who plot my ruin
be turned back in dismay.
5 May they be like chaff before the wind,
with the angel of the Lord driving them away;
6 may their path be dark and slippery,
with the angel of the Lord pursuing them.
7 Since they hid their net for me without cause
and without cause dug a pit for me,
8 may ruin overtake them by surprise—
may the net they hid entangle them,
may they fall into the pit, to their ruin.
9 Then my soul will rejoice in the Lord
and delight in his salvation.
10 My whole being will exclaim,
“Who is like you, Lord?
You rescue the poor from those too strong for them,
the poor and needy from those who rob them.”
What strikes me in this passage is the picture of the Lord fighting for David, going to battle for him, and winning the victory for him. This same Lord is our Lord, our salvation, who fights the battle for us, and shares His victory with us.
But as I’ve pointed out before, we are not up against physical flesh and blood enemies as David was. Paul writes in Ephesians 6:12 that our struggle is a spiritual struggle. Our battle is with the spiritual forces of evil outside us and inside us, as well as their effects and consequences in the world. This doesn’t make our battle any less real. On the contrary, it’s even more frightening because sometimes the enemy is looking out at us in the mirror in the morning. Sometimes the enemy is lurking within our own minds and speaking out of our own mouths.
So what is David praying for that speaks to us in our struggle? He relies on the Lord to fight the battle. He calls on the Lord to remind him that the Lord is indeed David’s salvation. He prays that the schemes and plots of the evil would recoil on them. He prays that the angels would take part in this battle and come to his aid. And he prays that the result of all of this would be a spirit of praise within him.
Sounds like things we can pray for as well. In fact you could look at this section being an expansion of Jesus’ invitation to pray daily, “Deliver us from evil.”
So that is my prayer today. I pray for the Lord to contend with the evil that contends against me – both the evil within me and the spiritual forces in the world. I pray that I would grow in trusting that the battle belongs to the Lord and so rejoice in His salvation.
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