It would be easy to skip over Psalm 64. But don’t: It speaks to our time and fears.
I am fascinated by wildlife videos from extreme settings. Picture an impala, a small deer-like creation, in the water and being chased by a crocodile. The ending seems ominous and predictable. But off to the side is a hippo observing the chase and—WALLA—guess who jumps into action?
Hippos are known to often be mean on their own but this time he or she uses that meanness for good. With unexpected speed the hippo rushes straight toward the croc, who has just pulled the impala under water. A monstrous explosion of water happens, the hippo grabs the croc and pulls it underwater (never to be seen again), and the impala pops to the surface. Rescued!
The story is not over. While the impala swims toward shore he or she notices 5 or 6 hyenas waiting for dinner. As the impala swam back and forth nervously; the hippo ran up and down the shore and chased the predators away. Another rescue!
In a season not unlike ours, do the conflicting, troubling reports about justice, the virus, the upcoming elections, and the economy scare you? Satan and his army are at war with us—lunging at us from every side. And they aren’t in the shadows anymore.
We have predators, too. With David we have multiple enemies that we can talk to God boldly about, “Hear my voice, O God, in my complaint; preserve my life from dread of the enemy.” David’s enemies are like ours and the sly croc, waiting to lunge at us. Oh reader, have faith to pray courageously and honestly to God: “Hide me from the secret plots of the wicked; from the throng of evildoers, who whet their tongues like swords, who aim bitter words like arrows, shooting from ambush at the blameless, shooting at him suddenly and without fear. They hold fast to their evil purpose; they talk of laying snares secretly, thinking, ‘Who can see them?’”
Are we like impalas, swimming for a safe shore only to find it isn’t so secure after all? Earth is not our home, and governments and self-efforts aren’t enough to protect us from sin in the world and ourselves. We need rescue.
“But God,“ notes the psalmist, “shoots His arrow at them; they are wounded suddenly. They are brought to ruin, with their own tongues turned against them…” The eternal, immeasurably comforting “But God” promises our rescue. In Christ, we have the offered Rescuer on Calvary’s cross, and the final Judge soon to come. The shore that awaits His followers is filled with saints and safety forevermore—and is especially secured by the presence of the Son of God Himself, Jesus Christ.
Knowing and trusting these things, the psalmist thus ends, “Let the righteous one rejoice in the LORD and take refuge in Him! Let all the upright in heart exult!”
Go ahead and do that right now right where you are.