Bible sunlight

Like a caring coach on practice days, the Spirit of God rehearses fundamental statements about God in Psalm 28. While we don’t know David’s circumstances, they apply to our game days of life. What particular situation will these basics about God help bring you a victory?

First, the LORD is our rock and we can depend on Him, His sovereignty, and His listening ear. “To you, O LORD, I call; my rock, be not deaf to me” (v. 1). Isn’t it distressing when you are trying to explain something that is important to you and no one will listen? The familiar pattern of lament then thanksgiving in many psalms applies here. Even in the distresses of the early verses (1-5) there are hints of Yahweh who hears and invites our dependence and worship (v. 2). My daughter once played softball against a team where the opposing coaches only yelled and threatened their own players. How different God is!

Second, God rights what is wrong, and—gulp—will judge those who reject His rule over their lives (v. 3-5). Verse five in one paraphrase is stunning: “God will smash them to smithereens and walk away from the ruins.” Remember Sodom and Gomorrah and the judgment passages of Revelation? Milk toast views of Jesus—“meek and mild”—haven’t noticed or won’t accept that the Father has given all judgment to Jesus (see John 5:25-29). Even if the other team appears to be winning we know ultimately they lose.

Third, the LORD is to be favored above all others (“blessed”) because, in part, He is known by His mercy (v. 6). Have you sinned recently and thrown yourself before His mercy seat, asking for forgiveness and help in conquering sin? I once saw a father, angry at his daughter for making a mistake on third base, push his daughter to the ground and stand over her while screaming at her (I stopped him). Aren’t you depending on our God who picks us up instead of throwing us down when we fail?

Fourth, God is interested in us personally—individually. Personal pronouns tell us of His interest, “The LORD is my strength, and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped…” (v. 7). As a coach, I also pitched for my daughter’s team. The girls tended to look around when at bat. How their batting average increased when they looked at me on the mound, focusing on the ball and not the crowd!

Verses 8-9 provide two last helpful portraits of God. One, God’s interest extends to His “heritage.” For the psalmist Israel was in mind. Though true today, God’s attention is largely to the body of Christ—the church. How’s you church life lately?

And, Psalm 28 ends our Warrior-King-Judge-Protector God as a shepherd carrying His sheep. Are you thinking about Jesus’ own statements about Himself in John 10? He is our strong, caring, able protector. Ultimately, winning teams have good coaches.

What a God we followers of Christ have for every game day!