idf-infantry

FALLEN WARRIORS

Asaph is contributes Psalm 85 and David returns with a prayer in Psalm 86.  For Asaph to write a Psalm for the sons of Korah, he addresses descendants of the survivors of the rebellion in Moses time.  The sons of Korah still served in the temple, in positions of honorable ministry.  They also still possessed free will, and the temptation to stray as their fathers had.

(To the chief Musician, A Psalm for the sons of Korah.)

LORD, thou hast been favourable unto thy land: thou hast brought back the captivity of Jacob.   Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people, thou hast covered all their sin. Selah.  Thou hast taken away all thy wrath: thou hast turned thyself from the fierceness of thine anger.  Turn us, O God of our salvation, and cause thine anger toward us to cease.  Wilt thou be angry with us for ever? wilt thou draw out thine anger to all generations?  Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?  Psalm 85:1-6

Asaph acknowledges the gifts of God and the good history of Israel in his care.  Even as he praises God for past help he is asking that the people be turned back to their old faith.  He sees some anger from God for their ways, and looks for mercy.  Does he hold out hope for the Sons of Korah to turn from their sin?  It seems they retained a few bad ways from the old days.  Still, Asaph does not expect God to hold a grudge forever.

Shew us thy mercy, O LORD, and grant us thy salvation.  I will hear what God the LORD will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints: but let them not turn again to folly.  Surely his salvation is nigh them that fear him; that glory may dwell in our land.  Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.  Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven.  Yea, the LORD shall give that which is good; and our land shall yield her increase.  Righteousness shall go before him; and shall set us in the way of his steps.  Psalm 85:7-13

Asaph offers intercessory prayer for God’s peace to his people and his saints; the masses and the righteous few.  The sons of Korah had been forgiven and he prays they will not return to errors of their elders.  All need to stay on the straight path, forgiven and forgiving.  Prosperity will follow those who follow God.  There is hope for all of us, no matter how our fathers may have failed.

While Asaph offers intercession for others, David is seeking mercy for his own failings.  In both cases we can see that people can have a high place in serving God and still be tempted to fall away.  God’s own people fail daily and need to make the repairs of repentance daily.

(A Prayer of David.)

Bow down thine ear, O LORD, hear me: for I am poor and needy.  Preserve my soul; for I am holy: O thou my God, save thy servant that trusteth in thee.  Be merciful unto me, O Lord: for I cry unto thee daily.  Rejoice the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.  For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.   Give ear, O LORD, unto my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications.  Psalm 86: 1-6

David submits his personal need and comes humbly to petition God for his needs.  David joins in a relationship with God daily for forgiveness and mercy.  David asks God to hear out his request.

In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me.   Among the gods there is none like unto thee, O Lord; neither are there any works like unto thy works.  All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord; and shall glorify thy name.  For thou art great, and doest wondrous things: thou art God alone.  Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name.  I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore.  Psalm 86: 7-12

Psalms often come with news of trouble, but God is acknowledged as the cure for all of these.  As the psalmist promises to continue praising God to the world the psalm, or song, gathers energy.  Here David is looking forward to more praise and awareness of the great works has and will do.

For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell.  O God, the proud are risen against me, and the assemblies of violent men have sought after my soul; and have not set thee before them.  But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.  O turn unto me, and have mercy upon me; give thy strength unto thy servant, and save the son of thine handmaid.  Shew me a token for good; that they which hate me may see it, and be ashamed: because thou, LORD, hast holpen me, and comforted me.  Psalm 86: 13-17

David already knows that God is merciful because of past victories so he can face the challengers.  The psalm is showing the confidence of the often confirmed compassion of God.  David knows that he needs grace for his failures but he is expecting that help.  He asks for a token, a sign of God’s deliverance which his enemies too can see.  When the world sees the evidence that God’s people are really being favored by God a few are prepared to accept.  This is a token, a warning to the violent and corrupt of the world.  The psalms again move beyond threats to the excitement of God’s personal answer.  This kind of intercession and repentance still works today.

God is more concerned about the righteous falling away, and a few unrighteous may still turn to join us as well.  To praise God produces his intervention and the victories that carry momentum towards our victory.  Let us not forget our own behavior and the warriors on our left and right.  Remember the rewards of serving in the house of God and call our own to follow the banner, the cross.

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