Tools; April 20, 2023

Psalm 44:6-7 I do not trust in my bow,
my sword does not bring me victory;
but you give us victory over our enemies,
you put our adversaries to shame.

The Sons of Korah, to whom this Psalm is attributed, were one of the clans of the Levites. As such, part of their responsibility was to transmit the oral history of Israel to the succeeding generations, as is referenced in the first three verses of this Psalm. From verse nine on, this Psalm is essentially a complaint that God isn’t living up to His previous track record. It is also interesting that verse six is in the first person, making all of this more personal. All of that said, what is expressed here is very important for everyone of every generation to remember: our tools or weapons don’t accomplish what is needed, God does. We have such a tendency to forget that! Tools and weapons are helpful, but they are never the final answer. When we trust them ahead of trusting God, they become idols to us, and that is dangerous indeed. America has had the preeminent military in the world for the past 80 years, maintaining a balance of peace that has prevented major conflicts. However, the devil has been sadly successful in separating America from its Christian heritage, and our marvelous technology cannot save us. In military matters, as in every area of life itself, we need to keep our focus on the One who created and sustains us, because apart from His grace, we wouldn’t even exist.

I’ve had assorted lessons in this area. Having been drafted and spent two years in the Army I have more than a passing awareness of military hardware, but this of course goes far beyond military applications. I’ve always been something of a techie, a geek, and technology has always interested me. However, I’ve certainly had plenty of experience with technology failures. I’ve learned the hard way that anything physical can fail. At the same time I’ve learned that God is totally reliable, but I’m not to be presumptive. I’ve had more than enough trouble with conceit! I am to approach every situation in humility, grateful for the tools God has provided, but remembering that it is not the tools that will get the job done, but God, if I will be obedient to Him. The writer of this Psalm is sure that he has not strayed from God’s path, (vv. 17-18) but I need to be more humble than that. I need to let the Holy Spirit show me the state of my soul and be quick to repent as He indicates. He alone is my shield, my guide, my deliverer.

Father, thank You for this reminder. I can easily see how it applies on the national and international scene at the moment, but I’m not currently aware of issues to deal with personally. Keep me from being presumptive. Help me rather listen to You always, in grateful obedience, so that I may fulfill all of Your purposes for me on Your schedule for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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