For who is God, but the Lord?
And who is a rock, except our God?—
the God who equipped me with strength
and made my way blameless.
He made my feet like the feet of a deer
and set me secure on the heights.
He trains my hands for war,
so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
You have given me the shield of your salvation,
and your right hand supported me,
and your gentleness made me great.
You gave a wide place for my steps under me,
and my feet did not slip.
I pursued my enemies and overtook them,
and did not turn back till they were consumed.
I thrust them through, so that they were not able to rise;
they fell under my feet.
For you equipped me with strength for the battle;
you made those who rise against me sink under me.
You made my enemies turn their backs to me,
and those who hated me I destroyed.
They cried for help, but there was none to save;
they cried to the Lord, but he did not answer them.
I beat them fine as dust before the wind;
I cast them out like the mire of the streets. Psalm 18:31-42 ESV
I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13 ESV
Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord. II Corinthians 10:17 ESV
There’s an old story about a hero named Beowulf who came to the help the Danes and King Hrothgar, who are being threatened by a horrible monster. Beowulf told the king and his men that he would fight the monster, and boasted about his feats of strength and glory in the past. He told a story about how he and his friend Breca were having a swimming contest and swam through the icy sea, and while they were doing that Beowulf was pulled under water by a sea monster. But he killed the sea monster with his sword, in fact, he killed nine sea monsters. Beowulf bragged about his strength and his victories and all the things that he’d done.
David seems to be bragging in this Psalm when he talks about all his victories and the way he defeated his enemies. But there’s a difference between David and Beowulf. Beowulf bragged about everything he’d done with his own strength and power. David could only boast about what God had done for him and with him. He knew that he couldn’t have won victories over his enemies by himself, so he gives God the credit.
We also know that there’s nothing we can do by ourselves. Our life and our abilities and our accomplishments and everything we have are gifts from God, and he’s the one who gets the credit when we do something well. We can only work faithfully to do the best with what God gives us. And when it comes to our life with God, we can’t take any credit at all. God doesn’t work with us to forgive our sins and give us new lives. We couldn’t take even one step toward God and his love, but Jesus did all the work for us. He defeated sin and death on the cross, and rose from the dead while we were helpless in our sins. We can only thank God for his wonderful gift of salvation and life with him.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for giving us everything we are and have, especially your love and forgiveness in Jesus. In His Name, Amen.