“The Lord has dealt with my according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands he has rewarded me. For I have kept the ways of the Lord; I am not guilty of turning from my God. All his laws are before me; I have not turned away from his decrees. I have been blameless before him and have kept myself from sin. The Lord has rewarded me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight.” Psalm 18. 20-24
I read this verse while sitting at the Ted Stevens International Airport in Anchorage. 4:30 am is not exactly the ideal Advent reading period, but I had time to kill….
I was so excited to read this chapter, because I didn’t know that it was the inspiration for one of my favorite songs by my current favorite band, Kings Kaleidoscope. “Defender” is not only an amazing name for a worship song (which is another concept for another blog post), but it also matches musical triumph with powerful truth. Who is the Rock but our God? Who’s blood has sealed our freedom? JESUS, our Defender. Bam! Truth!
Back to Psalm 18. What I love most about this passage for Advent is its placement within the chapter. David spends the majority of this psalm praising God for his strength and protection against adversaries, and then we see a clear proclamation of pure-hearted righteousness lived out perfectly. The only way any man could live perfectly is by the Spirit of God, fully present in the God-Man Jesus Christ. Our Defender, our Rock, our Fortress and Sheild… He is the only source of righteousness. He protects from destruction from adversaries without, and from the consequences of giving in to temptation from within.
“I love you, Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold…. To the faithful you show yourself faithful, to the blameless you show yourself blameless, to the pure you show yourself pure… You save the humble. You, Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light. As for God, his way is perfect: The Lord’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him. It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure. For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the Rock except our God?” Psalm 18