Psalm 60:12 (NIV84)
12 With God we will gain the victory, and he will trample down our enemies.
We cannot win this fight alone. As David looked at the enemies that surrounded Israel, he knew that they couldn’t do it – at least not alone. Israel’s strength had never been the sum of her armies, chariots, and commanders. It had always rested in the promises of God. There, and there alone, was their only hope of victory. They could not win this fight alone.
Nor can we. We may not face off against the Edomites in the Valley of Salt – as Israel is noted to have done in the introductory notes of this Psalm. Nor do we find ourselves engaged in a struggle against Aram Nahariam and Aram Zobah – as David was. The names and places of our struggles may change, but struggles they remain as we daily face off against our own enemies. Perhaps there is a specific situation that comes to mind – an illness, a situation at work, a fractured relationship. Perhaps it is just the daily grind of battling sin within and sin without. Perhaps it is the daily battles we fight as we face off against temptation and battle a sinful nature that is all too willing to rush into sin. Or perhaps, it is that one great battle we all face – the battle against the death that is always pursuing us from the shadows. In any case, we cannot win this fight alone. We don’t stand a chance.
But this past Holy Week, we didn’t celebrate a God who stayed at a distance to watch us do battle with our enemies. No, we celebrated a God who stood shoulder to shoulder with us in battle. A God who stood shoulder to shoulder with us beneath the sway of tyrants as Pontius Pilate beat and condemned Jesus to death. A God who stood shoulder to shoulder with us against the devil, who incited Judas to betray Jesus and whose voice can be heard in the shouts of the crowd that day. A God who not only stood shoulder to shoulder with us in this sinful world but who bore the weight of our guilt. A God who stood shoulder to shoulder with us even unto death – as he died on that cross and was buried in that tomb. He came to this world to stand shoulder to shoulder with us, and finally to take our place in this battle.
And in him, we win. We celebrated on Easter with shouts of “Christ is Risen!” The God who stood shoulder to shoulder with us even unto death, walked out of his tomb victorious. The only thing left buried in that tomb was your sin, your guilt, and even your death. He won. And through faith, that victory is yours. With God, we win.
PRAYER: Lord, I thank you for winning the victory over sin and death for me. I thank you for offering that victory to me in the promises of your Word, the waters of my Baptism, and the bread and wine of the Lord’s Supper. Continue to work in those means to keep me in that victory all the days of my life. Amen.