The first casualties of upheaval can be love, kindness, and patience. But crisis is also a moment when love for God & one another can spring up. For 150 days, starting on 17th March 2020, I will write 300 words based on one of the 150 psalms in the bible. How can I find and give love in the midst of coronavirus?
“Do you think the Welsh can do better than that?”. “Well they’ve got a good bass section mind, but no top tenors.”. And in an iconic moment in the film Zulu, the small group of British soldiers outnumbered 40:1 begin to sing ‘Men of Harlech’ and you feel hearts rising.
Mel Gibson, in The Patriot, watches his soldiers turning and retreating. He grabs the Stars & Stripes and charges alone at the enemy (the British). His fellow soldiers see the flag, and turn back – and run towards the guns and win the day.
Songs & flags are not good weapons. Most of us would prefer a tank. But it’s what David asks for in Psalm 60. He’s in trouble again, and under attack and so he writes:
4 But for those who fear you, you have raised a banner to be unfurled against the bow. 5 Save us and help us with your right hand, that those you love may be delivered.
A banner appears a poor weapon against a bow. But what does a banner on a battlefield indicate? It shows that the commander is still here; it shows that we haven’t been defeated; it shows that we are still fighting. And, and it’s a big and, it shows that if you know your commander is strong & wise enough – that victory is coming.
We need a banner in the midst of trouble. We need to see God’s flag. We need to know that God is still here, He is fighting, and that victory is not ultimately in doubt. In this Psalm David is both terrified of His enemies, and reminding himself that God will have the victory. That’s part of the power of the psalms, and in fact most of the bible. It doesn’t tell us that it’s all sorted – but it does raise a banner, a flag in the midst of the battle that says
12 With God we shall gain the victory, and he will trample down our enemies
Look for the banner today. We need to know that our commander is here, He is fighting, and He will win in the end.
May you know His presence today. Love Matt