Contend, O LORD, with those who contend with me;
Fight against those who fight against me.
Take hold of buckler and shield
And rise up for my help.
Draw also the spear and the battle-axe to meet those who pursue me;
Say to my soul, "I am your salvation."
Psalm 35:1-3 (NASB)
Hymn: "A Shelter in the Time of Storm" Vernon J. Charlesworth, Ira D. Sankey
Today is Michaelmas, apparently, so all of the readings I got for the day had to do with angels, especially Michael. I find it interesting that, in finding verses about Michael, neither source included Jude 9, but I'll be using it anyway. While the goal behind the reading for the day was to make the reader ponder Michael, I found myself noticing a different thread running through all of them, due to the nature of how Michael is generally mentioned: the great victory of God.
"Then I kept looking because of the sound of the boastful words which the horn was speaking; I kept looking until the beast was slain, and its body was destroyed and given to the burning fire. As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, but an extension of life was granted to them for an appointed period of time.
I kept looking in the night visions,
And behold, with the clouds of heaven
One like a Son of Man was coming,
And He came up to the Ancient of Days
And was presented before Him.
And to Him was given dominion,
Glory and a kingdom,
That all the peoples, nations and [men of every] language Might serve Him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion
Which will not pass away;
And His kingdom is one
Which will not be destroyed.
Daniel 7:11-14 (NASB)
It is one thing to recognize that God is mighty to save, that He is our rock and our shelter, but we can go beyond that. Our faith in God is not simply that He can do mighty things, or that He can protect us from the trials we face. Our faith in Him ultimately is in the claim that He will be victorious--in fact, that He has already claimed the victory. There is a difference between believing that God is capable of claiming victory, and believing that He will and has claimed victory.
We do not worship an indifferent God, who watches but has no investment in our affairs. We do not worship a fickle God who has power but only occasionally bothers to use it. We do not worship a God who requires that we prove ourselves before He will act on our behalf. His victory is assured, and we are promised to share in it. Nothing we can do will make Him leave or exclude us.
This also frees us from thinking that God needs us to fulfill His victory. He has won, that part is not in dispute, and His victory will be made complete. It is not our strength, or faith, or guile, or service that will determine if God's purposes are fulfilled. Just like "Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, did not dare pronounce against him a railing judgment, but said, 'The Lord rebuke you!'" we operate in His victory, under His power, and need not rely on our own (Jude 1:9, NASB).
Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. Copyright by The Lockman Foundation