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A peace strategy...

I waited patiently for the LORD; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord….. As for you, O LORD, you will not restrain your mercy from me; your steadfast love and your faithfulness will ever preserve me! For evils have encompassed me beyond number; my iniquities have overtaken me, and I cannot see; they are more than the hairs of my head; my heart fails me. Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me! O LORD, make haste to help me! Let those be put to shame and disappointed altogether who seek to snatch away my life; let those be turned back and brought to dishonor who delight in my hurt! …. But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who love your salvation say continually, “Great is the LORD!” As for me, I am poor and needy, but the LORD takes thought for me. You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God!  Psalm 40: 1-17

Every Christmas Day Her Majesty the Queen broadcasts a message to her people. No doubt all of them are stored for future generations in the BBC (or ITC) archives.

A much earlier monarch – King David – also broadcast his inner thoughts to his people – the nation of Israel.  King David reigned in Jerusalem (still a highly significant city in today’s world) between 1000 and 970 BC. His inner convictions and struggles were duly archived by that nation. They take the form of “Psalms”. Extracts from one of King David’s Psalms – Psalm 40 – are reproduced in bold above.



‘Peace is the deliberate adjustment of my life to the will of God.’ (Anon.)

The turbulent history of the life of King David was also archived by Israel in various books. All of those books – together with the book of Psalms are now included in the first half of the Christian Bible. It’s as if Christians said to Jews, “We want your books – they’re our books as well.” Why?

From well before the time of King David (for instance in the books of Moses dated around 1450 BC) and from well after his time (for instance in Isaiah’s book written around BC 700) the LORD God whom David worshipped promised a Messiah to the nation of Israel. This Messiah would be a descendant of David and would, one day, sit on his throne eternally. Yes, eternally – that was the LORD’s promise – over many centuries. Then Jesus Christ came on the scene. He was a legal descendant of King David through Joseph, his legal father. He was born in Bethlehem – the town of origin of King David’s family – because Joseph had to go there in order to register in the Roman census.

Christians know Jesus Christ to be the Son of the LORD God – the Messiah, the Christ. Messiah (Hebrew) = Christ (Greek) = the Anointed One. Jesus himself said “He who has seen me has seen the Father.” Followers of Jesus call him, “Lord”. He is the LORD. Israel’s books are about him.

That’s why the recorded writings of King David are so greatly loved by Christians. Kind David wrote repeatedly about his responses to the LORD and the LORD’s responses to him. So lovely are these to-ings and fro-ings that Christians repeatedly use them in their responses to the LORD, to the Lord Jesus Christ and his Father above.

Take as an example Psalm 40 above. King David is waiting patiently for the LORD, he is crying to the LORD, he recalls that the LORD pulled him out of the pit of destruction and set his feet on a rock. And so say all of us Christians. He has put a new song in our mouths, a song of praise to the LORD.

But all is not well with King David – nor with Christians. Evils without number surround him. His own wrong-doings have overtaken him. He cannot see the way to walk. Regrettably, that’s all true of Christians as well. But King David knows that the LORD to whom he speaks all the time will not hold back his mercy from David. He prays that the LORD’s steadfast love and faithfulness will preserve him. These three will preserve David – and us.



‘I have taken my good deeds and my bad deeds and thrown them together in a heap, and fled from them both to Christ, and in him I have peace.’ (David Dickson, Scottish chaplain, 1583-1663.)

As for his enemies, King David leaves them for the LORD to deal with them……. The LORD is his help and his deliverer. Ours too.

The most wonderful thing of all about King David is this. He keeps praying to the LORD: “May all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who love your salvation say continually, “Great is the LORD!”” Yes, LORD. Please respond wonderfully to all who seek you in Jesus.

Richard Syvret

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