When we are defeated, we pray.
This psalm has a sub-title: “Prayer for National Victory after Defeat.” Even though David built a great empire in his times, he experienced many defeats in battle fields. He was even chased by his own son, Absalom! However, whenever he struggled in conflicts, he prayed to God. In this psalm, we can also see the concrete situation of David’s struggle because of the description that this psalm provides: “To the leader: according to the Lily of the Covenant. A Miktam of David; for instruction; when he struggled with Aram-naharaim and with Aram-zobah, and when Joab on his return killed twelve thousand Edomites in the Valley of Salt.”
We are defeated because God has rejected us!
“O God, you have rejected us, broken our defenses; you have been angry; now restore us! You have caused the land to quake; you have torn it open; repair the cracks in it, for it is tottering. You have made your people suffer hard things; you have given us wine to drink that made us reel. You have set up a banner for those who fear you, to rally to it out of bowshot. Selah”
Whenever there is a victory, it is God’s victory, not ours!
“Give victory with your right hand, and answer us, so that those whom you love may be rescued. God has promised in his sanctuary: ‘With exultation I will divide up Shechem, and portion out the Vale of Succoth. Gilead is mine, and Manasseh is mine; Ephraim is my helmet; Judah is my scepter.Moab is my washbasin; on Edom I hurl my shoe; over Philistia I shout in triumph.’ Who will bring me to the fortified city? Who will lead me to Edom?
Not any victory, but the right relationship with God is what I seek for!
“Have you not rejected us, O God? You do not go out, O God, with our armies. O grant us help against the foe, for human help is worthless. With God we shall do valiantly; it is he who will tread down our foes.”
When we experience either victory or defeat, we do take it as ours. We either give glory to God or pray to God. We just want to stay connected with God. God is in control1