Today From Psalms

Vain is the help of man

Psalm 60 references a time of defeat for the armies of David. The reason for this temporary defeat is not clear but from verses 9-11, it seems to have been caused by too much confidence in themselves.

“Who will bring me into the strong city? who will lead me into Edom? Wilt not thou, O God, which hadst cast us off? and thou, O God, which didst not go out with our armies? Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man.”

How often is this the reason for our defeats and sets backs? We move forward in the strength of the flesh only to learn how weak we are without God.

The psalmist begins with an acknowledgment (confession) of the defeat. “O God, thou hast cast us off, thou hast scattered us, thou hast been displeased.” The last phrase of verse one makes clear they saw the issue and called out to God. “O turn thyself to us again.”

In their distress they remembered God’s truth. “Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth. Selah. That thy beloved may be delivered; save with thy right hand, and hear me.” (Verses 4-5)   For us it is only by the power of God’s Word and the working of God’s Spirit that we can be victorious in the daily battles of life.

Every time we begin to put confidence in our strength, our ability, our learning or even the years of our maturity we will fail. The prayer, the confidence, and the faith we need is expressed in verses 11-12. Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man. Through God we shall do valiantly: for he it is that shall tread down our enemies.”

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