Daily D – Psalm 18:32
God—he clothes me with strength and makes my way perfect.
PSALM 18:32 (CSB)
Is this not the God who armed me,
then aimed me in the right direction?
A friend of mine took up running some years ago. She felt the need to pursue improved health and enhanced energy. She sent a note asking what running songs I had on my iPod. I dutifully explained that it is dangerous and distracting to listen to loud music while running. It prevents the full awareness a person needs on a jogging path or when crossing streets.
Then I proceeded to give her the perfect playlist to energize her steps. This included the Doobie Brothers singing, It Keeps You Running; Jefferson Starship’s Runaway; Del Shannon’s Runaway; Against the Wind by Bob Seger; and Running on Empty by Jackson Browne. There are more, many, many more, where those came from.
Perhaps the greatest runaway of all time was David Before He Was King, and even late in life on one particularly dreadful occasion. He knew all about life on the run. Several of his songs, including some of his best hits, were written on the run.
Psalm 143 is a running song. Verse 3 says, “For the enemy has pursued me, crushing me to the ground, make me live in darkness like those long dead.” David felt like he had been run into his grave. This is an idea he expands in verse 7.
David knew which paths to run. First, he ran away from his enemies, most notably his father-in-law King Saul. Second, he ran to God. Listen to verse 8:
Let me experience your faithful love in the morning, for I trust in you.
Reveal to me the way I should go because I appeal to you.
The New International Version 1984 puts it this way:
Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.
I double-dog dare you to read through Psalms and not notice how many times the writers ask for God’s direction and thank him for his direction. If there is one thing most of us require on a daily basis, it is direction. Reading a psalm a day helps us know how to pray. This is especially true when we seek God’s direction.
On the Bible timeline, Psalm 143 occurred before Psalm 18. This is indicated by the text included before verse 18:1 in most translations. Check it out. This tells us that God heard and answered David’s prayer. He also hears and answers our prayers for direction.
Today’s verse is a powerful affirmation to hold in both our RAM and our ROM. Our Father in heaven clothes us with strength and lays out the perfect path for us. He prepares us for the way and sends us along the way always with his companionship and never alone.
Which way are you going today? Go with God, or like Moses prayed, don’t Go at all (Exodus 33:15).
I will go with God.
Our Father, show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul. Amen.
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Jeremiah 35:12-14 “This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Go and tell the people of Judah and those living in Jerusalem, ‘Will you not learn a lesson and obey my words?’ declares the Lord. ‘Jehonadab son of Rekab ordered his descendants not to drink wine and this command has been kept. To this day they do not drink wine, because they obey their forefather’s command. But I have spoken to you again and again, yet you have not obeyed me.”
Psalm 78:70-72 He chose David his servant and took him from the sheep pens; from tending the sheep he brought him to be the shepherd of his people Jacob, of Israel his inheritance. And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them.
Jeremiah 23:20-22 The anger of the Lord will not turn back until he fully accomplishes the purposes of his heart. In days to come you will understand it clearly. I did not send these prophets, yet they have run with their message; I did not speak to them, yet they have prophesied. But if they had stood in my council, they would have proclaimed my words to my people and would have turned them from their evil ways and from their evil deeds.