Read Psalm 144
David knows that he is undeserving of God’s attention and affection, and yet God has fixed His eyes and love on him for salvation. David knows that he can ask God to draw near, to bend the heavens down to the earth and come to him, because God has been lavish in His love. And, in the remainder of the song, David is going to praise God for this glorious truth.
Read Psalm 144:9-11. Breaking it down line-by-line, what do you think each of these phrases mean?
I will sing a new song to you, O God;
upon a ten-stringed harp I will play to you:
who gives victory to kings,
who rescues David his servant from the cruel sword:
Rescue me and deliver me
from the hand of foreigners,
whose mouths speak lies
and whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood:
David’s worshipful response is, first, to bring a ten-stringed harp before God and to construct and conduct a new song of worship to God. David, in a praise-filled response, is bringing the very best he has before God: the most elaborate instrument he can find in Israel, and a new labor of love as he puts pen to paper and writes a song to praise his God.
Then, David looks back. He reflects on how God has saved him in the past. As a king over the nation of Israel, David has asked for God to save him in battle many times. God has answered him, met him in his place of need, and given him glory he did not deserve.
Finally in this section, David returns to asking God to save him. Once again, he is surrounded by those who spew falsehood about him, and David needs deliverance. It might seem to us that David is stepping out of praise and worship and into supplication once again, but I don’t think that is what is going on. Instead, I think David is asking for the continuance of God’s faithfulness. He is looking back at God’s past faithfulness and asking God: Keep being who you are! Keep doing what you do! In and of itself, this request for God to continue in his life as He has in the past is a worshipful request and in praise of God’s character.
Read verses 12 through 15. What has changed between this section and the previous section (note the change in pronouns).
Suddenly, the choir joins in with David. As the pronouns transition from “I” and “me” to “we” and “us,” we know that this portion of the song was intended for the congregation to sing together.
Given the content of these verses, why do you think this shift is appropriate?
As David’s song swells with multiple voices lifted to God, he asks that God would build their corporate faith. It is only appropriate that the congregation sings these words together because they hold out a shared vision of the life of faith lived out in community.
Read these verses one more time. What requests are found here that are corporate or communal in nature?
David wants the people of God to flourish together. The life of faith is not one lived alone in isolation, but in community. We flourish in the journey of discipleship as we grow with and beside and among one another. The Christian life is meant to be lived before God and with each other as we raise babies and plant gardens and establish commerce and community. We are meant to develop this world and our bodies of faith together – putting our hand to the plow shoulder-to-shoulder with one another, keeping our businesses with each other, and raising up the next generation in the community of faith. This life of discipleship is not meant to be lived alone, but among the people of God.
How do you need to grow toward other Christians? What keeps you from doing so?
How can these verses – and this reminder of the centrality of Christian community in the life of discipleship – encourage and challenge you to seek out other believers to live alongside as you walk with God?
Pray & Reflect:
Supplication: Confess to God your needs. Ask Him to grow you in bringing your best to Him in worship, and to grow you in living in community with other believers.
Submission: Praise God that He is able to do it! Praise Him for His unchanging character, and for the way He has arranged the Church to do life together. Praise Him that He is, even now, binding His people together in harmony.