January 9, 2015

2 Samuel 22:36 You give me your shield of victory;
you stoop down to make me great.

Psalm 18 was pulled into this account of David’s life, and rightly so, because it is a glorious recitation of his experience of God’s faithfulness. As much as I have loved this particular verse (it is a shining gem of the NIV, which doesn’t have too many of those) I still got something new just now, reading it in the Japanese. Where the NIV says, “You give me your shield of victory,” The Japanese says, “You give me the shield of Your salvation.” It’s a small thing, but the English seems to put the focus on the shield being God’s, whereas the Japanese says the victory/salvation is God’s. When we put our focus on the tools, it’s easier to divorce them from the One who provides them. We’ve got to remember that no matter what victories we experience, they are actually God’s victories. That said, it is the last part of this verse that blew me away the first time I read through the NIV, back in 1979, if my memory serves me. The image of God stooping down to lift us up grabbed me and has stayed with me. The Japanese says “Your humility makes me big.” Who would have thought of God as humble? However, as Paul expressed so beautifully in Philippians 2:5-11, Jesus indeed humbled Himself to come to earth as a human baby. Such a God is worthy of all our love, adoration, and obedience!

From time to time it strikes me that I cannot love God enough, as much as He deserves. My human love is completely inadequate, so I’ve got to open my heart to let His love flow into me to enable me to love Him. Isn’t that an interesting paradox? Here too Paul could only pray that believers would be given the gift of grasping and appreciating God’s love. (Ephesians 3:14-19) I pray that for the believers under my care as well, though not consistently enough or often enough. All of the behavior problems I deal with would be settled if that prayer were answered! I need to have a growing grasp of that love myself, so that I may in turn be a more effective conduit of that love to those around me.

Father, thank You for Your overwhelming, incredible love. May I respond to it more and more, so that all of Your purposes for me may be fulfilled, in Your way and on Your schedule, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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