In one of the churches that I pastored, we had a gym and we rented it often for events and sports activities. One of the groups that rented our place was a Brazilian Martial Arts Academy. They had an all day long event that involved competition, training, and a form of graduation ceremony (I do not know the specific term to define that).
After the event one of the owners came to me and asked if our church would be interested in having a self-defense class. They were thinking of starting classes for kids to deal with bullies, for ladies, etc. She told me that these kinds of classes were becoming very popular.
If you look on the Internet you can find all kinds of martial arts for self-defense. Here are the most popular and effective: Jujitsu, known as “The Art of Softness”; Taekwondo, known as “The Way of the Hand and Fist”; Krav Maga, known as “Contact Combat”; Aikido, known as “The Way of Harmony of the Spirit”; Wing Chun, from China; Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, named as BJJ, Gracie Jiu Jitsu, it is known as “Human Chess”; and Muay Thai, known as “The Art of Eight Limbs”. As you can see, people are trying to find ways to defend themselves.
The challenge for Christians is that having only these set of skills will not be enough. This is what the psalmist in the Psalm 124 is talking about. We all, sooner or later will need a defender, and the reason is clear and simple, we just need to look at us to realize that we need someone. The first thing that we must do when we read this psalm is to look at us. The ability of our enemies to make war and their power are so great that we have no humanly chance to survive.
This is what David says here in this psalm. We have no chance to obtain victory or even survive against those powerful enemies. David describes the limitations of the people of God in 3 simple ways. Here they are:
A – We Are the Minority – The first thing that we must realize is that we are not the majority, we are the minority. The great majority does not believe in what we believe; they do not believe in Christ; they do not believe in commitment with the gospel or with the church. Their numbers are exceedingly great, and we do not have a chance.
B – We Are Powerless – Second we need to accept that we are powerless. We do not have the weapons and technology to face those enemies. We cannot fight in the same level with them. They have a trained army with all the equipment necessary for war.
C – We Are Defenseless – Finally, he tells us that we are defenseless; we cannot defend ourselves. If our enemies decide to do something against us they can do it and will do it, because we do not have the capabilities, the tools, and the power to defend ourselves.
It is because of this that this psalm makes clear that the Lord, not us or someone else is our defender. We need someone who can look at us and have mercy. We need to understand that some fights are beyond our ability and strength. We just cannot win. It is at those moments that we should look up and seek the Lord.
Have a blessed week,