David, the King of Israel, wrote Psalm 60 during a time of defeat for the Israelites. Thus, the tone of the psalm falls in line with his typical laments and pleas for God’s help. It was so bad that David felt like God had “rejected” him (v.1). Verses 1-3 echo this sentiment with phrases like “you have shaken our land” and “you have been very hard on us.”
Verse 4 is the first turning point of hope in today’s reading. The concept of the Lord being Israel’s war banner came to David’s mind. This is a very important theme for the Jews, for the Lord was always their Leader and Protector during wartime. In fact, one of the most endearing names for the Lord is “Jehovah Nissi”, which means the Lord is my banner. One of my study tools had a great note on verse 4:
God raised a banner over his people to serve as a rallying point and as a source of pride and confidence. The fear of God that leads to wisdom (Psalm 111:10) is not weakness; it provides the perspective and strength required to do what is right. NLT Study Bible
Verses 6-8 embrace hope in an even stronger way. David was recalling the promises of God to provide Israel with her promised land. These verses explained land divisions that were about so much more than geography — they were about the very presence and providence of God in their lives.
In verses 11-12, David affirms his need for not just any redeemer. He needed the Lord. His cry is simple and yet so profound:
Oh, please help us against our enemies, for all human help is useless. With God’s help we will do mighty things, for He will trample down our foes. Psalm 60:11-12
Do you trust the Lord to tackle your enemies? Do you believe He is able to trample your foes? Is Jesus Christ the banner you raise when problems arise? Church, only with Christ can we “do mighty things” like verse 12 tells us. Wherever you are in your spiritual journey today, raise up the banner of Jesus Christ and put your confidence in His ability to overcome any obstacle that Satan – or your own sin – will throw your way.
RESPONSE QUESTION: How have you experienced the Lord as your “banner”? Share a brief story of God’s care for you.
By: Todd Thomas — Worship & College Pastor