Day 39: Elohim Ozer Li

Listen to my prayer, O God.
    Pay attention to my plea.
For strangers are attacking me;
    violent people are trying to kill me.
    They care nothing for God. Interlude

But [Elohim Ozer Li].
    The Lord keeps me alive!
May the evil plans of my enemies be turned against them.
    Do as you promised and put an end to them.

Psalm 54:3-5

Elohim Ozer Li: God is My Helper

I wish I lived with the conviction of David. The man knew when he was right, and he wasn’t afraid to be. He knew because he was following God, and God is never wrong. So long as he stood on the side God stands on, he was right.

David’s Psalms can sometimes seem so one-sided to me, so vengeful and vindictive. “Let those people BURN!” kind of attitude – doesn’t that seem a bit… unmerciful? But David also had the kind of enemies he looked in the eyes, smelled their breath, heard their weapons tear through the air as they tried to rip his soul right out of his body. They came after him when he was tired and hungry and had to use the bathroom; they kept coming whether he fought or ran, whether he won or lost, whether he wanted to fight or not. At some point, we all tire of fighting. So maybe David was angry, maybe he was vengeful – but he was also tired, I think, and just wanted it all to end. He had fought enough battles to know some only end in death.

This is the moment when he cries out to Elohim Ozer Li. This is the moment we cry out to Him, too. The moment we’re too tired to carry on, when we don’t want the fight, when we just want it to end! But the good news? This was not David’s last psalm. This was not David’s last psalm. Because there was more to David than the look in his eyes, the smell of his breath, the sound of his sword. David was not fighting alone. God helped. And God – n-e-v-e-r – loses.

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