A setback will cause you to either doubt or trust the Lord. Woe to him who only trusts the Lord when everything is going well. You can get mad at Him or move closer to Him. Woe to him whose initial reaction is bitterness towards the Lord when everything does not go their way. The introduction to Psalm 60 tells us this is a psalm of David when he was winning battles in the north, and the Edomites attacked Israel in the south. In response, David sent Joab to deal with them ( see 2 Samuel 8:1–14; 10:6–18 and 1 Chronicles 18:1–13; 19:6–19). Although God had been with the Israelites and helped them through so much in the past, their short-lived victory caused them to feel rejected by God (v. 1, notice the plurality “You, us”). Why in this fallen world are we so quick to distrust the Lord’s righteous character when something does not go perfect? Even though there is some rejection, Psalm 60 describes how David and the Israelites sought the Lord for restoration (vv. 1-2).
Where do you turn when you face a setback? David knew he needed to seek the Lord on behalf of a nation to return their complete confidence in the Lord. It’s almost as if David is saying, “Ok, not everything has worked perfectly, but we must remain faithful to the Lord. God knows whatever reason this has happened, and He will make all things right. Trust Him.” David knew God had “raised a banner” (v. 4). He was their victory, their Jehovah Nissi (Exodus 17:15). The Edomites would soon be defeated as “Edom will be conquered; Seir (Edom), his enemy, will be conquered, but Israel will grow strong” (Numbers 24:18, see also Ezekiel 35:15). David told of all the land in Canaan God had given to the Israelites in the past (vv. 6-8) as a powerful reminder of God’s power and provision. It is good to remember the victories and provision of God in the past when you are facing troubles in the present!
While David dispatched Joab to deal with the Edomites, he knew his strength and help came from the Lord. When some face adversity, they “pull themselves up by their bootstraps” and move forward. David won many battles, and this setback reminded and humbled him it was God, not him, that was strong and gave him the favor in battle. Sometimes God allows a setback to remind us that we are not invincible and the cause of our successes. David would face the “fortified city” of Edom with the aid from the Lord (vv. 10-11). While David had mighty armies, he was quick to say, “human help is worthless” (v. 11b) if the Lord was absent. He reminds us, “With God we will gain the victory, and He will trample down our enemies” (v. 12).
- Do you attribute your success to yourself or the Lord?
- Do you attribute setback to the Lord?
- Have you allowed the Lord to humble you however He wants?
Lord, I trust You. You have the complete plan for my life in Your providence. If You choose to allow a setback in my life, may it cause me to pursue You even more. I choose to believe the words the Angel of the Lord said to Zechariah, “Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit says the Lord Almighty” (Zechariah 4:6). You are my helper, strength, fortress, and deliverer. I will trust in You! In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.