Evil is ruthlessly competitive

For God alone my soul waits in silence;from him comes my salvation.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.
How long will all of you attack a man
to batter him,
like a leaning wall, a tottering fence?
(Psalm 62:1-4 ESV)

Waiting in silence

David’s soul is still in God’s presence. He draws near in reverent obedience. This is an active stillness, there is intentionality and purpose involved. There is focus – a fixed confidence in God which stills all anxieties and drives out little nagging concerns. From God alone comes salvation.

Confidence that only partly relies on God is vain
(C.H. Spurgeon)

The attack of evil

Have you ever had a great ‘quiet time’ (or whatever you choose to call it) in the morning, only to begin the day and have everything turn to custard? Perhaps this is what happened to David. “In God alone my soul waits in silence”. Only to be told at breakfast that the butler has sold the sordid details of the Bathsheba incident to the tabloids.

In reading about verses 3-4, I came across this description:

Evil, being ruthlessly competitive, is attracted to weakness, to give a last push to whatever is leaning or tottering. It is also attracted to strength, the target of its envy and duplicity. It is in total contrast to the goodness which spares the bruised reed, is glad “when we are weak and you are strong”, and achieves its ends by “the open statement of the truth”.
Derek Kidner, Psalms 1-72 (Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries)

It stands to reason that David, king of Israel, would be the target of duplicity and underhanded attempts to displace him from his position of power.

What about you?

For all who walk with God there will be ruthlessly competitive attacks of evil probing for our weaknesses and fully exploiting every vulnerability.

  • Where does your strength lie?
  • What are your weaknesses, vulnerabilities, hidden things that would be painful if exploited or exposed?
  • Who would like to see you fall or be taken down a peg or two?
  • Why?
  • How do they seek to take you down?

In what ways does evil, attracted by a hint of weakness, try to give you one last push and get you to fall?

Preach to yourself

Evil attacks and David reminds himself of where his hope needs to be fixed, he strengthens his heart in God. At the beginning of the psalm he boldly states that his soul waits for God alone. Now we get to the place I am more familiar with, telling my soul that this is what I should be doing. I have to tell myself (firmly, forcefully) that God is my only rock and my salvation, my fortress, I will not be shaken. If I pause to consider the evil trying to tear my down, I must then remind myself that on God rests my salvation, on God rests my glory. I have no glory of my own, evil cannot steal what I do not claim. My security, my refuge, is God.

For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
for my hope is from him.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
On God rests my salvation and my glory;
my mighty rock, my refuge is God.
(Psalm 62:5-7 ESV)

Trust in Him at all times!

Remember that confidence that only partly relies on God is vain. It is no good stumbling around in the twilight dimness of semi-trust. Trust God whether life is going well or disastrously. When we do trust fully in God it is easier to do what is necessary to get to the place of silently waiting for Him; pouring out our heart to Him.

2 thoughts on “Evil is ruthlessly competitive

  1. Excellent post. I have been there, I have felt the pushing of the enemy, I have known my weaknesses and watched as evil has successfully exploited them…. Thank you for this reminder to stand firm in the faith, and not let the enemy push me from the solid rock on which I stand…evil is relentless, but Christ has overcome, I need to live in that truth more and more. Blessings, brother.

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    1. Hi Kris,Yes, evil is relentless. Christ is not only a rock, He is also a fortress and shelter – we are often weak and in need of rest so we can run to Him when the fight has us wounded. I think sometimes I try to keep fighting when I should take shelter and the result is that I get wounded even more.

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