King David and his army had just suffered heavy losses in battle. And David believes their loss is evidence that God has rejected him (Psalm 60:1). So he pleads with God to restore him to his former strength, even if he doesn’t deserve it.
David is shaking. God’s anger has rattled the land, causing it to burst and fracture. David’s army is falling over themselves. They’re drunk on poisonous wine poured from God’s hand (Psalm 60:2-3). Reeling from defeat, David remembers how fearing God offered protection in the past (Psalm 60:4). Like a wounded soldier, David can still run to his king’s flag in a battle. And sheltered underneath God’s standard, he knows his King will save him. Despite his defeat, he knows God loves him. God’s right hand holds deliverance for those he loves, and David is confident God will not reject him forever (Psalm 60:5).
Soon God will give him victory again and parcel out enemy land to his own people (Psalm 60:6). After all, God is the monarch who rules Israel and controls all nations (Psalm 60:7-8). David knows that his only hope for victory against his enemies is if God goes out with him in battle again (Psalm 60:9-10). He refuses to trust the help of generals, politics, or treaties and redoubles his plea to God for aid (Psalm 60:11). Only through God will his enemies be trampled (Psalm 60:12). David knows that God’s rejection need not be the end of the story. If he trusts in him alone, defeat will only be the prelude to victory.
Where is the Gospel?
Ultimately, God does not reject those he loves. And he has proved this through Jesus, a son of David, who also fought a losing battle against God’s enemies. Like David, Jesus went on a conquest against the enemies of God. His battles were against all the powers of evil: disease, despair, demonic bondage, and death itself. Jesus knew that God had given him all nations to rule, but he did not depend on human power to bring that Kingdom come (John 18:36). He trusted God alone would give him victory, but he also knew that he too must first drink a poisonous cup of wine from God’s hand (Matthew 20:21-22; John 18:11).
Jesus was given a cross before he was given a crown. He experienced defeat at the hands of his enemies. His body trembled with pain as the ground shook and rattled when he drank the full cup of God’s wine (Matthew 27:48-51). God’s rejection crushed him to death. But God delivers those he loves, even from death. God raised Jesus from the dead. And now Jesus stands in victory over death and will one day come to trample all his enemies (1 Corinthians 15:25-27). Like wounded soldiers, we can run for protection under Jesus’ battle flag because even in defeat victory is guaranteed. With Jesus, there is no loss that is not a prelude to victory.
See for Yourself
I pray that the Holy Spirit will open your eyes to see the God who brings victory out of defeat. And may you see Jesus as the one who was rejected in order to deliver his people from their enemies and guarantee victory for those he loves.