THE GIVER OF LIFE
When we think of great power we tend to think of the ability to do things we can do, but to do them better, faster or quicker. This is often how we think of God’s power. He can do the things I do, but he does them with greater power!! He is like an invisible superman, “Faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound!” You get the idea.
While it is true that his power makes him “superman strong”, the power of God also makes him able to do things that we cannot possible do. Such as give life. Look at the words of God’s chosen king, David, found in one of the songs he wrote, Psalm 21.
1The king rejoices in your strength, Lord. How great is his joy in the victories you give! 2You have granted him his heart’s desire and have not withheld the request of his lips. 3You came to greet him with rich blessings and placed a crown of pure gold on his head. 4He asked you for life, and you gave it to him— length of days, forever and ever. Psalm 21:1–4 (NIV)
Notice how David lists the things that God has done for him. He has given him victory. “How great is his joy in the victories you give!” This likely refers to victory in the military battles David fought in. He saw God as the one who fought on his behalf!
David next mentions that God gave him riches. 2You have granted him his heart’s desire and have not withheld the request of his lips. Although not as wealthy as his successor Solomon, David amassed great wealth.
David then notes that along with the wealth God had given him political power. 3You came to greet him with rich blessings and placed a crown of pure gold on his head. The crown symbolizes power. A crown of pure gold would symbolize power and wealth!
The power of God gave David victory in battle, physical riches and political power. In these things God is like an invisible superman. Able to do the things we do, but he does them better. But look at what he mentions next.
Speaking of himself in the third person, David mentions that he asked for life. 4He asked you for life, and you gave it to him— length of days, forever and ever.” It is not clear exactly when David asked for life. Perhaps it is simply referring to the many times that his life was in danger from Goliath, or Saul, or when he lead the nation in one of its battles. In all of these contexts God preserved his life. But he did more than that. He also promised him eternal life.
David notes that God gave him “length of days”, which would refer to a long life. But then he notes that his life will last “forever and ever.” David had assurance that he would have eternal life!!
Perhaps David got this assurance when God made the promise that we often call the “Davidic Covenant”. This was a promise that a descendant from David’s family would reign forever on the throne of Israel. The New Testament reveals that this promise will be fulfilled in the reign of Christ. The David covenant ends with these words, “2 Samuel 7:16 (NIV) “Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.”
The words of Psalm 21:1-4 are so encouraging that some of those who read these ancient songs believe that David was creating them to refer to the promised Messiah and not to himself. In either case, in these words we have a clear assertion that the power of God is able to give eternal life. The power of God is the power that gives resurrection (Eph 1:20). The power of God is able to hold onto you and me until the day of our resurrection. The power of God keeps me secure.
Christ himself claims to have this power. In speaking to those who were following him, he made the promise to give resurrection life. John 6:39 (NIV) And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. Jesus had the power of God to give eternal life.
The difficulties of these past days have no doubt given us reason to fear. Like when we hear the words “we have discovered cancer”… our complacency, and false security crumbles. At these times we can take refuge in the power of God. Power that is able to give us life that is eternal. Power that can guarantee hope beyond the grave. Power that can and will recreate a new world, indwelt by those who look to Him. No matter what happens, his power will accomplish what he has promised! This is why we rejoice in the strength and power of the Lord!