Gathered Together For War, Ps 140:1-13



In Ps 140:2 David wrote, “continually are they gathered together for war.”  Men fight.  That’s just what they do.  They fight over land, over women, over control, over territory, over the kids, over politics, over religion, etc.  You name it; they’ll fight over it.

Though we are saved, that same tendency to fight is in us, as well.  Perhaps we fight for our honor or out of pride and foolishness or simply because we think we’re right and the other guy is wrong.  Consider the fact that like-minded believers in a church of like-minded faith often split. The root of the problem is that men fight.  In Acts 15:37-39 Paul and Barnabas fought over whether to take John Mark with them on the second missionary journey.

There’s a lot of fighting going on around us these days.  Gangs are fighting, politicians are fighting, factions within organizations are fighting, protesters are fighting, and so forth.  And some of these fights are drawing you in, particularly the political fights.

The question is this.  When they are gathered together for war, what are we supposed to do?

Don’t fight their fights – Ps 140:1-3 – We’re living down here on this earth, but none of these are our fights.  In Ps 140:1, David wrote, “Deliver me, O Lord, from the evil man: preserve me from the violent man.”  David certainly had his share of fights as a captain and a king in Israel.  He had to fight Israel’s enemies in his capacity as a soldier and a king.  But remember that he didn’t fight Saul.  That was not his fight.  He looked to the Lord to take care of that one.

Like Josiah at Carchemish, we have no business in this political war.  God may be doing something, as in 2 Chr 35:20-22.  Thus, we must forbear meddling with God.  When Huldah the prophetess replied to the men whom Josiah had sent to inquire of God, she testified that Josiah would be gathered to his grave in peace, 2 Chr 34:28.  He didn’t die in peace because he fought in a fight he should have never had.

You let God handle these matters because he is the only one who knows what he and the devil are up to.  They both have ways of influencing the political leadership of countries.  God puts rulers down and raises them up.  And sometimes, as in the case of Pharaoh in Egypt or Nebuchadnezzar in Babylon, these can be ruthless killers.  Too many of our Bible-believing friends and pastors have gotten caught up in these fights.

Pray for protection – Ps 140:4-8 – terrible things happen when terrible leaders rule.  In Ezek 32, where you read about some of the Gentile nations fighting in the Tribulation, the Bible says, “they caused their terror in the land of the living,” in Ezek 32:24, for example.  And we have been dealing with this terrorism for more than twenty years.

You and I want to be like the psalmist in Ps 91:1-8.  He said, “A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.”  Ps 91:7. Let them duke it out; let the Lord protect us as a “refuge” and a “fortress” Ps 91:2, “under the shadow of the Almighty,” Ps 91:1.  As Ps 140:12 says, “I know that the Lord will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and the right of the poor.” 

Be careful with imprecations – Ps 140:9-11 – In this Psalm, David was praying an imprecatory prayer against an evil speaker and against the violent man.  His prayer is very precise when it comes to the antichrist.  It’s just like his imprecatory prayer in Ps 109.  In Ps 109:8 David prayed, “Let his days be few; and let another take his office.”  This is the part of the Psalm Peter quoted concerning Judas Iscariot in Acts 1:20 when the apostles chose his replacement.  Judas Iscariot is the son of perdition, Jn 17:12.

We must be careful praying these kinds of prayers or making these kinds of statements against rulers.  Peter said, “Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king,” 1 Pet 2:17.  Peter wrote this and yet it was the king who ordered his death.  When the high priest ordered Paul to be smitten on the mouth, Acts 23:2, Paul reproved him.  When he was challenged by those who stood by, Paul replied, “I wist not, brethren, that he was the high priest: for it is written, Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people,” Acts 23:5.  That’s in the New Testament.

Remember that Saul was the king who tried repeatedly to kill David and yet David would not raise his hand against him.  His prayer at his death is telling.  Among other things he lamented, “The beauty of Israel is slain upon the high places: how are the mighty fallen… Saul and Jonathan were lovely and pleasant in their lives.” 2 Sam 1:17-24.  

We are instructed how to pray for those in authority in 1 Tim 2:1-3, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.  When Judah was carried away captive to Babylon, the Lord instructed them to “seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the Lord for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace,” Jer 29:7.

Fight the good fight of faith – 1 Tim 6:12 – Since men fight, God has chosen us to be soldiers, 2 Tim 4:4.  Yet, our fights are not against flesh and blood.  We have spiritual enemies to fight, Eph 6:12.  There is a spiritual battle raging and that is our fight.  We fight about men corrupting God’s words.  We fight for the souls of men.  We fight a defensive battle against the devil.  We fight against sin in our lives.  

Consider what our armor is and what it’s for. That will help you to see what we are fighting for and against.  Our feet are to be shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.  James A Miller was court-martialed for shooting his captain when he was drunk and was sentenced to be shot to death by firing squad. Several impassioned pleas were made to Stonewall Jackson to commute his sentence. One even by his friend, Rev James Graham.  Jackson refused.  And Miller was executed.  However, Jefferson Davis had commuted Miller’s sentence.  But the courier got drunk and never delivered the message.  From “Rebel Yell,” by S. C. Gwynne.

Conclusion: Don’t get sidetracked by these other fights that are not our fights and fail to deliver the message.  One of the most important things we can do in this day is tell other people what Jesus has done for them so they can escape the tribulation and hell.  Too many of our soldiers are drunk on the current events and souls are going to hell all around us.  Fight the good fight of faith. That’s our fight.  And fight it well.  Be a good soldier of Jesus Christ, not one entangled with the affairs of this life, 2 Tim 2:3-4.