This psalm, with its warlike theme, might seem rather out of place or irrelevant for modern Christians. Living in a society where any military action is carried out by trained professionals, what use do we have for hands that are trained for war?
Yet, if you are a Christian today, then whether you realise it or not, you are in the midst of a battle and your participation is required.
Our war is not a physical one. “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” (Eph 6:12).
We need not fear or become overwhelmed by the thought of this battle as we have read the Bible to the end and we know that Jesus Christ is victorious! In fact, as John writes, “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4).
Nevertheless, “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8). The war may be ultimately won, but the battle, for now, still rages.
How shall we play our part? For a start, consider James’ instructions: “Submit yourselves, then, to God” and “Resist the devil” (James 4:7). In fact James promises that if we do those two things, the devil will run away from us.
The battle may rage around us but, as David discovered, it is God who trains our hands for war and our fingers for the battle. He is a fortress and a stronghold and a shield. Our call is to first submit to him, and then to resist the enemy.
Meditation verse: Praise be to the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle.