Psalm 21 – Power

By Aaron Elder

Power is a paradox. Those with the strongest pedigree and longest list of qualifications are, often, the least qualified. What should produce confidence breeds insecurity. What promises protection enlists the Secret Service for its own. When it is wielded it diminishes and when it is given away it grows.

This is not a pointed critique at any particular leader. I’m not even claiming I could do it better – especially as the stakes get higher. I just don’t know if we really understand what power is for. If even for a noble cause, we think power is to be obtained and maintained by our own efforts. We think we could make better decisions.

Let me burst your bubble – you wouldn’t. I wouldn’t. It is precisely this moralistic superiority that proves the point. There is only one power play that ultimately impacts the lives of men – to lay it down. To give it away as quickly as possible.

In verse 13, the psalmist says, “Be exalted, O Lord, in your strength! We will sing and praise your power.” (ESV) What makes the power of God praiseworthy? This God showed us what power looks like. His laws level rich and poor. He defends the alien, orphan, and widow. He left his throne to dwell among us. His very coronation as king took place as he hung lifelessly crowned on a cross. His first act as king was to die for his people so that they would have access to that which they could not obtain on their own.

Jesus came not just to accomplish our salvation for some future life. He came to show us how to live this life. He has given us access to the power of God – how will we give it away?

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