Psalm 144 opens like this, “Praise the LORD, who is my rock. He trains my hands for war and gives my fingers skill for battle.” (NLT) This may seem like a strange verse in a worship song, but the application is powerful and valuable for all of us. First, we need to remember that this was written by the King of Israel, David, who had the responsibility for protecting and defending all the inhabitants of the nation. David is celebrating the fact that God has trained him to do his job with the skill needed and also given him the character that informs the choices he makes. We see this in verse 2 where he continues by saying, “He is my loving ally and my fortress, my tower of safety, my rescuer. He is my shield, and I take refuge in him.”(NLT) David has experienced God’s justice and His grace, His discipline and forgiveness, God’s judgement and His mercy. Of course, this applies to government leaders, but the principles apply to a broader audience as well. All of us have spheres of influence where we need to know what our responsibilities are to protect and defend – this could be anything from our home and family, to people at work or school, to entire groups, religions, and races of people we see being mistreated. Each of us needs to know the heart and mind of God and be prepared to take a stand to support what is true and right, even if it costs us a great deal to do so. All too often people get sucked up into political feuding where the battles become “win at any cost”, when we should be attacking issues with truth and love, rather than attacking people with hate and anger. We should take a moment now and recalibrate our attitudes and actions around God’s word, so that what we think and do brings honor to His name.