Praise be to the Lord my Rock,
who trains my hands for war,
my fingers for battle.
Ps 144: 1
What do you suppose this “battle” is about? I’m sure there are dozens of possible ideas. Allow me to present an option to ponder.
I suggest the battle can be understood in the lifelong struggle we all face against selfishness. Each of us will naturally opt for the larger pile of gold or the bigger cookie. Still, someplace within us, we also possess a desire to help others. These two sides argue or compete with each other continuously, like the old Cherokee tale of the Two Wolves. The side of our nature that is strongest is the one we exercise the most. Our choice.
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the
least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
Most Americans have heard this sentiment at one time or another. We are aware of those among us less fortunate than ourselves, and we are inclined to help any way we are able. For some of us, that means writing a check. For others, it means bagging some canned goods for the Boy Scout Food Drive. For still others, it means serving at a Soup Kitchen once a month or so.
All of these opportunities are performed with our HANDS! They are all actions done in response to a compassionate impulse to help those among us who struggle. Service starts in our hearts but must be acted upon through our hands.
I suggest, “it is God who trains our hands to…” do what our hearts urge us to do. He enables us to give and rewards us when we do. He brings opportunities to our attention and draws us toward activities that will use our individual talents and strengths. “He trains our hands for battle … ” to wage war against our selfish nature. He provides a lifetime of opportunities to use our hands to help our neighbors and ourselves in the process.
Which nature will we feed?
“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”
James 1: 22