Taking Edom – The Strong City

Medieval Akkerman fortress near Odessa in Ukraine

In Psalms 108:10, the Psalmist poses this question, “Who will bring me into the strong city? who will lead me into Edom?” Edom was a city that was literally carved into the side of a stone mountain. At that time it represented what was considered an impenetrable fortress that could not be conquered. The book of Obadiah describes Edom this way in verse 3, “The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground?”

Many Christians today have Edoms, or strong cities, in their lives that they view as unconquerable areas they will never have victory over. Things such as bitterness, anger, marriage problems, hatred, lust, fear, and pride are just a few. How many times have you asked with the Psalmist “Who will bring me into the strong city? who will lead me into Edom?” Let me remind you that the answer rings back clear in verse 11 of Psalms 108, “Wilt not thou, O God.” There is victory available for the child of God; you can take the strong city!

Psalms 108 gives us 9 things to incorporate into our daily lives for victory over the strong cities. I believe if we make these 9 things part of our daily routines, we can see victory over the Edoms we face.

 

1. Determination
The first verse of chapter 108 starts, “O God, my heart is fixed.” King David was saying here that he had a determination inside him. His heart was fixed, or decided and unmovable. This was not a humanistic determination based on who he was but rather a determination that came from knowing Who his God was; a determination that comes knowing victory is promised to the child of God. This is the same determination that Paul had when he, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, penned, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me,” in Philippians 4:13.

Far too often we set out to fight spiritual warfare with no determination and at the first sign of conflict, failure, or set back, we give in and turn back. If we are going to have victory we must decide from the start that we are in this to win it and get some determination. Proverbs 24:16 tells us, “For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again.” In other words, a just man is determined and lets nothing stop him.

Prophesying of the death of Christ, the Bible tells us in Isaiah 50:7, “For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.” When Christ was faced with the torture and mockery of the crucifixion, His face was set like a flint — He was determined. How often do we give up and suffer defeat before we even start? “It will be too hard.” “I could never do that.” “That is impossible.” If we are going to have victory we are going to have to get some determination that we “can do all things through Christ.”

 

2. Singing
The first verse of Psalms 108 continues, “ O God, my heart is fixed; I will sing and give praise, even with my glory.” In this verse the king boldly declares, “I will sing.” If you know anything of the life of King David, you know that singing and godly music were a big part of his life. In fact he is often referred to as the sweet psalmist of Israel. Having a song in your heart and on your lips will do something in your Christian life!

When the apostle Paul was thrown in prison for preaching the gospel and bound in the innermost cell it is then you read in Acts 16:25, “And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.” After they began to sing you read that the prison started shaking and the doors were opened and their shackles broke.

Christian, learn to sing praises to God. Make godly music a part of your life. Ephesians 5:19 instructs us, “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.” Get a song in your heart and let it flow out your lips!

 

3. Praising God
Praising God was a huge part of David’s life. He writes this in Psalms 108:1-3, “O God, my heart is fixed; I will sing and give praise, even with my glory. Awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake early. I will praise thee, O LORD, among the people: and I will sing praises unto thee among the nations.”

We serve a mighty God Who is worthy of our praise! If the only thing God ever did for us was save us from an eternity in Hell that would be enough to praise Him for for the rest of our lives. God has done so much more for us though than just saving us from Hell, He has prepared us a home in Heaven, left us His word to lead and guide us, allowed us the privilege of fellowship with Him — all of that on top of creating us and giving us life and health.

Praising God is essential to us walking with and working with God. Praise is what will keep us going when we want to quit. Psalms 61:8 says, “ So will I sing praise unto thy name for ever, that I may daily perform my vows.” Praise is the sweetener that will keep our relationship fresh and renewed. We need to decide on purpose to praise God daily.

 

4. Getting up early
In verse 2 of chapter 108, the Bible tells us, “Awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake early.” In fact, all throughout the Bible you read of great Christians who were early risers. In Genesis 19:27, the Bible says this of Abraham, “And Abraham gat up early in the morning to the place where he stood before the LORD.” The Bible tells us often that Jesus would rise “a great while before day.” You will also find that Moses, Joshua, and David were all early risers.

Getting up early helps you start your day on the right foot and sets a pattern for victory for the rest of the day. When we sleep in rather than get up we are defeated before we ever get out of bed. We then rush to get dressed and hurry on our way not taking any time to spend with God before we start our day. Start your day with that first victory of getting up early and it will help set a pattern of victory for the rest of the day.

 

5. Rejoicing
Verse 7 of Psalms 108 says “God hath spoken in his holiness; I will rejoice.” I will rejoice! It is hard to defeat someone who is always rejoicing. In fact, Paul writes from a prison cell, “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, rejoice.” To rejoice means to experience gladness and joy. As children of God we ought to be happy and joyful people. No matter what heartaches we face we can rejoice in the Lord. No matter what pain comes into our life if we are saved then we are on our way to Heaven, God is our Father, and He will never give us more than we can bear.

As a pastor I have watched ladies in my church who were married for many years say goodbye to the love of their life and best friend, yet these same ladies are some of the sweetest and happiest, although they probably have the most to complain about. Why? They rejoice in the Lord. If you would learn to rejoice in the Lord, no matter the situation, it would change your life. Be a rejoicing Christian.

 

6. Staying busy in your place
Again in verse 7 we read “God hath spoken in his holiness; I will rejoice, I will divide Shechem, and mete out the valley of Succoth.” As king it was David’s job to watch over his territories and take care of his land. David was staying busy in his responsibilities. One of the reason we fail to see victory and get into trouble is because we are not busy enough doing the things we are supposed to do. In fact, when David fell into sin and committed adultery was when he was not doing what he was supposed to do. He stayed home when he was supposed to be in battle and the results were disastrous.

What ministry and work has God put before you? Stay busy and involved in it! Keep doing the work God has given you to do.

 

7. Keeping your heart right
Verse 7 says, “I will divide out Shechem.” Shechem was inside of Israel’s boundaries. Home conquests come first. Foes must first be dislodged from Israel’s territory, and lands properly settled and managed before going out to conquer more ground. I fear too often we are looking at everyone else’s problems while we have a heap of our own we need to work on first. Before I can make sure someone else’s heart is right, I must first look at my own heart. I need to look in the mirror at myself before I point out the flaws of my neighbor. Let’s work to keep our hearts right.

 

8. Building a strong parameter
Verse 7 goes on to say, “And mete out the valley of Succoth.” The valley of Succoth was just beyond Israel’s borders on the other side of the Jordan River. David understood that victory came from having strong parameters. Christian, if we are going to have spiritual victory it will not come without having strong parameters. Too many Christians want to get as close to the edge of sin as they can and then wonder why their lives are destroyed when they fall. We need to set strong parameters that protect against sin and that keep us as far away from it as possible. Proverbs 22:3 says, “A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.” The prudent looks ahead and hides himself from evil and wrong. We would save ourselves a lot of trouble if we would learn to set up strong parameters.

 

9. Putting your faith in the right place
I love the close of this chapter which states in verse 12 and 13 “Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man.Through God we shall do valiantly: for he it is that shall tread down our enemies.” Don’t miss that! Vain is the help of man, but it goes on to tell us through God we shall do valiantly. One of the great reasons we do not see victory in our lives is because our faith is in the wrong place. Instead of going to God, we turn to all the people around us. People will turn to self-help books and Facebook friends without ever going to God for the help they can only find in Him. How often will we turn to our own flesh and strength even before turning to God.

I am not against getting godly counsel. In fact, the Bible says a lot about receiving counsel, but our faith cannot rest in men it must rest solely in God. Too many people have placed their faith in a man only to have that man stumble, and their whole faith destroyed because it was in the wrong place. Our faith must be in God.

Christian, victory has been promised to the child of God! You can take Edom — the strong city.


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