We have the two most amazing dogs in the world. They are full of personality and purpose, and they bring us great pleasure. They have several jobs that they fulfill which means they aren't just pets. They are part of our ministry here because they are part of our survival here.
The German Shepherd is our Barney Fife guard dog. He takes his job seriously. No animal or person may enter our property without permission. There have been many times we have found bird feathers scattered around the property. Two cats have perished because of him. Dozens of rats have met their demise. Humans dare not attempt unlawful entrance. They will not even come close to the gate for fear of the big dog.
The little Japanese Spitz is our guardian from little things. She is quick to point out snakes. This is a handy skill because there is a large variety of venomous snakes here. She also protects us from ants, bees, caterpillars, and vicious birthday balloons. Her greatest talents actually are rescuing us from boredom with her crazy antics, licking away all dirt from our faces, and preventing us from ever feeling unloved.
They are outdoor dogs, but every now and then they get the treat of coming in the house for a few minutes. I, however, am very strict about their admission into my kitchen. Nasty dogs in clean kitchens where food is prepared just does not set well with me. But on certain occasions, like when I drop an egg on the floor or when there is a large food spill, I sneak and let them in the kitchen. They come running in thinking that they are getting away with being bad. As they slurp up the gooey mess that I really just don't want to clean, they feel like criminals evading my judicious eyes. They do not suspect for a moment that they are actually accomplishing my will. In their minds, they are Bonnie and Clyde on a criminal spree stealing treasures from the kitchen floor before the police surround them and whisk them off to puppy jail outside.
Psalm 17:13-14 "Arise, O LORD, disappoint him, cast him down: deliver my soul from the wicked, which is thy sword: From men which are thy hand, O LORD, from men of the world..."
The wicked are God's sword? Men of the world are His hand?
Yes, God is in complete control even when it seems like the enemy is approaching victory. In reality, God is merely using them to accomplish a greater purpose, just like me using my canine Bonnie and Clyde to accomplish my purpose. Many times in the Bible, God used wicked nations to chastise His people. His people would rebel against Him and turn to other gods, so the Lord would bring Israel into captivity under other nations to bring them back to Him. Those other nations were His sword, and they never knew it.
I think of when the devil approached God about Job. The devil surely thought he was the victor as he took away Job's family, possessions, and health. In reality, God was allowing Satan to be His hand in shaping and molding Job. Job was a mature and upright man, but there was one area God wanted to refine. The Lord used the enemy as part of the plan.
In this Psalm, David acknowledged God's complete sovereignty. The Lord is in control even over the enemy. He uses them as His sword of judgment and chastisement. He also uses them as His potter's hand to shape and mold His people.
Are you facing the enemy? Maybe it's the Lord using the enemy as His sword and His hand. Recognize God's sovereignty. He is in control. Call out to Him and trust His greater purposes in your trials.