“For by thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall. As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him. For who is God save the LORD? or who is a rock save our God? It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.” (Psalm 18:29-32)
Have you ever heard that phrase? Usually, it is what people say after someone makes a very small mistake. It is true. No human being can be perfect. We are human. We have limits. We get sleepy. We miss things. We lose things. We sin against one another. We sin against God. Whether imperfections are “small” or very, very large, humans will always have imperfections.
“He’s such a perfectionist.”
Have you ever heard that phrase? Many people try to never make mistakes. They try to be good all the time. They do good deeds. They do regular things with their best skill and the highest quality. A perfectionist might wash the same dish three times, and dry it with a clean towel until that dish just sparkles. And a perfectionist gets very upset with himself and with other people when things turn out less than perfect, after all. Have you ever known someone like that? Are you like that?
“As for God, his way is perfect…. It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.”
When a translation of the Bible uses the word “perfect,” it is not exactly talking about the kind of “perfect” we would normally think of first. In our time, we use the word “perfect” to describe something that has no flaws, no mistakes, no shortcomings, no limits, no sin. But what does “perfect” mean when we see it in the Bible?
when the Bible talks about perfection, it is talking about the absolute completion, or carrying-out, or accomplishment of something. Basically, it means totally righteous, totally whole, totally the way things should be. Have you ever heard someone mention “a perfect circle”? They do not mean “perfect” in the sense that the circle is sinless or never makes mistakes! Of course a circle cannot be “perfect” that way. They mean “perfect” in the sense that a perfect circle would not have wavy lines or gaps. A perfect circle comes all the way around to form a whole, rather than just a part of a circle.
“That kind of ‘perfect'” is what King David is singing about in Psalm 18. He was praising God for doing such a full, wonderful job of what David (with all his weaknesses and shortcomings) could never have done on his own. If David had tried to leap over a wall or escape from enemy troops all by himself, he would not have been able to. He would have fallen short. But God is the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the Earth. God IS perfect, in every sense of the word “perfect.” He never gets weary. He never loses things. He never sins. He has no flaws. And what He chooses to do, He does the best way possible. He brings it to completion. He accomplishes whatever He sets out to do.
King David was rejoicing that this God, Whose way of doing things is all perfection, is also the kind of God Who can and will help those who call upon Him. He can and will help us overcome our weaknesses and limits and mistakes. He can and will give us strength to do what it takes to finish a job we have to do. He can and will give us strength to say “no!” to temptations. He can and will help us believe wholly in Him, even when our faith is small. No wonder David was so full of praise! He had a perfect God Who was making him whole.
God is totally perfect in every sense of the word, and He can and will help those who call on Him.
» Do I rely on myself and my strength rather than asking for God’s help?
» When I am frustrated with my limitations, do I rejoice that God does not have any?