Scripture: Psalm 59 (NIV)
Deliver me from my enemies, O God; be my fortress against those who are attacking me. Deliver me from evildoers and save me from those who are after my blood. See how they lie in wait for me! Fierce men conspire against me for no offense or sin of mine, LORD. I have done no wrong, yet they are ready to attack me. Arise to help me; look on my plight! You, LORD God Almighty, you who are the God of Israel, rouse yourself to punish all the nations; show no mercy to wicked traitors. They return at evening, snarling like dogs, and prowl about the city. See what they spew from their mouths— the words from their lips are sharp as swords, and they think, “Who can hear us?” But you laugh at them, LORD; you scoff at all those nations. You are my strength, I watch for you; you, God, are my fortress, my God on whom I can rely. God will go before me and will let me gloat over those who slander me. But do not kill them, Lord our shield, or my people will forget. In your might uproot them and bring them down. For the sins of their mouths, for the words of their lips, let them be caught in their pride. For the curses and lies they utter, consume them in your wrath, consume them till they are no more. Then it will be known to the ends of the earth that God rules over Jacob. They return at evening, snarling like dogs, and prowl about the city. They wander about for food and howl if not satisfied. But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble. You are my strength, I sing praise to you; you, God, are my fortress, my God on whom I can rely.
“It’s over, Anakin! I have the high ground!” Obi-Wan’s line close to the end of Revenge of the Sith has, in truth, become sort of a punch line for some of us Star Wars fans. What does he even mean by that? Obi-Wan himself proved in his battle with Darth Maul in The Phantom Menace that just because someone is standing over you, that doesn’t mean the fight is over. Even the Mythbusters proved that. It wound up working for him, given the foolishness of his opponent, but it wasn’t an inescapable fact.
High ground might not be the definitive battle advantage that our intrepid Jedi Master might think it is, but there is a place that gives you that edge. Our scripture today talks about the psalmist being under attack by his enemies. The attacks may be physical, but many are verbal and spiritual in nature. Yet the psalmist isn’t concerned, because he has “the high ground”–the everlasting arms of the Lord. “You are my strength….you, God, are my fortress.” In a time where walls really were key to a strong defense, that was a huge statement. God was not just a help in fending off attacks, He was the reason that attacks didn’t succeed.
We may not be as eloquent as the psalmist. The battles that we face aren’t going to be memorialized in any form and preserved for thousands of years. They may hardly be considered battles by other people–a cutting remark that wounds, a snub that stings–but if it is important to us, if it is a battle to us, then God is there for us. And, as Romans 8:31 says, if God is for us, who can be against us? Relying on the Lord truly is the high ground!