“The LORD your God which goeth before you, He shall fight for you, according to all that He did for you in Egypt before your eyes;” Deuteronomy 1:30 KJV. What a wonderful and comforting truth! How blessed we are to know that our God goes before us preparing the way. He will fight our battles. He will subdue our enemies. He will make a way where there is no way. In those times of our lives when the way before us seems uncertain or dark, when we don’t know how we will make it, let us be confident in God! He is the One Who is going ahead of us to prepare the way, so that we can make it. He is still making the rough places smooth so our feeble steps can be taken without fear. He is the One Who deals with our enemies so that we are not defeated. And He can do all this and more, because He is God! Too often, in our impatience, we tend to get ahead of Him and get in trouble. But by His grace, let us put our battles in His hands, and humbly follow Him as He goes before us and leads us in the path of righteousness.
“The LORD hath done great things for us; Whereof we are glad.” Psalm 126:3 KJV. It seems that most people are always seeking for something to be happy about. They long for something to make them glad. And we know that sinful people will always seek the things of this world to try to find something to be glad about. But as children of God, do we ever pause to realize that we have many reasons to be glad? We should be glad because the Lord of Heaven and earth has done great things for us! He has redeemed us from the hand of the enemy and we should be glad! He has provided for us this great salvation through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and we should be glad! We have been born again and become a part of the greatest family there is, the family of God, and we should be glad! We have this great privilege to call upon our great Creator, and say “Abba Father”, and how glad we should be! So whatever seems to be working against us, or whatever is not going right, let us always remember, the Sovereign God of all power and glory, the One we call Father, has done great things for us, so let us be glad! Let us be glad that we have a perfect Father in Heaven.
“For the rod of the wicked shall not rest upon the lot of the righteous; lest the righteous put forth their hands unto iniquity.” Psalm 125:3 KJV. This verse is another example of what God told His people about ‘Abiding in the City of Refuge’. When He calls us to Christ, we are called to abide in a life of holiness. We are commanded to obey and do those good things that please God. As long as we seek to do those things that please Him our soul will be secure. We will not come under the power or authority of the wicked, which is what the ‘rod’ represents. When we are abiding in Christ, neither sin nor satan will have dominion over us. But it is when we ‘put our hand to iniquity’ that danger comes! This represents a willful and deliberate act to take hold of sin. This is the same foolish attitude as someone who stepped out of the City of Refuge. May we recognize, that apart from Jesus, we have no security! Only in an abiding relationship can we be kept from evil and spiritual harm. May this knowledge produce a carefulness in us regarding what we choose to put our hand to.
“because he should have remained in the city of his refuge…” Numbers 35:28 KJV. When God appointed the Cities of Refuge for Israel He made the conditions very clear. As long as the offender remained in the city he was safe. The revenger of blood could not get to him. Verse 25 says “…he shall abide in it…”. And if he went beyond the borders of the city, then he could be found and killed by his enemy. 1 Cor. 10:11 reminds us, “that these things were written for our example”. Thank God, we know that Jesus Christ is our Refuge! We, who are guilty, can run to Him and find a blessed Refuge for our souls. In Him we have safety and security for our souls. No enemy can harm our souls as long as we are abiding in Christ. And then, Jesus Himself tells us in John 15, that we must abide in Him! And without this abiding we will not be safe! Would to God that believers today truly understood the necessity of a life of abiding! Salvation is not an occasional visit with Jesus. Rather, it is a profound life change where we come to abide in Him Who is the only Refuge for our souls!
“In my distress I cried unto the LORD, and He heard me. Deliver my soul, O LORD, from lying lips, and from a deceitful tongue.”
Psalm 120:1-2 KJV. Everyone understands that when we are lied about or someone spreads deceitful information about us, it is very hurtful and causes distress. Our human reaction is to react in the flesh and try to get back at the person responsible. We long to vindicate ourselves. But the psalmist David gives us this great example of what the Godly do when these things happen. Rather than make his appeal to men, he cries out to God! Instead of worrying so much about his reputation (which is only what people think of us), he asks God to deliver and safeguard his soul. How much stress could be avoided if only God’s people realized, that God can fight our battles so much better than we can! And that He is using these kind of situations to grow us spiritually and make us more like Jesus. In the end it will not matter what others think or say about us. But what truly matters is what God knows about us. Let us seek to please the only One Who can deliver our soul.
“Great peace have they which love Thy law: And nothing shall offend them.” Psalm 119:165 KJV. When the person or object of our love is weak or unsteady, it causes our hearts to be troubled. We worry that which we love will be taken away. And with all things human these are very real concerns, because there is nothing permanent about this world. But when our love is for God’s Word we have great peace because we know it is forever settled in Heaven! It is unchanging, unshakable and will endure eternally! This is what happens when a person truly loves God. They fall in love with His Word. We find great peace because the God Whom we love has spoken to us all that we need to know. We know because He is Unfailing that every Word He spoke is unfailing. This kind of security is what brings us great peace. We know that because God said it, it is settled! Men and devils may try to change, twist and manipulate it, but God’s Word is eternal! Let us put our faith in Jesus Christ Who is our peace, and as we fall in love with His Word we will have great peace.
“the Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:” 2 Peter 2:9 KJV. One of the blessed things about true Christian life is that it can be lived even in the worst of circumstances. As the Apostle Peter is writing here, he tells of Noah who lived in a very wicked generation, one ultimately destroyed by the flood. And yet God kept him faithful there, even when everyone around him was going the wrong way. He mentions Lot, who again was kept by the power of God while he lived in Sodom, which also was destroyed because of their wickedness. Today as we live in a world that is becoming increasingly hostile towards true Christianity, we should remember that God still knows how to keep those who love and fear Him. These are the godly ones who will be kept by the power of God. And we should note, the godly do not needlessly or purposefully expose themselves to temptation. Many times God guides us in order to keep us from the temptations. But in those times when we are tried and tested by the difficulties of this life, we can rest secure, our God still watches over His own! And for those who reject Him, we need not worry that anyone is going to avoid what is coming to them. The wicked may seem to prosper here and now, but their day of reckoning is coming.
“according as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him…”2 Peter 1:3 KJV. Think of these profound words “ALL THINGS’. These words remind us of what Paul wrote to the Philippians, “But my God shall supply ALL your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”(Phil. 4:19) And yet, in spite of these wonderful promises of God, most of religion today says that we do not have enough to live holy and Godly lives in this present world. They say that we are too bad and then imply, that even God’s power is somehow limited in what He can do for us. But let us determine, that we are going to believe God rather than man! Let us hold to this truth, that our God has given us ‘ALL THINGS’ that we need to be able to live a holy and Christlike life for His glory. The songwriter expressed it like this: “I asked my dear Saviour what He had purchased, For me when on Calvary He died. For all my past and all my problems, He just said that He would provide. Every need supplied. Every need supplied. Healing, Cleansing, Sweet peace inside, Every need He supplied.”
“Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time: casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you.” 1 Peter 5:6-7 KJV. Normally when we read these words in verse 6, we think of the exaltation that will come when we enter into the joys of Heaven. And many people tend to endure the humbling so they can enjoy the exaltation. But may we also understand, that for God’s humble children, it is our exalted privilege to be able to come before Him as our loving Father and cast all of our care upon Him! Most people in religion today consider ‘humbling ourselves’ to be something very difficult and to be sure, it is contrary to our fallen nature. But the other side of this is, that through humbling ourselves under God’s hand we discover this wonderful access which allows us to come before His throne of grace and lay our burdens down at His feet. Through humility we learn that we are not sufficient for these things. And only through this humility can we truly discover how much He cares for us. The proud heart never experiences the joys of this exalted privilege. They imagine that they can handle things and keep trying in vain to carry burdens they were never created to carry alone. Let us believe the joy and exaltation of humbling ourselves under God’s mighty hand, and cast all of our cares on Him.
“Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: but rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings…” 1 Peter 4:12-13 KJV. One of the great fallacies being promoted in religion today, is that Christian life will make our lives easier and more comfortable. Some even say that Christians will be exempt from suffering. But these ideas are clearly contrary to the Word of God. Peter writes here that we should not be surprised by fiery trials. He lets us know that afflictions and suffering are not unusual things. Rather, they are to be expected as we are pilgrims on a journey and soldiers in a spiritual conflict. But then, he says that we should rejoice because we are sharing in the sufferings of Christ! We know he is not talking about the sufferings of Christ which He experienced in His passion, when He paid the price for our sins. No one could possibly share in that suffering. But what we can rejoice in, is that we have the privilege, with Christ living in us, to share in the suffering that true Christian life brings. And through the suffering we experience for Him, our souls are being prepared for the glory that awaits.