Promise of God – Psalm 34:15-16

The Lord Watches Over The Righteous

15 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
and his ears are attentive to their cry;
16 but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
to blot out their name from the earth.

Willfully Watching

God watches over the righteous.  He keeps his eyes upon them.  He knows our coming and going.  He delights in the righteous, and ensures that their needs are met.  God has said:

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.

Just as a parent carefully keeps their eyes upon their children to ensure that they are OK and are behaving themselves, God keeps His eyes upon His children, the ones made righteous by the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ.  We can be assured that He is watching us closely.

Longingly Listening

God is attentive to the cries of the righteous.  Just as a parent listens to the cries of a child who is in pain, or who is in need, God listens for them and helps them with their needs.  God loves us in a way that is so far beyond what human parents are able to do, and our parents helped us in our time of need.  We can be assured that God not only listens but has planned a response already for our cries:

Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.

And God’s answer may be delayed for various reasons.  Demonic activity may impede a response to prayer.  God may be also be waiting for the necessary spiritual development to occur before the answer is provided.  Whatever the reason, God has already provided the answer.  Be patient for its arrival.

Against Antagonists

God turns his face from those who do evil.  No one who does evil should expect assistance from God until they repent.  God is holy, and because of this, He cannot tolerate evil in His presence.  But thanks be to God for Jesus Christ, whose perfect blood provides the means through which God can see us as righteous.

One of the most gruelingly difficult questions for the oppressed is:  why does God allow the wicked to prosper?

You are always righteous, Lord,
when I bring a case before you.
Yet I would speak with you about your justice:
Why does the way of the wicked prosper?
Why do all the faithless live at ease?

And we should be consoled with God’s response:

14 This is what the Lord says: “As for all my wicked neighbors who seize the inheritance I gave my people Israel, I will uproot them from their lands and I will uproot the people of Judah from among them. 15 But after I uproot them, I will again have compassion and will bring each of them back to their own inheritance and their own country. 16 And if they learn well the ways of my people and swear by my name, saying, ‘As surely as the Lord lives’—even as they once taught my people to swear by Baal—then they will be established among my people. 17 But if any nation does not listen, I will completely uproot and destroy it,” declares the Lord.

Delivering Destruction

God will blot the name of the wicked from the Earth.  Their name will not be found in the book of life on the final and terrible day of the return of our Lord.  They will be utterly destroyed.  Regardless of their prosperity here on Earth, their eternal reward will be destruction and eternal separation from God.  And not only will they be separated from God and His holiness, power, and purity, they will be placed in God’s prison, the lake of fire, where they will experience torment for all eternity.  We can be assured that God will mete out justice to those who refused to settle their debt before their case comes before Him, the perfect judge.  Fear not, for God’s anger and wrath will surely destroy the wicked at the appropriate time.

A Qualifying Question

Let’s ask a question:  Are we trusting that God is watching over us and is answering our cries, even though it may take decades for His response?

A short prayer of preparation:

Father in Heaven, thank You for Your watchful gaze over me throughout this day and my entire life.  You have been faithful to watch over me and answer my cries for help.  Give me patient endurance when Your answers take an agonizingly long time to fulfill.  Strengthen me in Your silence, for silence feels like abandonment.  Help me to walk the straight and narrow path as my enemies seek to destroy me.  Protect me as demonic forces oppose me in all that I do.  Help me to live by faith and not sight, for You have justified me through the blood of Your Son, Jesus Christ.  This I ask and pray in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Want more?  Why not try A. B. Simpson or A. W. Tozer?

Victory with God – Psalm 20:6-9

May the Lord grant all your requests.

6 Now this I know:
The Lord gives victory to his anointed.
He answers him from his heavenly sanctuary
with the victorious power of his right hand.

7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.

8 They are brought to their knees and fall,
but we rise up and stand firm.

9 Lord, give victory to the king!
Answer us when we call!

Vital Victory

We have victory in Jesus!  It cannot be understated.  Rejoice in it!  We have been freed from indentured servitude to sin to be free to follow God.  We were born to worship.  Let us worship the One who laid down His life for us.

Regardless of whether we are successful at any secular endeavor in life, we have been made more than conquerors through Jesus Christ.  Since God is for us, who can be against us?  Remember – you have been blessed with every spiritual blessing.  When we overcome sin by receiving Christ, we are given special access to God’s victory banquet that will be held in Heaven. Many were invited, but few have been chosen.  We must prepare ourselves for the victory we already have.  Let us not be dawdle with trivial things.

The Challenge of Chariots

Which is easier – to put our trust in an army of the most highly trained, best equipped, and (apparently) loyal army to protect us, or to put our trust in the Lord our God for our protection?

We are often more prone to put our trust in what we can see rather than what we cannot see:

We cannot see the spiritual because of the fall of Adam.  Let us put our trust in God, who is sovereign over all that He has created, rather than in riches or kings or anything on Earth.

Stand Steady

Those who trust in the world’s help will fall, but those who trust in God will stand firm.  Daniel stood firm and prayed to God when he was told he could only pray to the king.  Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego stood firm and refused to worship an idol.  There are many others.  The greatest to stand firm was Jesus Christ, who allowed Himself to be crucified for us.

An Amazing Answer

God answers the call of His children.  He has an answer prepared before we even complete the request!  God greatly desires to answer our call to Him!  He eagerly waits to hear from us.  What good Earthly father would ignore their children’s cries for help?  God is truly good, and with compassion and joy desires to answer us.  Let us be patient as we wait for His response!

A Qualifying Question

So, let’s ask ourselves a question:  Am I trusting in God for victory, or in someone or something else?

A short prayer of preparation:

Father in Heaven, You have given me victory through the victory You provided to Christ through resurrection.  Let me never forget Your sovereignty over all that You created.  Strengthen me in my struggles, and hear my cries for help, O Lord.  You have said that You answer our requests even before they are out of my mouth.  Watch over me this day Lord God.  Grant me victory in every area of my life.  May my path be set straight and upon You and Your Word only, Lord God.  This I ask in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Want more?  Why not try A. B. Simpson or A. W. Tozer?

Worshipping God – Psalm 46:10

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

The imperative command, “Be still!”, is very interesting.  It is translated in Young’s Literal Translation of the Bible as “Desist!” Another good way to translate this is “Cease striving!”

How often we strive!  As we go about our daily lives, we take our eyes off of God and try to do things our own way.  God offers us this wonderful place of refuge in Himself, yet we keep trying to change our circumstances ourselves.  We do not avail ourselves of our fortress, our hiding place, our place of rest.  Instead, we worry, we scheme, we fret; we forget that it is God who is sovereign.  When we cease striving, and (experientially) know that the LORD is God, we are able to properly put everything back into perspective.

We then can relax a bit, knowing that the Lord is taking care of our circumstances.  When we step back and do this, we are also better able to properly worship our loving Father.  We get to see with greater clarity the ways in which He works.  We see our prayers being answered, and know for sure that it was God – because we stopped trying to do it ourselves.  It isn’t until we cease striving that God is able to fully manifest Himself in our circumstances and bring the greatest glory to Himself.  Then will we be able to say that God is our refuge.

What issue has you frazzled today?  What deep and abiding pain just won’t go away?  Take God’s advice:  Cease striving, and know that He is God.  Let him enter into your circumstances in a greater capacity, and allow Him to reveal Himself to you in a deeper, more intimate way.

A short prayer of preparation:

Father in Heaven, I come before you today to praise You and worship You as Almighty God.  Too often in this life do I try to do things when You earnestly seek to show me new facets of Yourself – if I would only stop and let You.  Guide me, comfort me, and show me how to step back from these issues so that You would be glorified.  Help me to find rest in You as You work these things out.  This I ask in the name of Your Most Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, Amen.

Want more?  Why not try A. B. Simpson or A. W. Tozer?