Protection by God – Psalm 125

God Is The One Who Protects His People Israel

1 Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion,
which cannot be shaken but endures forever.
2 As the mountains surround Jerusalem,
so the Lord surrounds his people
both now and forevermore.

3 The scepter of the wicked will not remain
over the land allotted to the righteous,
for then the righteous might use
their hands to do evil.

4 Lord, do good to those who are good,
to those who are upright in heart.
5 But those who turn to crooked ways
the Lord will banish with the evildoers.

Peace be on Israel.

Total Trust

God greatly desires that we trust Him.  He has shown his trustworthiness throughout His word, and history bears witness to it by external observers.  As we develop in our relationship with God, there is a level of trust that comes into play.  When circumstances seem to show that God is against us, are we willing to believe that God is for us?  Will He ever truly leave us or forsake us?  Do we trust in His character, or the blessings that He bestows?

Secure Stronghold

The Psalmist indicates here that those who trust God wholeheartedly are like a mountain – they will not be shaken.  That is because any good building is completely reliant upon its foundation.  When we trust in Jesus Christ, we are building upon the cornerstone – the very first and largest stone laid down in a foundation.  When the cornerstone is laid properly – it is level and faces in the right direction – the rest of the foundation that is laid down next to it will be straight and true.

Jesus is our foundation, our solid rock.  Anyone who builds on Jesus, through trust in Him, will build upon the unshakeable cornerstone of God.  God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent; nothing and no one can cause Jesus to change.  He is securely seated at the right hand of God, His power and authority being vested in Him.  Nothing will move this cornerstone from its tried and true positioning.

Power Purged

It is good to know that the wicked will eventually be removed from power over the righteous.  God knows that if wickedness stays in power for too long, the righteous will begin to falter, and they may begin to do evil with their hands and hearts.  Human beings can only endure so much before they “crack”.

Imagine if there were continuously evil rulers since Cain murdered Abel.  What would people think and say?  “Where is our God?  Will He never deliver us from this evil?”  Their hearts would grow heavy, and under the constant barrage of evil, the unending torment of those in power, our will to endure would surely erode, and our belief that God is holy and just would fade as generation after generation prayed for relief but found none.  God surely delivers His people not only to demonstrate that He is sovereign over all, but also to give hope to the hopeless.

Crooked Crushed

And when God does act in justice and removes the wicked from power, He banishes them with the evildoers.  God originally intended the Lake of Fire to be for fallen angels only.  However, He will use this place of torment and separation from His power and presence for all who refuse to repent and turn towards the One True God in faith.  Those who suffer under the rule of evil people can take heart that God is a just, righteous, and holy God.  He will not abandon His people to the whims and depredations of the wicked, but will instead judge the wicked, unrepentant people and place them where they can no longer do any harm.

Permanent Peace

The Psalmist’s cry is that God do good to those who are good.  The funny part is that in and of ourselves, no one is good or righteous.  Everyone has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.  But thanks be to God through Jesus Christ that He died for our sins, and clothed us with His righteousness.  We who believe and are obedient to Him are declared righteous and good before God the Father*.  And the lasting promise given to those who live for God and obey His commands (in holy fear, reverence, and gratitude) will be peace, first on Earth, and then everlasting peace in His presence for all eternity in Heaven.

A Qualifying Question

Let’s ask a question:  Do I show that I trust God through my actions and my speech?

A short prayer of preparation:

Father in Heaven, You are my joy, my peace, and my sanctuary.  You have displayed Your awesome power through the creation of the Universe, and You display Your mercy and grace as You patiently, tenderly, and gently woo each of us back to Yourself.  Father, time is short, and even now You are calling the last of the remnant to Yourself in dreams and visions where Your people cannot work.  Give me a sense of urgency as the time grows near for Your Son to be revealed again in glory in the clouds.  Help me to show others that You seek peace for their lives in You.  Help me to get out and declare Your righteousness and our wickedness before You.  Prepare the hearts of all whom I will interact today.  Give me the strength, the words, and the will to boldly praise You in power and glory to others.  This I ask in the precious name of Your Most Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, Amen.

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


This blog has been edited for spelling and grammatical errors, as well as clarity.

*Faith without works is dead – James 2:17; If you love me, you will obey my commands – John 14:15-24; Everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved – Joel 2:32.

It is not our works that save us, but grace through faith alone in Jesus Christ – Ephesians 2:8.  God accepts us as we are, but loves us too much to leave us where He found us.  God cleans us up and prepares us to be a holy sanctuary for the Holy Spirit – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.  This process is called Sanctification.  God did not save us just so we could avoid Hell (fire insurance), but to be adopted as His children – Ephesians 1:5.

And just as every parent has expectations from their children (yet loves them unconditionally even when they misbehave), our Father in Heaven has expectations for our behavior as well.  He has forgiven all sins of ours, past, present and future – Psalm 103:12.  But we should, in gratitude, try to honor Him with our lives in every way, knowing the price that He paid for our freedom, and adoption into His family!  It is relationship that He desires with us, along with a singular pursuit of Jesus in holiness and righteousness – Matthew 7:21-23.

Obedience to God is not legalism, for we are to live righteous and holy lives, not sinning in order that grace would abound – Romans 6:1-2.  Obedience is an act of gratitude towards God as an acknowledgement of His holiness and righteousness – Romans 12:1-2.  Obedience to the word of God shows that we are growing spiritually and being sanctified by the Holy Spirit through the word of God – John 17:17.  It is something that every believer in Christ should greatly desire in their lives – 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8.  If you disagree, please bring this before God and the Holy Spirit will reveal the truth of it to you – James 1:5-8.  God’s word is useful for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness – 2 Timothy 3:16.

Witnessing for God – Matthew 10:40-42

God Will Certainly Reward Each And Every One Of Us For What We Have Done In The Flesh

40 “Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. 41 Whoever welcomes a prophet as a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever welcomes a righteous person as a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward. 42 And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.”

Welcoming the Witness

Jesus proclaims something very profound here regarding witnessing for Him.  When someone accepts you, they are accepting Him.  Those who witness for Christ at His request are His ambassadors.  They have the full weight and power to go out and represent the person abroad.

The disciples of Jesus have been given His full authority to act in His name – His very character – to represent Him to others.  And when we represent Him, we are, in fact, representing the One who sent Him – His Father.  Jesus was God the Father’s ambassador to men, and we have now in turn been passed the baton in this relay race.  Everything that we do will reflect upon not only Jesus but also God the Father – for good, and for bad.  We should keep that in mind before we form conclusions in our minds, say anything to anyone, or do anything that might bring shame upon God.

Receive the Reward

Jesus also clarifies what type of reward we receive when we welcome His ambassadors.  Those who welcome a prophet (as a prophet) will receive the reward of a prophet.  That should cause us pause.  Even if we are the lowliest workers in His kingdom, when we receive a prophet of God as a prophet, we receive his reward as well:

And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues.

If we receive a righteous person, we receive a righteous person’s reward.  There is only one who is righteous, and He is Jesus Christ.  He received a great reward – eternal life.  In a like manner, Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness:

1 “What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, discovered in this matter? 2 If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God. 3 What does Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”

Retain the Reward

Gaining the reward is the first giant hurdle.  We have an obligation, a blood-debt, so to speak, with the One who purchased our lives with His very own blood.  Jesus died upon the cross for our sins, offering His blood as the final, and only permanent atoning sacrifice for them:

11 But when Christ came as high priest of the good things that are now already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not made with human hands, that is to say, is not a part of this creation. 12 He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption. 13 The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. 14 How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!”

We are to love the Lord our God with all of our hearts, minds, souls, and strength.  And Jesus provides us with the litmus test:

If you love me, keep my commands.

When we aid and assist an ambassador, we are, in effect, aiding and assisting the one who sent him/her.  Even providing relief of the desert sun by giving a cup of cold water to the least of his disciples (ambassadors), we are, in effect, doing it to Him:

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

And although the gift of salvation is a free one, insofar as we do not have to earn it but merely accept it, how ungrateful would we appear if we did not thank the One who made it, and show our appreciation for His efforts?

A Qualifying Question

Let’s ask some questions:  How do I receive ambassadors from God?  Am I living in such a way that I am a faithful ambassador for God?

A short prayer of preparation:

Father in Heaven, You have sent Your prophets and recorded Your words through them in Your word.  Help me, Father God, that I would listen to Your word, and receive them as You sent them – as Your ambassadors.  Help me to yield myself to Your Holy Spirit, for He testifies about Your Son and is the One You have sent as a down-deposit on my inheritance in You.  Help me to be faithful and obedient to His voice as He speaks to me through Your word.  Guide me so that I would be a faithful ambassador for You as well.  This I ask in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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

Combat Training with God – Galatians 3:10-13

The Righteous Shall Live By Faith

10 For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.” 11 Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live by faith.” 12 The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, it says, “The person who does these things will live by them.” 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.”

Crushing Curse

God gave us the Law – The Ten Commandments – to show us how we should live in harmony with Him, with family, and with others.  The most important feature of the law, encapsulated within the Tenth Commandment, is that even if we, with our mouths and our actions, outwardly appear to fulfill the law, the attitudes of our hearts betray us.  The law was intended to be a plumb line, showing us that with our sinful nature, we are incapable of keeping it in its entirety without the help of Almighty God.  For if we could, Jesus would not have had to show us His example of submission to the Holy Spirit of God, saying only what the Father told Him to say, and doing only what the Father does.  He could have done it on His own.  As it is, those who place the law upon their shoulders as the way to God are under a curse.  And Jesus tells us to take His yoke (burden) upon us, for we will find rest for our souls, and His yoke is easy and His burden is light.

Live the Law

The law cannot justify a person.  It merely identifies those under its curse as lawbreakers.  Jesus Christ – simultaneously both man and God – was the only man ever to completely fulfill the law.  Anyone under the law is required to keep it perfectly.  The very first time that there is any deviation from the law, the person is guilty before God.  And while the Jews were given animal sacrifice for their sins, it was merely as a type and shadow of the perfect sacrifice that would be made by the Messiah – Jesus Christ.

Christ and Christ alone was able to completely live the law without any deviation from it.  Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit within Mary, the wife of Joseph.  He was conceived without sin, born of the virgin.  Only someone who did not have a sin nature to tarnish their every thought, word, and action could be an acceptable sacrifice before God.

Fulfilled in Faith

The only way to fulfill the law is through faith in God through His Son, Jesus Christ.  The just shall live by faith.  And just as Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness, so our faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ as a payment for our sin is credited to us as righteousness.  It is through faith and faith alone in Christ that man is justified before Almighty God.  In the great exchange, Jesus has taken our sin and imputed His righteousness to us.

Now, we can live in the power of the Holy Spirit.  And when we are completely submitted to Him, it is God working through us for His goals and purposes, and we become merely tools.  Our actions and deeds are no longer our own, but those of Almighty God, untarnished by our sinful nature.  It is only in the life of complete submission to God that we are able to realize our full potential and fulfill the purposes that God has placed within us since before the creation of the universe.

Righteous Redeemed

We are redeemed by the blood of the lamb of God, Jesus Christ.  As the perfect and only acceptable sacrifice for sin to God Almighty, we have declared legally righteous.  It is up to us to embrace God through His love, mercy, and grace, so that we can live out our lives in a way that honors the sacrifice that Jesus has made.

Regardless of who is in governmental authority over us, we are to live our lives through faith in the One that has redeemed us.  We are now free to live righteously before God through our continued and absolute dependence upon our deposit – the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in our lives.  The Holy Spirit will enable us through strength and the living word of God to live for God as we were intended to live before Adam and Eve fell.

Christ Crucified

It must be remembered that those who are dead are no longer under the influence of the law.  We have died to ourselves and have been made alive in Christ.  Jesus Christ was crucified so that He would bear our curse of sin rather than us.  And since we are declared dead to sin in Christ, and spiritually alive in Christ in His resurrection, we are able to say no to sin, and yes to God.  Let us live our lives in such a way that it brings glory and honor to Jesus our Savior who made the ultimate sacrifice for us.  For if we truly love Him and respect what He has done, we will be obedient to Him and all that He says.

A Qualifying Question

Let’s ask a question:  Am I living my life in complete and total faith in the sovereignty of God in all things?

A short prayer of preparation:

Father in Heaven, You have indeed blessed me and everyone who has believed upon Your Son, Jesus Christ, as the perfect sacrifice for sin.  Help me father to live in such a way that I may honor His gift to me, the free gift of Salvation.  Help me to live life completely submitted to the Holy Spirit as Jesus has shown me in Your word.  Help me to be emotionally and intellectually invested in what is on Your heart, and not what is crying out in the culture or my flesh.  Help me to say no to anything that would impede my walk before You.  Forgive me of my sin, for there is not a day that goes by that I do not get my feet dirty while walking through life.  You have washed me clean in the blood of the lamb, and for that I am forever grateful.  Let my thoughts, words, and deeds reflect Your holiness and love as I step out into the world this day.  This I ask in the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

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

Judgment and God – Isaiah 3:10-12

It Will Be Well For The Righteous

10 Tell the righteous it will be well with them,
for they will enjoy the fruit of their deeds.
11 Woe to the wicked!
Disaster is upon them!
They will be paid back
for what their hands have done.

12 Youths oppress my people,
women rule over them.
My people, your guides lead you astray;
they turn you from the path.

Righteous will Rest

In this section of scripture, the prophet Isaiah gives an interesting assurance to the righteous. They will enjoy the fruit of their deeds.  So often, the righteous receive hate for love, anger for help, and destruction for instruction.  The righteous are attacked by all who hate the light, and who bring the deeds of evil into the presence of the people.

We all inherently want to know the truth, but most people would rather hear a lie if the truth would make them feel bad.  This is completely out of character with the image-bearers of God.  Isaiah comforts the righteous with this truth, that when judgment comes, it will be well with them.  When the righteous are being oppressed, it is sometime easy to forget that God is watching over them, for their circumstances are dire indeed.

Disaster for the Depraved

The wicked, on the other hand, having embraced the lie, selfishly taking whatever they can, oppressing the righteous, and embracing the cover of darkness for their deeds, will not fare so well.  God will bring disaster upon them.  In that day, the Lord will enact His vengeance upon them, for God has said:

39 “See now that I myself am he! There is no god besides me. I put to death and I bring to life, I have wounded and I will heal, and no one can deliver out of my hand. 40 I lift my hand to heaven and solemnly swear: As surely as I live forever, 41 when I sharpen my flashing sword and my hand grasps it in judgment, I will take vengeance on my adversaries and repay those who hate me. 42 I will make my arrows drunk with blood, while my sword devours flesh: the blood of the slain and the captives, the heads of the enemy leaders.” 43 Rejoice, you nations, with his people, for he will avenge the blood of his servants; he will take vengeance on his enemies and make atonement for his land and people.

Teen Tyranny

There are some interesting activities going on during the judgment of God.  The youth will oppress God’s people.  We see flash mobs, the knockout game, and every other manner of wickedness being executed by our youth.  Wicked parents strap bombs on their children and send them into crowds yelling praise to false gods as they commit murder and suicide.  It begs the question:  are we being judged by God?

Role Reversal

As a preface to the next indication, let it be said for the record that God has made men and women equal.  But equal does not mean identical.  The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are all co-equal as they are God; yet they are not identical to each other.  Each has a role, and they embrace their roles without complaint or deviation from their true purpose.  Men and women are equal, but have been assigned different roles by God.  When we engage in role-reversal, we are in effect saying that what God has instituted is not good (or good enough) for us.

God has seen fit to provide us with deaconesses, holy women in service to Him and the flock.  Deborah was a judge for His people.  Yet, God has squarely placed the role of leadership in the hands of men.  He has created men with the innate desire to conquer and rule, but with the desire to protect and cherish.  Because of the fall, the word “submission” now has a connotation of oppressive slavery and servitude.  Yet Jesus Christ fully submitted Himself to the Holy Spirit to show us how we were to submit to God.  Paul exhorts us to submit to one another out of reverence to Christ.  Jesus said that the one who would be great among us would be the servant to others, and the first will be a slave.

And so when women, who feel “oppressed” by men because men have refused to embrace the role that God provided to them with the proper attitude of servant-leadership, gain positions of leadership over men, the emotional stress of the perceived oppression (real or imagined) leads to an oppressive, dominating attitude that progresses towards the emasculation and punishment of men, even to those who have never interacted with the women in charge.  While this is not a rule, it is prevalent in the culture of militant feminism.  In this turn of events, God has removed the blessing of leadership of men, and has given it to the angry, vengeful women who now seek to rule over them.

Precarious Prediction

God warns us that our guides are leading us astray.  We need to carefully vet those who we permit to lead us to ensure that they are of God.  Additionally, we need to be like the Bereans, and search the scriptures to determine for ourselves if what they are saying both matches up with the word of the Living God, and is a proper interpretation and accurate representation of what God has said.

Seek the truth, and do not allow false teachers to mislead you.  Guard your hearts against lies, and embrace the truth, no matter how difficult it seems, or how much it challenges you.  For the word of God is like a sword, able to separate the truth from the lies within us, and give us a proper and accurate portrayal of what is deep within us.  And when we are challenged to rethink a position because of the word of God, let the word do its job, and purge us of all attitudes and beliefs that are contrary to God’s character and teaching.

A Qualifying Question

Let’s ask a question:  Am I prepared for the judgment of God, living as the justified child of God in faith?

A short prayer of preparation:

Father in Heaven, You are full of mercy and grace, a perfect balance to your holiness and justice.  Give us peace in our souls as You pour out Your judgment upon the nations.  Strengthen us as we are oppressed by the wicked, and may we be the light on a hill for all to see Your glory and grace.  Help me to overcome any fears of what man can do to me, and fill me with a healthy fear in reverence to You, oh God.  Let me be fearless when I am chosen for oppression, and give me Your peace that defies description as I suffer for Your name.  For I know that You, oh God, will bring glory to Your name, and You will make all things right in Your time.  I pray that Your Son will return, and do so soon.  Praise be to You!  Amen.

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