The Lord protects the faithful
“For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name’s sake lead me, and guide me.” – Psalm 31:3
It is amazing how we have let stress, cares and anxiety of life sap all the songs of faith, hope and deliverance out of us. We do not sing like we used to the hymns of Zion, but have gone after songs that are catchy and witty. When last have you sang “O Zion when I think of thee, I wish for pinions like a dove.” Wait! Yes, it is an old hymn but those old hymns are English at its very best. They gave you speaking power and deliverance. You did not have to join an organization to learn to speak. Between the Bible and hymn book, you became a natural orator and a prayer warrior.
Grant it we do have churches that still sing the hymns but are they really understanding what they are singing or is it only rote? Sometimes, I would rather sing a sermon than hear one delivered. What has come over us as a people? We don’t sing, nor do we pray like we used to. Men don’t sing bass and tenor anymore, everyone is soprano and the rafters and walls moan for harmony.
The psalmist today is giving God all the praise and all the glory for being his rock and fortress, a safe hiding place from the enemies, yet at the same time sending up a petition. Are you in trouble? Don’t cry and wonder why –sing and pray.
I come to you Lord, for protection; never let me be defeated. You are a righteous God; save me I pray. Hear me. Save me now. Be my refuge to protect me, my defense to save me. Guide me and lead me as you have promised. Keep me safe from the trap that has been set for me; deliver me from danger. I place myself in your care. You will save me, Lord; you are a faithful God.
You hate those who worship false gods, but I trust in you. I will be glad and rejoice because of your constant love. You see my suffering: you know my trouble. You have not let my enemies capture me; You have given me freedom to go where I wish.
Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am in trouble; my eyes are tired from so much crying. I am completely worn out. I am exhausted by sorrow, and weeping has shortened my life. I am weak from all my troubles, even my bones are wasting away.
All my enemies and especially my neighbors treat me with contempt. Those who know me are afraid of me; when they see me in the street, they run away. Everyone has forgotten me, as though I were dead. I am like something thrown away. I hear many enemies whispering; terror is all around me. They are making plans against me, plotting to kill me.
But my trust is in you, O Lord, you are my God. I am always in your care, save me from my enemies, from those who persecute me. Look on your servant with kindness; save me in your constant love. I call to you, Lord, don’t let me be disgraced. May the wicked be disgraced. Silence those liars – all the proud and arrogant who speak with contempt about the righteous.
How wonderful are the good things you keep for those who honor you. Everyone knows how good you are, how securely you protect those who trust you. You hide them in the safety of your presence; from the plots of others in a safe shelter you hide them from the insults of their enemies.
Praise the Lord! How wonderful he showed his love for me when I was surrounded and attacked. I was afraid and thought that he had driven me out of his presence. But he heard my cry, when I called to him for help.
Love the Lord, all his faithful people. The Lord protects the faithful, but punishes the proud as they deserve. Be strong, be courageous, all you that hope in the Lord.
Banish complaining, griping and fretting and begin to dig your way out of your unhappy condition by earnestly and sincerely sending up a petition to God. Why cry for what you want when you have not placed an order. God is better than any mail order company. He tells us that we lack because we do not ask, we do not petition. We learn to petition by petitioning. Today nothing is more important than your petition to God. The delivery truck is ready.