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February 27, 2014

“The salvation of the righteous is from the Lord; he is their stronghold in the time of trouble.  The Lord helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him.”  Psalms 37:39-40

“In the days of yore”, as they used to say, there were large castles dotting England. If you went sightseeing in England or Scotland you would possibly tour one of these buildings. They were not built for tourism, but had a practical usage: protection for the servants and citizens that lived on the estate when marauders attacked. At such times people of the countryside depended on the lord’s (aka, “laird’s”) safekeeping. Either the entire structure or a more fortified part within the walls was called a “keep”. Security was within the keep and destruction was without.

Life can be a threatening experience. Now and again we all require a place of safety and comfort where we can flee and take refuge from the maelstrom about us. Remember the old song “I Never Promised You a Rose Garden” sung by Lynn Anderson?  It reminded us of the potholes in life’s trek, the mountains we have had to climb. We remember oppression, depression, and sorrow that was heaped on us. Even such a one as Paul the apostle was battered by the world. He testified of his troubles in II Timothy 3:11, …”my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me…” But he also warned Christians in the next verse, “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” (ESV)

So, it is to be expected that the Christian will seek protection and and solace when he is suffering. And where should he turn for help and comfort? Remember this: “And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” I Peter 5:11.  The Father has heard us and cheered us with his comfort and mercy. He hears us. Psalms 4:3 He invites your recitation of your trials and wounds. And he cares for us, I  Peter 4:7  Our Father is Lord of heaven and he has a “keep” for our safety. He is the one the Psalmists called father, shield, our rock, the horn of my salvation, stronghold, fortress, rock of refuge, and many others. To be sure, let us affirm that our God is our provider and protector. “The salvation of the righteous is from the Lord; he is their stronghold in the time of trouble.” (see text above)

The help and protection we need are available only from God. The Lord is supportive, protective, caring, willing, and able. But here’s the rub, you must trust God and submit to him for divine help. Forget about human help: self-help books, psychology, financial success. Remember that God fortifies hearts and supplies strength.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

One Comment
  1. Larry permalink

    This a powerful one! You seem to have dipped deeply into the psalms. They’re deeper than I had ever imagined.–Larry

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