Tag: God is our refuge

Man’s help is futile!

Scripture reading for July 22nd: Isaiah 17-20

“Those who trusted in Cush and boasted in Egypt will be afraid and put to shame.  In that day the people  who live on this coast will say, ‘See what has happened to those we relied on, those we fled to for help and deliverance from the king of Assyria!  How then can we escape?” (Isaiah 20:5-6)

The fear of man is a snare that many men and women fall into.  They look to a man or a nation of people for help or protection.  They rely on military power, political influence, money, or knowledge to provide them a measure of safety and security.  We are taught that ‘might makes right’ and that the ‘fittest will survive’.  In the natural, this appears to be the smart way to live and get along in this world.

We in the United States of America have had a lot to boast about in this regard.  We are a nation that boasts of the most powerful and feared military capabilities in the world.  We have vast resources and technology that enables us to use our resources to protect us and even to free oppressed peoples in other parts of the world.  We have sought to use our power and resources to protect freedom and fight against oppression and wickedness.  But in spite of our great resources and technology, can these give us true safety and security?  The Bible says that God alone is our source of safety!

In today’s reading, Isaiah was speaking an oracle against Egypt.  Egypt was a powerful nation even during this period of time.  They were a nation of idolaters who consulted sorcerers and mediums instead of God.  God’s prophet Isaiah warned them that they would find these leaders very unreliable and unstable and His judgment would expose them as false!  (Isaiah 19:1-4)  God would cause drought and famine to reduce the people to despair.  He would expose their politicians and officials as senseless and fools!   (Isaiah 19:11-14)  God would pour on them a spirit of dizziness causing them to stagger in their own vomit!  Trusting in men is futile!  There is no security there!

God’s mercy is extended to these in Egypt in this passage.  As they are going through this judgment, if they will turn to the Lord, He will have mercy on them!  (Isaiah 19:19-22)  He will raise  up a deliverer for them and make Himself known to them.  They will worship and acknowledge the Lord, and He will heal them!  This passage ends with God declaring a blessing over Egypt and Assyria:  “Blessed be Egypt my people, Assyria my handiwork, and Israel my inheritance.” (Isaiah 19:25)

God’s amazing mercy and love for all nations cause us to worship Him and willingly serve Him!  Take time today and repent of any ‘trust in man’ and thank God that He is trustworthy!  He alone is our source of protection and our way of escape!

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There is a river!

Scripture reading for June 12th: Psalms 42-49

Many nations have armies and air forces armed with weapons that help to protect them.  America has one of the finest and best equipped  armies in the entire world.  We have a great air force which has a wide variety of weapons to strike the enemy from afar and soften the opposition before ground troops go into harms way.  We have a military intelligence system that gathers information about the enemy and battlefield for the air force and ground forces.  But in spite of our great army and ability to protect our nation and people, there is yet a much more fearful and powerful force of protection recorded in today’s reading!

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.” Psalm 46:1-3

God’s ability to protect His people and help them in trouble is well documented.  He delivered David as a shepherd boy from the lion and the bear and then from the giant, Goliath.  He was able to deliver an entire nation from slavery in Egypt and then to protect them from the most powerful army on earth as they were being pursued.  He caused the Red Sea to close over the enemy army after His people walked through this sea on a dry bed!  Bring on those powerful armies!   Our God is a refuge and strength!  Fear not!

“There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells.  God is within her, she will not fall’ God will help her at the break of day.  Nations are in an uproar, kingdoms fall; He lifts His voice, the earth melts.  The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah Psalm 46:4-7

The source of strength is found within the Holy Place in the temple of the Most High God!  God’s presence is likened to a river of refreshing and life-giving water.  All who were inside the city and belonged to God, would have this source of water and life available to them.  God’ s presence makes all the difference!  In the midst of confusion of the nations, God’s voice melts the earth, causing kingdoms to fall. God is in charge and with His people.  He Himself is their fortress and protection during judgment and war!

“He makes wars to cease to the ends of the earth, He breaks the bow and shatters the spear, He burns the shields with fire.  Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:9-10

The final verses of this psalm tell of God’s final victory over all opposition.  God will ultimately bring peace to this troubled world.  We must silence our lips from fretting and fear and unbelief!  God is in control!  He alone is to be worshipped and honored!  He alone is a refuge and strength to depend on!

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