Tag Archives: protection

Exodus 11&12; Only The Blood

This is salvation. When God instructed the Israelites about the final plague, he painted a picture of what He was prepared to do Himself. The perfect lamb, slain, it’s blood painted around the door, it’s meat ingested, resulting in life and freedom from bondage, and the hope of the Promised Land.

The blood that saved them from certain death, while those without the blood suffered unspeakable loss. The blood, the only means of salvation.

Yes, that’s Jesus. God didn’t require anything of His people He wasn’t willing to fulfill Himself. He demanded obedience of His children, and He was obedient to His Father. That blood protected the families from death. Not might, or intellect, or self-effort. It was only the blood.

And it is still only the blood. What protects you from the consequences of sin? Without the blood of Jesus, there is no protection at all.

April 15 – When Life Gets Tough

Psalms 7, 27, 31, 34, 52

There is so much gold contained in the psalms. In the five we read today, you get a feeling for David’s pain, his confusion. He is being pursued by Saul, and betrayed by Doeg. David is hiding in a cave while he writes these words.

In these psalms David also gives us a glimpse of Jesus. Look for verses that refer to our Savior as you read. It’s pretty awesome.

But what stood out to me today as I read these psalms was David’s unwavering faith and trust in God. Yes he was running for his life. Yes, he was being treated unfairly. But no matter what, David rested in God alone.

52: 8 But as for me, I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the loving kindness of God forever and ever.

34:1  I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise will continually be in my mouth.

34:4  I sought the Lord, and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears.

34:8  O taste and see that the Lord is good.

31:14&15  But as for me, I trust in you, O Lord, I say, “You are my God.” My times are in your hands…

27:1  The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear?

7:1  O Lord my God, in You I have taken refuge…

I hope you’ll read these psalms as the prayer of your own heart. Substitute David’s enemy with whatever it is you are facing. I pray you’ll be able to face whatever would destroy you, with the same confidence David expresses in these beautiful psalms.

When life gets tough, the only place I want to be is clinging to God who loves me and shelters me and holds me close. There, and only there, I have no fear.

Stay With Me

Have you ever seen a frightened toddler? Maybe a barking, nipping dog scares the little one, or a spider crawling out of a flower he’s just put his nose into takes him by surprise. The natural reaction is to jump into Daddy’s arms. Then what? That baby climbs frantically higher to get away from that which is scaring him. And if he could, that child would crawl right into his Daddy’s skin for safety. At that moment of fright, the child just can’t get close enough to his father.

I was reading I Samuel 22 this morning and like what David told Abiathar when Saul was trying to kill them both: “Stay with me. Don’t fear. For he who seeks my life seeks your life, but with me you shall be safe.” (vs 23)

I hear Jesus saying the same to me about our mutual enemy, Satan. Jesus, whom John describes as the Word, Creator of all that is made, who came to earth in the flesh and blood body fully God, fully human. Jesus, who willingly went to the cross so that I can be forgiven. Jesus, who died, defeated death and the power of sin, and rose again. Jesus who bodily went to heaven and sits on the throne from where he whispers in my ear:

“Stay with me. Satan is my enemy, too. And if you stay close to me, you shall be safe.”

Jesus. My Protector! My Savior!

Dear Abba Father, Thank you for your protection. You’ve told us to come to you like little children, and I see that in what I read this morning in your written Word. Sometimes it feels like I can’t get close enough to you. I want to crawl right into your skin. So I thank you for reminding me that YOU are my protector. It’s not, how close can I get to you. But how much do I trust your strong arms. So as I jump into those arms through reading your Word and praying, I want to thank you for your promise for my soul’s safety. Keep me close to you where I am safe from Satan’s snarling teeth. I trust you completely.

Barefooting

I am sure that in all the years I’ve been reading the Bible, I never realized Isaiah ran around naked for three years of his life. I have to confess that I laughed out loud when I read that today in Isaiah 20. God told him to take off his robe and shoes to demonstrate his prophesy concerning Egypt and Ethiopia.

Isaiah 20:2 says Isaiah obeyed, and walked around naked and barefoot. God wanted them to know they would be stripped of everything they thought protected them from God’s judgment. I get that. I understand the lesson Isaiah was teaching. But verse 3 tells us Isaiah taught this lesson for three years, naked and barefoot! God certainly was serious about getting his point across. 

And I get the point.

God wants me to strip myself of everything I might think can shield me from his judgment. Take heart, I am fully clothed and intend on remaining so. However, in my heart I need to strip myself of all good intentions, all excuses, all church attendance and service. I need to strip myself of righteous indignation, self pity, intellect. 

I need to stand naked before God and confess that I am nothing, have nothing without him. I need to let him clothe me with his righteousness because I have none of my own. I may have led a dozen people to the Lord, sung in the choir, taught Sunday School, talked the “talk”. But none of that will protect me from God’s judgment if I don’t personally and intentionally confess my sins and allow him to forgive me. 

Dear God, once again I thank you for allowing your Word to speak to me today. Forgive me for thinking anything I have or have done will somehow cancel out the sins I have committed, for the sins I need to confess. Lord I stand before you naked, stripped bare of good works, good intentions, good excuses. I am a sinner. Forgive me, Lord, in Jesus’ name. Clothe me with your righteousness. Thank you for forgiveness, for life, and for your Word that speaks to those who are open to what you would have us know.

Underneath His Wings

I love the picture painted in Psalm 91 of God’s protection. There is something very comforting about nestling in the shelter, in the shadow of my Heavenly Father. He is my refuge when he covers me with his feathers and I rest beneath his wings. Tucked in, protected, I don’t need to fear the night. I don’t need to fear my enemies.

But then the psalm goes on to say if I hide there, in God, nothing bad will happen to me. No evil will conquer me, no plague enter my home. I can step on lions and cobras, and not get hurt. And I’ll live a long, healthy life.

Is that what God is saying? Should I go to the zoo and kick a lion? If that is so, and I am to interpret the psalm materially, then I must believe God has feathers and somewhere on this planet is a giant nest we can all hide in. Are we to interpret these psalms as though God is speaking materially, or is he painting a picture of spiritual truth?

Well, because I am not going to be the one who decides which verses are spiritual truths and which are meant to be taken materially, I’m going to read them all with God’s spiritual kingdom in mind.

I love Psalm 91’s picture of God’s protection over my soul. He assures me that no matter what happens, God is there to protect me from Satan, and to give me strength to face the “lions” in my life. I may face disease, heartache, pain. But my God promises to protect that spirit within me. He promises me a long and healthy life… an eternal life… forever sheltered underneath his wings.

Dearest God, Thank you for the pictures you inspired the psalmists to write so many years ago. Thank you for the times you have answered prayers I’ve prayed for physical healing for myself and others, for traveling mercies, for material requests. But, God, I know this and other psalms speak of something more, something more precious than the flesh and blood body I live in today. You promise to protect my soul, you promise to wrap your arms around me so that Satan’s arrows have no effect on my eternity, because I have asked you to be my Savior. Keep me safe beneath your wings, dear Lord.

August 27

Ezekiel 34-36

When Jesus talked about the sheep in Matthew 18, the people no doubt recalled what Ezekiel had written so many years before. They knew sheep referred to them and assured them that God would take care of them.

I’ve heard it said sheep are dumb animals that don’t have the sense enough to stay in safety. Once they recognize their shepherd’s voice, they follow it even if it leads them over a cliff. A former pastor once said we were to follow Christ like that, and I guess I see where he was going. We need to trust God completely, even if we don’t understand where he’s leading us.

Anyway – today as I read I was reminded that sheep were very important to the people in Bible times. They were a source of income, they provided food and clothing, and the choicest of them became sacrifices for sin.

It’s not that God chose the dumbest animal on the farm to use for an example of his people. He chose the most important animal to show where we stand in creation. 

Ezekiel and Jesus show us that God considers each one of the sheep (you and me) precious. He will go to any length to protect and nurture the weakest, to keep the strongest in the fold, and he’ll hunt us down if we stray.

I like being a sheep. I like knowing my Shepherd has my back. I don’t want to follow him blindly, but I want to follow him trusting him because he can be trusted. I want to know my Shepherd’s voice so that when the wolf comes calling I’ll know the difference and stay close to my Protector. 

My Dear Shepherd, thank you for loving your sheep. Thank you for caring for us, for protecting us, feeding us, leading us. May we listen when you call, obey when you command, and may we not stray. Hold on to your people, Lord, so the nations will recognize you are God and there is no better place to be than by your side.