Our Protective Heavenly Father
I recently attended a Bible study on Psalm 23. We are all probably familiar with the first verse of that psalm, “The Lord is my Shepherd.” For me, this has always conjured up images of a gentle leader providing perfect guidance. A shepherd certainly does that. But during this study, I learned that the shepherd will lie down at the gate to the field where the sheep are kept to protect them from all harm.
As I listened to the teacher, I was reminded of all the times the Lord has protected me, and I began writing them down. I thought of 10 right away, and the list is still growing. But one example has always stood out to me.
I was preparing to drive a group of teenagers to a church meeting. As I pumped gas into my car a powerful feeling came over me that got my full attention and I heard in my mind the words, “Pray for protection.”
My thoughts turned to the precious cargo I would be transporting that evening as I prayed.
That night, as we were getting close to our destination, I saw traffic cones all along the side of the road. It was pitch black as there were no streetlights on this road. Suddenly, a car came out from between the cones and passed in front of me, and I had no time to even touch my brakes. The car came so close in front of me that it seemed like metal went through metal.
This was in the days before airbags and I can’t imagine what would have happened that day if I had plowed into that car at full speed. To this day, it fills my heart with gratitude to the Lord.
I used to wonder why the Lord didn’t just protect us. Why did He ask me to pray? Now, I realize, had He just protected us, I would have thought, “Oh my gosh, that was close!” and went on my way. But because of the experience while pumping gas, I knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that this was God at work, watching over His precious children.
I remember my pastor once told a story about the day his daughter was in a car accident. He said at that moment he would have tried to run through a wall if he had to, in order to get to her.
As I heard my pastor say that I thought, “What a picture of our Heavenly Father.”
To be sure my pastor is a loving father, but it’s not possible for anyone to love us more than our Heavenly Father.
Isaiah 58:8 says,
“… the glory of the LORD will protect you from behind.“
That means He’s always got my back. He’s always looking out for me and, like my pastor, when one of his kids is in trouble, He will move heaven and earth to get to them.
… 7 Isn’t it to share your bread with the hungry, to bring the poor and homeless into your home, to clothe the naked when you see him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? 8 Thenyour lightwill break forthlike the dawn,and your healingwill comequickly.Your righteousnesswill gobefore you,and the gloryof the LORDwill be your rear guard.9 Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; you will cry out, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’ If you remove the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger and malicious talk,…)
Streams in the Desert – October 19
- 202119 Oct
“The ark of the covenant of the Lord went before them” (Num. 10:33).
God does give us impressions, but not that we should act on them as impressions. If the impression be from God, He will Himself give sufficient evidence to establish it beyond the possibility of a doubt.
How beautiful is the story of Jeremiah, of the impression that came to him respecting the purchase of the field of Anathoth. But Jeremiah did not act upon this impression until after the following day, when his uncle’s son came to him and brought him external evidence by making a proposal for the purchase. Then Jeremiah said: “I knew this was the word of the Lord.”
He waited until God seconded the impression by a providence, and then he acted in full view of the open facts, which could bring conviction unto others as well as to himself. God wants us to act according to His mind. We are not to ignore the Shepherd’s personal voice but, like Paul and his companions at Troas, we are to listen to all the voices that speak and “gather” from all the circumstances, as they did, the full mind of the Lord.
“Where God’s finger points, there God’s hand will make the way.”
Do not say in thine heart what thou wilt or wilt not do, but wait upon God until He makes known His way. So long as that way is hidden it is clear that there is no need of action, and that He accounts Himself responsible for all the results of keeping thee where thou art.
“For God through ways we have not known,
Will lead His own.”
by: Charles Spurgeon
‘Many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.’ Luke 13:24
Suggested Further Reading: Luke 12:15–21
I marvel not that so many are deceived, when I see the careless way in which you deal with religion. When men have to do with their estates, they are very careful; they fee a lawyer to go back over the title-deeds perhaps for two or three hundred years. In trade they will hurry hither and thither to attend to their commercial engagements; they would not launch into speculations, nor would they run great risks; but the soul, the poor soul, how men play with it as a toy, and despise it as if it were worthless earth. Two or three minutes in the morning when they first roll out of bed, two or three odd minutes in the evening, when they are nearly asleep—the fag-ends of the day given to their souls, and all the best part given to the body! And then, the Sabbath! How carelessly spent by most people! With what indifference do you lend your ears too often to the preaching of the Word! It is an old song; you have heard it so many times; heaven has become a trifle to you, hell is almost a jest, eternity a notion, and death but a bugbear. Alas! it is a marvel that there are not more deceived. The wonder is that any find the gate, that any discover eternal life, when we are so, so mad, so foolish, so insane, as to trifle where we ought to be awfully in earnest, and to play and toy, where the whole heart is all too little to be given to a work of such dread, such everlasting importance. God help us, since it is so easy to be deceived, to search, and watch, and look, and test, and try, that we be not found castaways at the last!
For meditation: Satan does not need to deceive us, when we are doing his dirty work by deceiving ourselves. Beware of delusions of wisdom (1 Corinthians 3:18), self-satisfaction (Galatians 6:3), hearing God’s Word without applying it (James 1:22), a loose tongue (James 1:26) and claims to sinless perfection (1 John 1:8). These are all paths to self-deceit.
“Your beauty, Israel, is slaughtered on your high places! How the mighty have fallen! Saul and Jonathan, beloved and delightful in life, And in their deaths they were not separated; they were swifter than eagles, they were mightier than lions.” – 2 Samuel 1:19, 23 NASB
The headline screamed the astonishing message: “How quickly the mighty can fall!” What had happened? A major corporation had lost $7 billion in market value in just four days! A week earlier, the company had appeared secure and profitable. Then after several unexpected developments, its value vanished as if it never existed.
These events remind us of just that the things of this world are so temporary. Companies that seem invincible can crumble suddenly. The famous quickly can become invisible. Overnight, popular personalities can be forgotten. The best of friends can become enemies. Investors can lose their profits. The powerful can become weak and helpless.
When David spoke about the fall of the mighty, he was referring to the deaths of Saul and his son Jonathan. David had seen the downfall of many mighty men. As a boy, he had defeated the giant Goliath. He had led Israel into battle against enemies with many advantages. With a relatively small army, he had outfoxed Saul and his legions. Then Saul and Jonathan died in battle, men who
previously had been so mighty.
David learned that God alone is mighty. As he once asked, “Who is the King of glory?” The answer? “The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle” (Psalms 24:8).
Nations may rise and fall. Businesses may come and go. Market values may increase or decrease. But God never changes! You can depend on Him.